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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: CDU CSU

Dear Mr President! Ladies and gentlemen! Dear Colleagues! Even if a lot is different this year, some things remain the same. It has already been mentioned: Section 07, the budget of the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, is still the smallest departmental section. The positive thing – this has already been mentioned – is that we are once again generating high income in this individual plan, despite the corona pandemic. We expect 625 million euros, which will mainly be collected by the German Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Office of Justice. This then corresponds to a coverage rate of more than 65 percent. That, too, remains the same: It is still the highest of all departments.

What is behind these numbers? That is really good news, namely that Germany is asserting itself as an innovation location in the corona pandemic. The German Patent and Trademark Office expects only a very small decline in patent applications for the current year, in the single-digit percentage range. Drive technologies such as fuel cells and batteries lead to increasing numbers of patents being filed. There is significant growth in the area of ​​digitization.

In addition, the pandemic is also a driver of innovation. The registration volume in the areas of consumer goods and medical technology has risen sharply. These include, for example, devices and processes for infection protection or innovations in face masks and protective clothing.

Incidentally, despite the pandemic and thanks to its pronounced digital way of working, the German Patent and Trademark Office has remained 100 percent operational at all times. The examination of patents, utility models and trademarks is completely possible in the home office. Here I dare to argue that the Patent and Trademark Office is at least the most digital federal authority, if not the most digital authority in Germany. That is really exemplary, ladies and gentlemen.

With the budget presented here, ladies and gentlemen, we are further strengthening consumer protection. We have made almost 6 million euros more available for this in the parliamentary procedure. Incidentally, the bottom line is that the Federal Consumer Association receives more money than last year. Through projects that we are establishing at vzbv, we make it possible, for example, to strengthen the competencies of consumers in the health sector, for example to identify false health claims and to uncover fraudulent advertising for alleged health products, for example on the Internet.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

In addition, we are strengthening the topic of “consumer-friendly climate protection” and – this was very important to me personally – we are also expanding consumer education in schools. Consumer education imparts basic skills in order to find one’s way in everyday consumption. Consumer education promotes everyday and consumer skills, especially among children and young people. And so I am pleased that we can continue the “Consumer School” project and the corresponding awards as well as the network of consumer schools with the funds made available.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

There were a total of 112 awards as a “consumer school” for schools in Germany. 20,000 children have benefited from it. I am pleased that there was also a school in my constituency among them, the Christian von Mannlich-Gymnasium in my hometown Homburg, ladies and gentlemen.

(Applause from members of the CDU / CSU)

Consumer education is prevention in consumer protection. Consumer protection is also becoming more and more important in applications of artificial intelligence, Minister. That is why I very much welcomed the fact that the Federal Ministry of Labor and the Federal Ministry of Justice had jointly planned a so-called KI Trust Center, which, as an independent institution, is supposed to support the safe and trustworthy handling of AI applications. I therefore regret that this AI trust center is now off the table and that the Federal Ministry of Justice alone is developing a new concept. Unfortunately we lost a lot of time here. We housekeepers have at least made sure that the necessary funds will also be available in the future. We then also demand that we be informed about further progress as soon as possible.

Ladies and gentlemen, the pandemic gave digitization a big boost. We all have great experience with video conferencing and virtual events. Video conferencing technology has also found its way into the judiciary, for example several conference rooms at the Saarbrücken regional court were specially set up as video conference negotiating rooms. A double-digit number of civil negotiations are now taking place there every week as a video conference, with the result that the judiciary is much more efficient because the lead time for the negotiations is reduced and scheduling is much easier. Ultimately, this also increases trust in the rule of law.

There are still some open legal and technical questions. I am therefore delighted that we have succeeded in using the positive experience of the “District Court 4.0” project in the “Digital Presence at Court” project and now, so to speak, putting it on track. As you can see, we are strengthening the judiciary, we are investing in digitization and in research for judicial practice.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)

Ladies and gentlemen, with the last federal budget we set up the Forum Recht Foundation with its offices in Leipzig and Karlsruhe. It is our common will in this House to establish these places of illustration, experience, making tangible, but also democratic discourse about the rule of law and about justice. I am therefore pleased that – even if there have been delays – things are now moving forward. The necessary staff is now available at both locations. The Board of Directors has started its work and the search for suitable building sites is proceeding. It is therefore good and right that we are making EUR 2.5 million available in this budget for next year to continue the work.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the FDP)

As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, the rule of law works. And it works well in times of a pandemic too. We are investing in the future of our constitutional state and we are ensuring even better consumer protection. As a housekeeper, however, I would also like to point out that we must also think about intergenerational justice. We also have to maintain financial sustainability, and so the future must be about how we get back to black zero. That is also our responsibility for our children and our grandchildren, ladies and gentlemen.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and Deputy Konstantin Kuhle [FDP])

Finally, I would like to thank the main rapporteur Esther Dilcher, all the co-rapporteurs and, of course, you, Federal Minister, on behalf of your entire House for the good cooperation over the past few years.

Thank you very much, and I would ask you to approve Section 07 in the committee version.

(Applause from the CDU / CSU and members of the SPD)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

MIL Translation OSI