Report on Veolia’s complicity in Israel’s settlement policy
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) Finland has on December 11th, 2013 published the report “Suora tie miehitykseen” (“Direct Route to Occupation”) about the connections of the transport and waste disposal company Veolia with the illegal Israeli settlements. The report is available online at
Veolia takes part in the Jerusalem Light Rail Train project, which connects settlements with Israel, as well as dumping settlement waste on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Israeli settlement policy is against international law according to the International Court of Justice, the UN Security Council, the EU, and the Finnish government.
The report argues that Veolia’s actions constitute “grave misconduct” referred to in the EU directive 2004/18/EY. This can be considered grounds for excluding a service provider from competitive bidding, and should at the very least be taken into account when bids are assessed.
ICAHD Finland has approached the city councilc of the cities that are part of Helsinki Regional Transport (HRT), as well as, the board members of HRT, to appeal to them not to renew contracts with Veolia, and, inasmuch as possible, to annul existing contracts. The letter can be viewed online at http://icahd.fi/?p=3833.
The matter is locally topical, as HRT has invited transport providers to tender for the bus services worth 13 million euros within the Kirkkonummi and Sipoo areas. Veolia is expected to be taking part in the bidding.
The matter is also topical internationally. Veolia has lost contracts around the world due to its activity in the settlements. In October, Veolia lost a contract in St. Louis in the United States after a civil society campaign. In November, the investment company TIAA-CREF removed Veolia shares from its responsible investment funds. In Finland, the city of Tampere did not renew contracts with Veolia in 2009, following an initiative brought forward by the Vasemmistoliitto (The Left Alliance, a political party) city council group.
The question of economic activity within the settlements has recently become an important issue at the EU level. The EU Parliament approved new guidelines in November forbidding EU institutions from funding activity within the Israeli settlements, which has caused friction between the EU and Israel.
Within the last few weeks, there have been further developments regarding the settlement issue. The Guardian reported on December 9th, 2013 that amongst the EU countries, the government of Great Britain has warned companies of the potential legal consequences of activities within the settlements, and Al Jazeera reported on December 11th, 2013 that Romania has forbidden its citizens from partaking in the construction of the infrastructure of the settlements.
Further information on the complicity of European companies in the settlements.
In Finland, the Taloussanomat newspaper has published an article on the report by ICAHD Finland.
Syksy Räsänen, email@example.com