MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
Mister President! My very esteemed colleagues! You are almost tempted to look where the bell bag is, for this slapstick insert from Mr. Brandner.
(Laughter from members of the CDU / CSU)
It can hardly have been in vain; otherwise you have to pay admission in the circus.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU as well as from members of the FDP and the member of parliament Friedrich Straetmann [DIE LINKE] – Stephan Brandner [AfD]: Just internalize that, Mr Luczak!)
Here, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues, the occasion is really a serious one. Because now, two weeks before Christmas, we’re looking back at a really special year. The pandemic has challenged the state and society in an unprecedented way. Society, the economy, but also the life of every individual were affected by the measures taken to combat the pandemic.
We have done everything here in the House to cushion the effects of the pandemic. We have launched extensive aid packages worth billions as never before. We have made our social systems more flexible. We protected tenants and helped borrowers. We have ensured the survival of travel agencies and we have supported cultural workers.
(Laughter from Karsten Hilse [AfD])
Despite these many relief measures – it must be said – there were also far-reaching interventions. There were restrictions on the fundamental freedoms necessary to fight the pandemic. We had to close shops, close schools; cultural institutions had to close. We have made it mandatory to wear a mask and we have barred contact. All of this was of course also a challenge to the rule of law.
(Beatrix von Storch [AfD]: It was a breach of the law! – Countercall from Deputy Patrick Schnieder [CDU / CSU]: Mimimi! Even the voice gets on my nerves!)
It was a stress test for the rule of law, for the functioning and also for the acceptance of the rule of law. But I think: if you look back now, you can say that we passed this stress test. Because you can see – and I am not saying that, although, but precisely because courts have also repealed individual measures taken by the countries in the fight against pandemics – that the rule of law has worked here. Because it is precisely the task of the courts to control the executive. In doing so, they fulfill their constitutional control function.
It is also very nice to see that we in the Bundestag have reacted to it. It is a learning system: the rule of law and democracy. The interplay of courts, legislative and executive branches has led to the fact that here in the German Bundestag, for example, we have adapted the Infection Protection Act. I just want to address myself to the right side of this house, because from there it is always presented as if it had been an enabling law. I can only say: I not only find this comparison historically infamous,
(Stephan Thomae [FDP]: Yes!)
but above all it is the complete opposite of what we have done here.
We have given the countries a specific regulatory framework which, on the one hand, enables the pandemic to be combated effectively, but at the same time subjects all measures to a strict principle of proportionality and safeguards the freedoms of our citizens. In doing so, we as the Bundestag have taken our responsibility into account. We as Parliament have made the essential decisions. We are now also seeing – the Bavarian Administrative Court has just confirmed it – that these measures were constitutional. In this respect, I think we have done exactly the right thing here in the House, ladies and gentlemen.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU as well as from MPs of the SPD and MP Katja Keul [BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN])
Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki:
Mr Luczak, would you allow Mr Hilse to ask a question?
Dr. Jan-Marco Luczak (CDU / CSU):
No. – For the functioning of our constitutional state, it is of course also important that police authorities, public prosecutors, but also the judiciary are well equipped and have the right resources. As federal legislators, we initiated the pact for the rule of law.
But – you have to be self-critical – we have passed many new tasks, many new laws, especially in the last year, which of course also present new challenges for the judiciary. It must of course also be reflected in the resources of the judiciary that these many new tasks can be carried out. This is, to a certain extent, a pointer to the federal states to meet their responsibility in ensuring that the courts are well equipped.
It was also very important to me that we strengthened the legal profession, which is part of a strong constitutional state. We just decided a few weeks ago that the fees for lawyers would be increased so that they can continue to perform their important constitutional function in our constitutional state in the future.
The second point: not only the functioning of the rule of law, but also the acceptance of the rule of law is important. I think that if the rule of law works, it will also find acceptance. This is also evident from the fact that the vast majority of the people in our country have supported the measures to combat pandemic in particular. You have been accepted; they have been obeyed.
But of course it is also clear: there are others too. There are colleagues here from the AfD, there are lateral thinkers demonstrations. But – it is important for me to emphasize this -: They may be very, very loud, but they are not the majority. The vast majority sees it very differently. She says the rule of law works and they trust the rule of law. This is also due to the fact that we take people and their concerns seriously, ladies and gentlemen. We do it right at the point
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and the SPD)
As correct as it is: we have to take the concerns and needs of the people out there who are demonstrating seriously, also from the point of view of the matter; and so do we. But I also say the other way round: We must resolutely, consistently and ultimately with all the rigor of the rule of law to those who act there with false claims, who utter insults, make threats or perhaps act out right-wing extremist efforts on our streets face them, ladies and gentlemen.
(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)
Because trust in the rule of law cannot be taken for granted. There is only trust if the rules that have been set are ultimately enforced. The establishment of law and the enforcement of law must always form a unit. That is why we have to enforce our rights against those who call democracy, the rule of law and ultimately our free and open society into question. We are doing that, and we must continue to do so in the months ahead.
That is why it is good that it is now also being checked whether the protection of the Constitution might not have to take a closer look at one point or another.
It is therefore good that we have launched a draft law to combat right-wing extremism and hate crime. This is a very important law as we have to cope with the hatred, the hatred, the insults and the threats, especially on social media.
(Stephan Brandner [AfD]: It is an anti-opposition law, nothing else!)
We as a Union want – and I am delighted that the Ministry of Justice and the Minister have now joined our cause – also make lists of enemies a criminal offense in the future. It is about those who collect data from journalists, politicians, dissidents,
(Stephan Brandner [AfD]: The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, or who do you mean?)
then publish them on the Internet and associate it with voicing threats there and trying to silence these people.
(Stephan Brandner [AfD]: That is the classic work of the protection of the constitution that you are sketching!)
We cannot accept that, and that is why we as a Union want to make that a criminal offense.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)
I could say a lot now. Unfortunately, there is not enough time for that. We have had an extremely challenging year. We have achieved a lot in legal policy. We also have a lot ahead of us: We want to make stricter rules in the area of child sexual abuse. We held a hearing on this just this week.
(Stephan Brandner [AfD]: The hearing was devastating for the bill, devastating!)
We will complete that in the next few days.
So, ladies and gentlemen, support us on this path!
Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki:
Come on, please.
Dr. Jan-Marco Luczak (CDU / CSU):
Legal policy is always a part of social policy. It is about the functioning of democracy and our rule of law. Therefore: Support us on this path! With this budget, we are taking a good and correct step in this direction.
(Applause from the CDU / CSU)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.