MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Mister President! Ladies and gentlemen! The budget of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is traditionally the smallest departmental plan, but has the highest coverage rate. We are happy about that. It is essentially an administrative budget with mostly material and personnel expenses. Nevertheless, we managed to set important priorities and frameworks for good judicial work.
For example, with the Pact for the Rule of Law, we have strengthened our rule of law in recent years and significantly improved the staffing of the judiciary. This is also an invitation to the federal states to do the same and to draw level with this; because there is – we do not want to talk around – there is still a considerable need for action.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
The pandemic also made it very clear to us in the justice sector what opportunities and potential we have in the field of digitization. The pandemic functions as a catalyst, as it were, and focuses on the possibilities and optimizations that we can introduce into the legal apparatus through digitization.
We have stipulated in the Online Access Act that we want to offer 575 administrative services digitally at all government levels by 2022. And I want to make it clear here: Even if the BMJV is not the company with the largest share of the administrative services to be digitized, there are important actors in the business area of this ministry.
If we think of Germany’s innovative strength, we also think of the patent and trademark office. I would like – and I think I am not alone in this wish – that the House accelerates progress in this regard and implements the OZG and the ideas of the OZG there at short notice. The opportunities in the patent and trademark area, for example, do not only exist in a digitized file, but in digitized processes that can be made much more cost-effective and user-friendly; my colleague Markus Uhl has already pointed this out. Artificial intelligence can also relieve staff considerably. We as a Union want that.
At the same time, it is not only important that we use the possibilities offered by technical developments in the justice department, but we in the justice ministry must also understand legislation for the digital space as an essential area of responsibility. We need modern legislation for the digital world so that the people in our country can continue to trust in the functioning of the rule of law, which is very pronounced.
There is a large space ahead of us that we must fill with smart and innovative standards. There must be no legal vacuum, so we must start these actions immediately. At the same time, we must not thwart or complicate the opportunities and possibilities of artificial intelligence and digitization. We have significant opportunities to promote social discourse and we have significant economic opportunities. We must not hinder this by legislating too briefly.
When bringing in the budget, my colleague Thorsten Frei pointed out that we urgently need to clarify the following questions: Which legal framework do we have to adapt? Which gaps in criminal liability do we need to close in the digital world? Which investigative powers are required in the digital world? Which investigative, law enforcement and security authorities do we need to upgrade or possibly different, better equip or even create new ones?
Ladies and gentlemen, we also have to consider which powers of the analog world we can transfer to the digital world or whether we have to adapt them. But it cannot be – and I want to say this very clearly – that existing data protection regulations, for example, are to be viewed as protection against perpetrators. That must not be. That will not happen with the Union.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
We have done a lot right in the legal area over the past few years. But now I want to devote myself once more to the debates of the budget week and in particular to our coalition partner SPD. In the debates this week you from the SPD have repeatedly pointed out what you failed to achieve in this coalition. Slight echoes of this were also heard from the Minister, even during the debate on this section. That suggests a bit of a weakness in enforcement.
(Laughter from the SPD – Mechthild Rawert [SPD]: I would say: on resistance!)
By the way, ladies and gentlemen, that sets you apart from us because we enjoy success, and we leave no doubt about it. Let’s go back a year: At that time, some of your ranks were shouting very loudly: “On Santa Claus is GroKo-Aus”. And the closer the St. Nicholas Day of 2019 got, the quieter the calls got. Nevertheless, I have the feeling – and I think I am not entirely alone in this – that you do not really want to stand behind the success of this coalition – and it is undeniable. I only remember the speech by your group chairman yesterday.
But what is the success of this approach, this despondency? The success is that – with a view to the polls – the SPD would no longer be part of a grand coalition if one had to be formed today. That can’t actually be in your best interest.
(Steffi Lemke [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN]: What are you worried about? Since when has the SPD been your concern? SPD welfare organization! – Dirk Wiese [SPD]: All the best for the party congress in January!)
We as a Union want this coalition to succeed. We work for it. We want success in the judiciary. We want success in consumer protection. We succeeded. In this respect, this budget also offers an excellent starting point.
I thank myself.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.