The “turning point” in German security policy is to be underpinned by billions in investments in the military. After a long debate, it is now the turn of the Bundestag and Bundesrat. And then the real work begins.
The Bundestag decides on Friday after the agreement between the traffic light coalition and the Union on the 100 billion package for the equipment of the Bundeswehr. A broad approval of the parliament is expected for the step, which is a reaction to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
The draft law for the package will be discussed from 1.45 p.m. The so-called special fund is to be equipped with its own credit authorization via a necessary amendment to the Basic Law. The Bundestag and Bundesrat must agree to the amendment to the Basic Law and the special fund.
It is observed with interest how the deputies of the traffic light parties vote. While no rejection was made public from the FDP, isolated dissenting votes or abstentions are expected from the Greens. SPD leader Lars Klingbeil said the day before at the 24th WDR Europe Forum that he was hoping for a broad majority.
He also pointed out that the Union had said it agreed, and Union faction leader Friedrich Merz (CDU) now wanted to forgo “games” in which it would have been counted how many CDU/CSU MPs would be needed for a majority.
Merz meanwhile made it clear that the Union would vote in favor of the special fund if only a few coalition MPs opposed the project. “If the traffic light groups are fully behind the decisions, we have no reason not to agree as a whole,” Merz told the editorial network Germany (Friday). “It’s not about whether one or two MPs from the Greens or SPD refuse – but we’re not replacing half of the SPD parliamentary group.”
The head of the CSU state group in the Bundestag, Alexander Dobrindt, criticized the fact that it was not certain how many MPs in the traffic light coalition wanted to agree to the planned amendment to the Basic Law, after there were doubts within the government factions. “Obviously, many in the SPD and Greens, including the SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich, regard NATO’s two percent target as an absurd number,” Dobrindt told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Friday).
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) announced a massive rearmament in the Bundestag on February 27: the budget would be provided with a one-time special fund of 100 billion euros for investments in armaments projects; More than two percent of gross domestic product is invested in defense every year.
Because the special fund is to be anchored in the Basic Law, a two-thirds majority is required in the Bundestag and Bundesrat. The coalition is therefore dependent on votes from the opposition.
Some armament projects have already been initiated: These include the planned purchase of F-35 stealth aircraft and the decision to procure 60 CH-47F heavy transport helicopters for the air transport of soldiers and material.
According to figures available to the German Press Agency in Berlin, the army, as the largest so-called branch of the Bundeswehr, will also account for the largest part of the investments. 32 billion euros are planned directly for the land forces.