The conversion of the Federal Office for Civil Protection (BBK) to the central office for crisis situations agreed by the coalition should not be possible without a change in the Basic Law. At least the scientific service of the Bundestag comes to this conclusion in an elaboration that is available to the German Press Agency. It states: “The federal government cannot enact any laws in the field of civil protection and disaster relief that provide for mandatory cooperation between the federal government and the federal states without amending the constitution. Likewise, he has no authority to issue directives to the federal states, which is possible for the central offices according to the prevailing opinion.
Under the impression of the pandemic, floods and forest fires in autumn 2021, the SPD, Greens and FDP had agreed in their coalition agreement that the federal government had to take on more responsibility for civil protection. Literally it says in the contract: “Therefore we are realigning the Federal Office for Civil Protection (BBK), developing it further taking into account the federal distribution of competencies to the central office and setting it up accordingly in terms of personnel and material.”
Such centers already exist. So far, however, only where the fight against crime and extremism is concerned: at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
At the beginning of June, the interior ministers of the federal and state governments signed an agreement to set up a joint federal and state competence center for civil protection in Bonn. It was important to the states, however, that fundamental competencies are not shifted: the federal government is primarily responsible for civil defense, for example in war – disaster control remains a matter for the states.