WAR OF THE MULTIROLE CORVETTEs: The Dutch from Damen lose the process with the Romanian state. What’s next?

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By Constantin Radut
A new episode took place between the French from Naval Group and the Dutch from Damen for the 1.6 billion euros allocated by the Romanian Army for the construction of multi-role corvettes. The Dutch company Damen has definitively lost the lawsuit with the Romanian Ministry of National Defense (MApN) in the corvette case.
After the lost trial, definitively, at the Bucharest Court of Appeal, the Dutch company Damen transmitted that it respects the court’s decision but will continue to ask in court for access to the tender documents.
Damen received the decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal as a result of the appeal filed in court regarding the result of the “Multifunctional Corvette” endowment program. Throughout the procedure, Damen followed the principles of a fair trial, seeking transparency, fair competition conditions and clarifications on the tender, which I hoped the court would provide in its reasoning. In this sense, although with disappointment, I respectfully received the decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal “, is Damen’s reaction, after the decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal.
The representatives of the Dutch company also stated that, “following the announcement of the decision, Damen reiterates that our actions were in the spirit of strengthening the rule of law and tendering procedures and we will continue to seek a definitive clarification of public suspicions, leakage of classified information and unfounded controversies in the media ”.
“In the spirit of transparency and clarity, Damen requested in court access to the tender documents. This has been denied so far, forcing Damen to start new legal proceedings to resolve these issues, “said Dutch company officials.
“Damen is more determined than ever to remain a reliable partner of Romania for the construction of civilian and military ships together with the over 6500 employees and subcontractors in Romania. Damen is the only shipbuilder in Romania that has proven its ability to deliver on time, respecting the budgets and contracted parameters. From the moment the auction started, the Damen shipyards in Romania delivered several ships for naval forces from all over the world “, it is also shown in the Damen communiqué.
“Just this year, the Damen Galati Shipyard delivers to Australia one of the most modern and advanced icebreakers in the world and a second corvette for the Pakistan Navy, after the first of them was delivered last year. Damen Mangalia Shipyard is one of the most important shipyards in Europe that can make Romania a leader at the European and world level. Damen remains strongly anchored in Romania! ”, The Dutch company officials specified.
The Dutch company tried to block the cancellation of the 1.6 billion euro contract award procedure for the purchase of the four military corvettes.
The fight in court started following an auction organized by the Ministry of National Defense and won by the Naval Group. Since November 2018, the offers have been submitted by three companies. Fincatieri offered 1.34 billion euros; Damen, 1.255 billion euros and Naval Group, 1.2 billion euros.
Dissatisfied with the French win at Naval, Damen’s lawyers opened several lawsuits challenging the contract award procedure. They lost the lawsuit at the Bucharest Tribunal.
In October last year, Naval Group won the lawsuit in the first instance after the Dutch company Damen contested the tender for the award of the contract for the construction of the multifunctional corvettes.
One week after the winner of the tender for the construction of multifunctional corvettes was announced, Damen, one of the competitors, announced the contestation of the tender.

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