Wednesday, October 28

Corona measures: Parliamentarians criticize government powers without a say


BMembers of the Bundestag from several parties have criticized the increase in powers for the federal government in the corona crisis. “For almost nine months the government in the federal, state and local governments has been issuing ordinances that restrict people’s freedoms in an unprecedented manner in post-war Germany without even an elected parliament having voted on them once,” said the SPD Legal expert Florian Post of the “Bild” newspaper.

Post also criticized “Bild” according to the meeting of the chancellor with the prime ministers of the states. The Basic Law does not have a conference between the Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states. This is “not intended as a legislative body”. He is tired of this approach. It is not about the “indisputable necessity of measures”, it is about the elected parliaments having to be asked and involved.

According to the report, there are corresponding special powers of attorney for Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), but also for the Federal Environment Ministry, among others. In the labor protection control law of Social Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), the Federal Council only added later that the state chamber insists on a right of co-determination.

“Worrying Development”

“This is a worrying development,” said Union parliamentary group vice Carsten Linnemann (CDU) of the newspaper. Parliament must “again more self-confidently demand its role as legislator and then also fulfill it”.

The CDU economic politician Jana Schimke warned in “Bild” that the basis of authorization must be used cautiously and “only in exceptional cases”. This is understandable when using medical personnel in the event of a pandemic. “But in a parliamentary democracy, I think that giving the federal government more and more power with regular laws is problematic,” said Schimke.

Powers for Spahn are to be extended

Specifically, according to the “Rheinische Post”, members of the SPD and FDP criticize the government’s plan to extend the special rights for Health Minister Spahn beyond March 31, 2021 in an urgent procedure. Johannes Fechner, legal policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, told the newspaper: “The decisions of the administrative courts show that the statutory powers for the executive are too indefinite, especially when it comes to restricting fundamental rights.” Only if Corona protective measures are legally certain If they were to stand before the courts, the population had confidence in these decisions.

FDP internal politician Konstantin Kuhle also criticized: “After the Bundestag granted the federal government special rights to fight the corona pandemic for a limited period of time in March of this year, the Federal Ministry of Health now wants to fix them permanently.” This step would be a permanent shift in powers by the legislature to the federal government. He called on Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) to act on Spahn “so that Parliament is more involved in the decisions of the Corona crisis.” State and society would have to react decisively and effectively to the renewed increase in the number of infections, but the separation of powers shouldn’t be harmed.

According to reports, the federal government had planned to advance the project between the ministries this Monday to such an extent that it can be passed by the cabinet on Wednesday. According to the draft bill, the head of the health department should be given extensive powers. So Spahn is allowed to issue regulations on its own initiative, insofar as this is “necessary to protect the population from the risk of serious communicable diseases”.

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