Berlin (dpa) – Following the right-wing extremist killings in Hanau at the beginning of this year, the federal government is now undertaking specific projects to combat racism and extremism.
The cabinet commission to combat right-wing extremism and racism adopted a corresponding 89-point paper in Berlin on Wednesday. The cabinet as a whole should take over in the coming week.
“Today we present a comprehensive catalog of measures to strengthen our defensive democracy,” said Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD). “This defensive democracy lives on the stakes of countless democratic initiatives that we finally want to put on a stable legal basis.”
The federal government wants to make more than a billion euros available for these projects between 2021 and 2024. If the Budget Committee agrees, an additional EUR 150 million must be added.
One of the projects is a law promoting defensive democracy, which the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Family Affairs will work out together. It is intended, among other things, to provide adequate support in the prevention of extremism. When asked if this was the democracy promotion law that the SPD had long pushed for, a spokesperson for the federal interior minister said it was a “substantive project”. According to Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU), there could not be a law solely aimed at promoting certain projects.
Similarly, a number of prevention programs and the establishment of a “Federal Institute for Quality Assurance” are planned to monitor effectiveness. In general, political education must be improved. The government also confirms that the term “race” should be removed from the Basic Law.
The public service should launch targeted campaigns to recruit more people with a migrant background and test selection processes. Right-wing extremism in the security authorities and in the public service as a whole must be highlighted with a separate picture of the situation. The government also wants to support research projects on everyday racism, anti-Semitism and hostility to Muslims, as well as everyday police work.
The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to focus more on dealing with colonialism, which should also be reflected in textbooks. The Ministry of Justice wants to draw up proposals for changes to the criminal code, which serve, among other things, to combat so-called “enemy lists”. This refers to lists on which right-wing extremists usually mention alleged opponents such as politicians, activists or journalists. Crime victims need more support and there should be a hotline for those affected by racism. The Federal Government Commissioner for Victims of Terrorist Crimes, Edgar Franke (SPD), demanded: “We must ensure that the Corona crisis does not turn into a democracy crisis. Agitators and racists are far too noisy, although they are a small minority. “
Federal government integration commissioner Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU) sees decisive progress. The package “succeeded in capturing the views of those affected and ensuring that their expertise is integrated into the concrete work to combat right-wing extremism and racism”. A federal government board of experts on integration, participation and anti-racism issues should help.
The federal government set up the cabinet commission after the right-wing extremist killings in Hanau. In addition to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), it includes Interior Minister Seehofer and Widmann-Mauz.