Gerhard Schröder: No right to an office in the Bundestag

Gerhard Schröder: No right to an office in the Bundestag

Gerhard Schröder does not want to accept that his office in the Bundestag has been taken away from him. But he cannot prevail in court, even in the second instance.

According to a court ruling, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) has no claim to his former office in the Bundestag. The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) of Berlin-Brandenburg dismissed Schröder’s lawsuit on Thursday. The decision is not yet legally binding.

In May 2022, the Bundestag’s Budget Committee decided to close Schröder’s office in the Bundestag. The reason given was that the former chancellor was not fulfilling any obligations related to his previous activities. A new regulation made this a prerequisite in spring 2022.

Gerhard Schröder has no right to an office in the Bundestag – revision possible

The Higher Administrative Court sees no legal entitlement to the provision of offices and staff by the state. Such a claim arises neither from customary law nor from the principle of equal treatment, said presiding judge Boris Wolnicki in his justification.

Although the state has made offices available to former chancellors for the performance of public duties after their term of office has ended, following a decades-long practice, no legal effects can be derived from this practice. “In particular, it does not establish any legal claim on the part of the former office holder,” the court said.

Due to the fundamental importance of the case, an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court was allowed.

Schröder already lost in the first instance

Schröder had already fought in the second instance to have the Bundestag pay for an office and staff for him again. He had lost in the first instance before the administrative court in May 2023.

Before the Bundestag withdrew his office, Schröder had been sharply criticized for his connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was not explicitly mentioned as a reason for the new arrangement, but there was talk of consequences “in view of the Russian attack” on Ukraine. Schröder was Chancellor from 1998 to 2005.

Schröder appeared in person at the hearing in Berlin on Thursday and stressed how important the former office, with several employees paid by the state, was for his work as former chancellor. He also cited attempts at mediation between Russia and the attacked Ukraine.

Source: Stern

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