VERE Christmas Letter 2017

Interview with Santa e-Claus regarding Christmas and the „open scope“


Interview with Santa e-Claus
regarding Christmas and the „open scope“

Dear Santa, what do you expect from next year? Will your life be easier then?
Oh dear, this will be one heap of bureaucratic entanglements again! I am sick and tired of playing Santa for the environmental policy. As you will certainly realize I represent a lot of Santa Clauses and Christmas elves who have been trying for centuries to sustain the Christmas gift business without endangering the environment. And you can trust me when I say that it gets more difficult every year to keep that up. Nobody understands the manifold regulations anymore that we have to comply with, and in one way or the other all Christmas elves and me unwillingly violate some of these.

What’s the reason for that?
Even before we are allowed to circulate our gifts, we have to consider various regulations whose environmental use gets wiped away by an ever exuberant bureaucracy. On top of that new regulations get passed every day and some of these even contradict each other. How can me and my elves be expected to handle everything accordingly when even the authorities of the North Pole have lost track of all these guidelines? Especially when the “open scope” will be introduced next year?

“Open Scope”? Could you please be so kind as to explain this to our members? 
Of course, just imagine the following: Effective 15.08.2017 I have to ascertain if gifts like clothes, furniture and machinery have electric functions. If yes, these are considered electronic devices and have to be registered according to the ElektroG (Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act = German WEEE conversion).

Only then are we allowed to present these gifts to the German population. Additionally, we have to transcode all electronic devices into newly introduced categories. All of a sudden, we have to know the correct measurements and screen sizes of a given product in order to be able to classify the devices correctly. Those parameters hitherto do not exist in our gift management system and the relevant updates will encompass a huge workload. How am I supposed to guarantee a smooth gift distribution in 2018?

But the summer holidays will start on the 15th of August in most places, isn’t that also true for the North Pole?
From my point of view this is the worst possible starting date, because it forms the mid term of the procurement year. These measures stink to high heaven, but no one there even seems to smell it!

And why don’t you express your criticism to the North Pole’s authorities in charge?
I have already been doing that, but there are many different authorities in charge. Some react to criticism by ignoring me and my elves afterwards, but there are others who are more open to our argumentation. This is why we still believe that Christmases can be merry in the future still.

Do you think that all elves and Santas are compliant with the regulations?
A lot of my collaborators just trust on their luck in order not to get caught. Unfortunately the North Pole’s authorities dealing with such questions are hopelessly overworked and understaffed and therefore cannot supervise all related regulations. And then there are the Easter Bunnies!

What do they do?
They distribute their eggs via internet platforms like Bunnybay, Bunnybaba and Bunnyzon and in doing so directly put their eggs into the children’s hands, without even considering security and environmental guidelines. Don’t even get me started on the dangers of rotten eggs!

And the North Pole’s authorities fail to reach them?
This is the truly unfair part. The Easter Bunnies put their servers and storage facilities outside the grasp of our authorities and are therefore safe in their rabbit holes.

Do you think this is okay?
No, it is absolutely not okay. These platforms could be treated like importers and therefore could be treated as quasi-Santas who can be supervised by the North Pole’s authorities. But the North Pole’s authorities prefer to only supervise the Christmas workers within their scope of direct influence. This totally disregards environmental protection as well as product liability.

Would you like to add a closing comment?
Yes, please allow me to quote one of my collaborators: “Regretfully environmental protection often only exists on paper. Laws, statistics and bureaucracy alone will not lead to environmental protection. Only by checking the actual implementations of these measures will we be able to continue to hope for the betterment of the environment.” This is especially true at Christmas.

Thank you very much for frank contributions, dear Santa. 

At this point we seriously ask ourselves which Christmas fairy tale can we still believe in?

Dear members, customers and business partners,

By telling this Christmas tale we would like to gently prepare you for next year’s multiple law amendments and regulation changes that we would like to master alongside you. We hereby would like to stress that we will support you in any possible way, so that the hurdles lying ahead can effectively be cleared.

Underpinning our positive attitude is that we can be thankful to numerous authority staff members, who made time to listen to our members’ and customers’ concerns and who have even actively worked on methods of resolution. It would be very helpful to maintain these valuable connections, so that the executive realm and the business realm we represent do not grow ever more apart from each other. 
We wish all politicians, authority staff members, and especially you, dear members, customers and business partners a most merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful new year. 

Kind regards,

Yours VERE e.V.

Jochen Stepp          Oliver Friedrichs          Christoph Brellinger

Christoph Brellinger

Christoph Brellinger
Executive secretary

Phone: +49 40 750687-200