Berlin (dpa) – Given the high number of corona infections, the CDU / CSU faction in the Bundestag is pushing for pure online parliamentary sessions. “Digital work is the order of the day,” said Elisabeth Motschmann, member of the CDU in Bremen, of the German news agency.
Wolfgang Kubicki, vice president of the Bundestag, immediately declined. He testified to the CDU politician “a rather bleak interpretation of parliament”. The Greens’ first parliamentary director, Britta Haßelmann, does not believe in the proposal: “In the last months of the Corona crisis, Parliament has shown that it can work,” she told the DPA.
Motschmann said: “Each week of the session, more than 700 members of the German Bundestag from all over the Republic travel to Berlin. Who is responsible for that? It is clear to the CDU politician: “Under the current Corona measures, the German Bundestag must also draw conclusions and not physically meet.” Motschmann, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Culture and Media Committee and the her party’s national executive, added: “It has been a long time since the German Bundestag has been digitally upgrading and voting online anyway.”
FDP politician Kubicki was against it: “A parliamentary democracy lives not only from votes, but also from the principle of speech and contradiction, from the interaction between the elected representatives,” said the Bundestag vice president. “A digital debate can never replace direct discussion. The fact that the Union believes that these processes are suddenly completely unnecessary shows how much they understand the role of the kink in government decisions. “
“Our parliamentary democracy thrives on public debate, speech and counter-speech,” said the green politician Haßelmann. “A distance from the presence of the MPs would completely change the character of our parliament. That cannot be desired. “Particularly in these pandemic times, public discussions, the struggle for good concepts and the balancing of decisions are urgently needed.” Measures, restrictions and vaccination strategies must be discussed and advised transparently. “
Haßelmann stressed: “The Bundestag is functional even in times of crisis.” The modernization and digitization of everyday work processes in the Bundestag will have to be continued. “With regard to the exercise of a parliamentary mandate without presence, there are serious constitutional concerns and risks in the implementation.”
Kubicki told the dpa: “Motschmann’s idea, consistently further developed, would mean that MPs could also make decisions about the future of this country with a cocktail on the beach of the Maldives. Even Mrs Motschmann must be clear that this cannot be reconciled with the dignity of Parliament. “But you are very welcome to stay at home for the next week of the session, if you think this is correct.
The Bundestag meets for the first time in the new week after the Christmas holidays. However, it only meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and Fridays – as in the week of meetings just before Christmas – were dropped.
The pandemic has left its mark in the parliament with its 709 members and several thousand employees. Until the last week of the December meeting, 23 MPs had been infected, including Thomas Seitz of the AfD. After the AfD declared in December that “the prognosis for a speedy recovery is favorable according to information from the attending physicians,” it was found that the infection had progressed seriously.
“I would like to thank all the doctors and clinic staff who have made my survival possible with their highly skilled work despite the poor prognosis,” the 53-year-old said through his office over the weekend. At the same time, he again declared the government’s measures against the pandemic inappropriate. He also believes that “no pandemic has yet occurred”.