Federal Government: Faeser: Union is not doing enough to protect democracy

Federal Government: Faeser: Union is not doing enough to protect democracy

Does the working basis of the Federal Constitutional Court have to be secured in the Basic Law? From the Union it is said that the traffic lights should act better, then this question would not even arise.

Representatives of the traffic light government have called on the Union to participate in efforts to secure the procedures and structures of the Federal Constitutional Court – regardless of current differences of opinion in other areas. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) accused the Union of not doing enough to protect democracy and the rule of law from sabotage.

“In these times, state political responsibility is needed instead of fundamental opposition,” said Faeser to the German Press Agency. Especially when it comes to protecting democracy, the principle should apply to all democrats: “First the country, then the party.”

For the time being, the Union sees no need to protect the Federal Constitutional Court more strongly from influence in response to the rise of extreme parties and has ended corresponding discussions with the traffic light government. “The Union parliamentary group currently sees no compelling need to change the regulations on the Federal Constitutional Court in the Basic Law,” said Union parliamentary group vice-president Andrea Lindholz (CSU) to the “Rheinische Post”.

In discussions with representatives of the traffic light factions, it became clear that restructuring the legal basis of the Federal Constitutional Court would not only have advantages. Such changes to the Basic Law would have to be very carefully considered.

The traffic light coalition has considered enshrining details on the election and term of office of constitutional judges not just in a simple law, but in the Basic Law. These could then no longer be changed with a simple majority, but only with a two-thirds majority. This could, for example, prevent judges from being removed from office relatively easily in the event of a change of government.

Faeser sees a risk of sabotage

“Our constitutional state must not be allowed to be sabotaged from within,” said Faeser. “When authoritarian forces attack democracy, the judiciary is often their first target,” warned the minister. This could be observed in neighboring European countries. It is therefore necessary to ensure the independence of the Federal Constitutional Court more strongly.” To this end, it would be advisable to include central regulations on organization and procedures in the Basic Law.

Union reacts angrily to Faeser’s criticism

The Union faction rejected the criticism. Her parliamentary manager, Thorsten Frei, told the dpa that Faeser had “totally lost measure and center” with her criticism. It is not his group’s job to play the “cleaner” for the government. “Instead of trying to silence us,” the traffic light government should address people’s concerns and needs.

The CDU politician criticized: “The traffic lights are pushing laws through parliament that the majority of citizens only shake their heads about.” This applies, among other things, to the heating law, the shutdown of nuclear power plants in an energy crisis and the release of cannabis.

Buschmann believes continuation of the talks is possible

Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) emphasized that his hand was further extended. He called on the Union to restart the conversation. He said: “I hope that perhaps we can all discuss this decision together again.” The aim is to rule out developments such as those that have occurred in Poland and Hungary in recent years, and those currently being discussed in Israel, in Germany in the future.

Doing this is “not urgent in terms of day-to-day politics,” said Buschmann. But in his view it would also be wise to secure the court’s working basis now.

Association of Judges: Even supposedly stable constitutional states can collapse

The German Association of Judges (DRB), otherwise not necessarily a supporter of Buschmann’s projects, sees it similarly. DRB federal managing director Sven Rebehn told the dpa: “A look beyond Germany’s borders shows how quickly even supposedly stable constitutional states in Europe can overturn if illiberal forces have their sights set on it.” Therefore, everyone involved in the federal and state governments should now leave aside the dispute of everyday political business.

It’s about looking for solutions on how the Federal Constitutional Court and the judiciary as a whole can be “protected and consolidated as a bulwark of democracy.” This is “a central political decision for the coming years and decades that all Democrats must now work together.” The topic is too important for party political profiling.

Source: Stern

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