State act: 75 years of the Basic Law – Steinmeier gives a key speech

State act: 75 years of the Basic Law – Steinmeier gives a key speech

A temporary solution that became permanent: the Basic Law has ensured political stability in Germany for 75 years. First only in the West, since 1990 in West and East. This is now being celebrated.

With a state ceremony between the Reichstag building and the Chancellery on Thursday in Berlin, the leaders of state and society celebrated the entry into force of the Basic Law 75 years ago. May 23, 1949 also marks the founding date of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Peaceful Revolution in the GDR, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, should also be remembered. It ultimately led to the Basic Law, which initially only applied to West Germany, becoming the constitution for all of Germany.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who ordered the state ceremony, will give the central speech. “This Basic Law is the basis for freedom, democracy and law to determine coexistence in our state,” writes Steinmeier on his website. In his view, the constitution has proven to be stable and adaptable over the past 75 years and has overcome numerous crises and challenges.

Eastern Representative Schneider: Celebrate the Basic Law

Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann would like to see more appreciation for the constitution and democracy in Germany. “You don’t have to like everything that happens in our country,” the FDP politician told the “Rheinische Post”. “But our constitution as a political framework has ensured the freest and most prosperous state we have ever had.” He recommends that those who question democracy take a look at the world: “They would not be able to live better in an authoritarian state.”

Carsten Schneider, the representative for Eastern Germany, expressed similar views. The constitution regulates coexistence in Germany through values ​​such as humanity, fairness, diversity and solidarity. “That’s why we can’t celebrate it enough,” the SPD politician told dpa. The people of the GDR had fought for these values ​​and freedoms themselves in the peaceful revolution. “That’s why 35 years of the peaceful revolution and 75 years of the Basic Law, which had German unity as a national goal, are inseparably linked.”

Democracy festival in the government district

The ceremony will be attended by the heads of the five constitutional bodies, among others. In addition to the Federal President, these include the Presidents of the Bundestag, Bundesrat and Federal Constitutional Court – Bärbel Bas (SPD), Manuela Schwesig (SPD) and Stephan Harbarth – as well as Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). The state ceremony will be preceded by an ecumenical service with the participation of several religions in St. Mary’s Church. The police are making a great effort to secure the ceremony, which is expected to attract 1,100 guests. Around 1,000 officers are on duty for security and traffic control.

After the state ceremony, citizens will also have the opportunity to celebrate their constitution. There will be a democracy festival in Berlin’s government district, as well as in the old government district in Bonn, where Steinmeier will open his official residence, Villa Hammerschmidt.

Basic Law proclaimed by Adenauer on 23 May 1949

The Basic Law came into being after the military governors of the Western powers commissioned the eleven prime ministers of the West German states on July 1, 1948 to convene a “Constituent Assembly”. The Constitutional Convention on the island of Herrenchiemsee carried out important preparatory work in August 1948. From September 1, 1948, the Parliamentary Council in Bonn developed the Basic Law, which was passed on May 8, 1949 and announced on May 23 by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Council, Konrad Adenauer.

The Parliamentary Council had 65 members elected by the eleven state parliaments. It consisted of 61 men and 4 women. The latter pushed through the inclusion of the norm “Men and women are equal” in Article 3 – although this has not yet been implemented, for example, in terms of pay at work and in the filling of top positions. The core of the Basic Law is its catalogue of basic rights in Articles 1 to 19, the beacon of which is, so to speak, in Article 1: “Human dignity is inviolable.”

Abuse Commissioner promotes children’s rights in the Basic Law

The Basic Law has been changed and expanded several times over the years. The original 146 articles became 203. And there are further attempts to secure individual questions under constitutional law. The federal government’s abuse commissioner, Kerstin Claus, is calling for children’s rights to be anchored in the Basic Law.

The anniversary is a reason to celebrate, “but also a reason to remember that children’s rights must finally be given the constitutional status they deserve,” Claus told the dpa. “The inclusion of children’s rights in the Basic Law is of great importance for society as a whole.”

Source: Stern

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