Berlin (dpa) – The FDP is calling on the federal government to present a concept for orderly exit from special regulations in the corona pandemic by the end of the parliamentary summer break. Otherwise, there is a risk that the epidemic situation of national magnitude cannot be lifted just because since March 2020 “a difficult-to-understand jumble of regulations has arisen” associated with such a state of emergency, according to a paper by the FDP parliamentary group.
“The top priority in any exceptional situation is to get back to normal as soon as possible,” the Liberals demand. The newspaper was available to the German news agency in Berlin.
Epidemic situation “pivot point”
According to the FDP, the governing coalition has expanded the epidemic situation of national concern despite serious counter arguments such as incidence, the situation in hospitals or vaccination coverage. This allows the assumption that they are only continuing this constitutional emergency because its ending would have significant implications for other regulations.
“In the debate on ending the corona emergency, the so-called epidemic situation of national magnitude is at the center of the debate. The Union and the SPD have made it unnecessarily complicated to get this back to normal,” said the first parliamentary director of the FDP parliamentary group, Marco Buschmann, of the German news agency.
Legal transition period
The FDP calls for clearing the table before the general election and for loosening the “shackles” between individual regulations, especially with a secure legal basis for protective measures. A new version of the Infection Protection Act (“§28a”) may not be “schematically linked to the existence of the epidemic situation”. It should be possible to take low-threshold measures such as hygiene concepts, mandatory face masks or measures in the event of a local outbreak – the so-called simple protection measures that do not deeply violate fundamental rights – below the threshold of an epidemic situation of national scope.
For planning and legal certainty in health care, the continuation of the application of certain schemes during a transitional period should also be legislated. “Rules need to be established that provide planning and legal certainty for the health system given the high special burdens. According to a parliamentary law, these must remain in force for as long as necessary,” said Buschmann. “This also applies, for example, to the regulations in the Federal Education Assistance Act or in the Family Care Leave Act that relate to questions of Social Security.”
“Axes of the separation of powers” shifted
But that won’t happen overnight. “The German Bundestag can also meet at any time during the summer holidays and discuss draft laws. In any case, the FDP faction is ready,” said Buschmann.
The FDP is fundamentally critical of the fact that the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) is given extensive legal authorizations as a result of a determination of the epidemic situation on a national scale. “While ordinances usually specify laws, it is particularly problematic here that the BMG is allowed to order rules across the board that deviate from parliamentary laws,” the paper says. The FDP criticizes this for “shifting the axes of the separation of powers between parliament and executive.”