The governing coalition and the Union have agreed on the details of the planned 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr. Both sides announced this on Sunday evening after more than three hours of negotiations in the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin. The talks were “successfully ended tonight”.
The basic law should be changed to create the special fund with the purpose of strengthening the alliance and defense capability and a law for the financing of the Bundeswehr and the establishment of this special fund should be initiated, as can be seen from the written communication from the department of Finance Minister Christian Lindner ( FDP) was disseminated.
“Together we will ensure that the Bundeswehr will be strengthened in the coming years with additional investments of 100 billion euros,” it said. “The so-called two-percent target of NATO will be achieved on average over several years.”
Immediately and before the parliamentary summer break, an initiative to accelerate procurement will be launched. The business plan with the concrete procurement projects will be decided with the agreed law. An advisory body of the budget committee will accompany this.
In addition, the government will present a strategy to strengthen security in the cyber and information space. “Necessary measures for cyber security, civil protection and the upgrading and stabilization of partners are financed from the federal budget.”
After the special fund had been used, the necessary funds to achieve the then valid NATO capability goals would continue to be made available. “After the claim, the repayment also begins within a reasonable period of time.”
Finance Minister Lindner told the German Press Agency that from his point of view two goals had been achieved. “Firstly, we are strengthening the Bundeswehr in a one-off financial effort,” said Lindner.
“Secondly, we ensure solid public finances by maintaining the debt brake of the Basic Law.” The anchoring in the constitution emphasizes the “special exceptional character” for the Bundeswehr. This is important to combat inflation.
The Union in the Bundestag also welcomed the agreement. “The 100 billion will flow entirely into the Bundeswehr. From our point of view, that is the key point, ”said Union housekeeper Mathias Middelberg of the German Press Agency.
The announcement of a massive rearmament by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), which he made in the Bundestag on February 27, is to be implemented. Scholz had said that the federal budget would provide the special fund with a one-time payment of 100 billion euros.
From now on, more than two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) would be invested in defense every year. This left room for interpretation as to whether 100 billion plus two percent should apply or whether both should be offset.
The negotiations with the opposition Union were necessary because the special fund is to be anchored in the Basic Law. In this way, it should be possible to take out loans bypassing the debt brake. A two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat is required for the constitutional amendment, which the coalition cannot muster alone.
The exact use of the money turned out to be a key sticking point. The Union wanted to have it made clear that the special fund will only be used for the Bundeswehr. The Greens wanted the 100 billion to also be used to finance cyber defense and support for partner countries.
It has now been agreed that measures for cyber security, civil protection and the stabilization of partner countries will also be taken – but “financed from the federal budget”, i.e. not from the special fund.