Lockdown, restrictions on fundamental rights, opening strategies – from the point of view of the opposition, the Bundestag must decide. This should now get a new committee to advise on corona issues.
Berlin (dpa) – According to the ideas of the Union and the SPD, with the help of a new body, the Bundestag would have more say in the fight against the corona pandemic.
To this end, according to a request from the coalition groups, a «Parliamentary Advisory Committee on the Covid-19 Pandemic» will be set up. It says, “The Interdisciplinary Committee should address current and future health and social issues related to dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic and make recommendations for action on a scientific basis.” The FDP and the Greens criticized the commission as a pure “diversion”.
First of all, the portal ThePioneer reported on the project. The application has also been submitted to the German news agency in Berlin. According to this, the body should become a subcommittee of the health committee, consist of 21 members and involve outside experts. His areas of expertise include viral mutation research and control, vaccine production and procurement, or learning and teaching during the pandemic.
Above all, the opposition in the Bundestag has repeatedly criticized the fact that Parliament has too little say over measures against the pandemic. However, at the start of the pandemic, the Bundestag had given the government extensive discretion by identifying an epidemic situation of national magnitude. This week the Bundestag wants to decide on the continuation of the epidemic situation. The extension should only be for three months in the future.
Union leader Ralph Brinkhaus said Tuesday that the Bundestag has a large number of subcommittees. “So it’s not uncommon.” The committee must also ‘work ahead’. Brinkhaus made it clear: “The executive decisions will continue to be made by the executive.”
The FDP and the Greens reacted negatively. “The thing smells like a red herring knitted with a hot needle,” said FDP’s first parliamentary manager Marco Buschmann. “The question of how the pandemic will continue belongs in the plenary session of the German Bundestag. This ensures transparency and publicity. These questions should not be sunk into a new sub-committee of a technical committee. “
Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt argued in a similar way. It is crucial that the federal government no longer makes important decisions “behind closed doors in its own subgroups”. “The Bundestag does not need a placebo committee, but must regain its decision-making power.” Plenary must be able to decide on the pandemic situation and a risk-level plan to combat the pandemic, the Green politician demanded. The government should convene an interdisciplinary pandemic council. Unlike a Bundestag subcommittee, this would be a useful body to advise the government.
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