According to the above map the old situation is the correct one.
In an earlier changeset the user aparently changed the contours of a nature reserve to also include the small bit of nature across the border. Then later in the changeset you mentioned he also modified the country border to follow the newly drawn boundary of the nature area.
The border edit probably was not done in bad faith, but it might be best to revert it anyway and restore the old version of the border.
When the production of natural gas from the Groningen field will cease, because the fact that this gas field straddles the border (whatever) between Netherlands and Germany is the main, if not the only, reason for the dispute, the dispute will be over as nobody wants to dispute some wetland with seagulls and seals.
Then it will be some historic thing as Baarle-Hertog.
This discrepancy (we can’t rightly call this a dispute) is well documented and accepted, and has been so since the 1960s. In 2014 a couple of laws and guidelines were formally realigned between the two countries, but the border situation was kept as it is now (correctly mapped on OSM).
The reason for the 2014 joint statement was not mining rights (i.e., gas fields), but the planned construction of a wind farm in that area. With the 2014 bilateral agreement any ambiguities about which country governs what have been resolved, but the border(s) will stay like it is (with both countries overlapping) for the foreseeable future, probably because resolving it turned out to be too much of a bother.
To be clear - the DWG only has to intervene when the parties concerned have not managed to come to some accommodation. There are a few places where there are “overlapping admin_level=2” areas, and often both sides of a dispute respect the other side of the dispute, while still claiming that their claim is the valid one. There’s recently been a thread on the talk@ mailing list about it and I mentioned this case there as an example where “both sides are happy with the current representation”. If the Dutch and German communities in OSM are happy with things as they are then there’s no need to change.
I originally started this thread about a change the the Belgian / Dutch border, not the Dutch / German one. I’m not aware that anyone’s ever complained about the representation of the Dutch / German border.
I’m aware of the Crimea thread, the previous situation similar to the Dutch/German border was better in my opinion, but since it affects land instead of water in our case it has wider implications.
Reflecting both claims to a territory in OSM is in my opinion a good compromise that could also be applied to Crimea. But that likely makes the local community in Crimea unhappy because they overwhelmingly voted to join the Russian Federation. So I also understand the decision DWG made.
Martin, some historic info: the dispute is actually caused by a very old 15th century treaty on the German side where the Earl of Ost-Friesland was granted control over the Ems. The dispute excisted way before any natural gas was found.
Internationally the Dutch interpretation of the border, the center of the Ems, is accepted.
Recent conflicts are not about gas but wind-mills. Currently control over the Ems estuary is shared between both country’s without an actual agreement on the border through a treauty from 2014.
This is an interesting region. Historically the community on both side of the border is closely linked. The language on both sides is simular, and many placenames are almost or completely the same on both sides of the border. The 80-years war was partially fought on what is now Germany. De ‘Schansenkrieg’ included defense-works near Leer und Diele.
Wen visiting one of the touristic places on the shore of the Dollard, Ditzum, one gets the real feeling of this: German, Dutch, Gronings, Plat-Duuts and Ost-Friesisch are spoken and understood. This is mostely true for the complete border region, Reiderland/Rheiderland und Emsland/Westerwolde … proving that borders are in fact fictional lines on paper
I was born there, and as far as the locals go there is no border …