Laschet wants to negotiate new Bonn contract

Armin Laschet

The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to strengthen the political status of Bonn again.

(Photo: AP)

BonnEven 25 years after the signing of the Berlin / Bonn Act, North Rhine-Westphalia vehemently rejects any relocation of all ministries to the capital.

"Berlin is already today completely overheated and overwhelmed and fighting for affordable housing," said Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) of the German Press Agency. "What sense should it make to relocate thousands of civil servants and their families to Berlin with billions in costs?"

For about two decades, Germany has become a de facto double capital: the ministries are located in Berlin and Bonn. On Friday (April 26th) it's been 25 years since the Berlin / Bonn Act was passed.

It was intended to regulate the division between the two cities and provided that "most of the jobs of the federal ministries in the federal city of Bonn will be preserved". This is not the case since 2008. There is a strong pull to Berlin.

"In the meantime, only 33 percent of ministerial jobs are in Bonn," said Mayor Ashok-Alexander Sridharan (CDU) of the dpa. It could not go on like this. The division of labor between the two cities has proven itself and is anything but a waste of money.

"Put the costs once in relation to the relocation and construction costs for those Bonn Ministries, which would have to move to Berlin," said Sridharan. "How long could it be commuted? 100 years? "

The NRW state government wants to negotiate with the federal government by the end of this year an additional agreement to the Berlin / Bonn Act. The goal was to strengthen Bonn as the second federal political center. In addition, his position should be expanded, among other things as a UN location and competence center for cyber security.

Bonn has gained enormous appeal in the last 25 years, said Laschet. The city has a highly differentiated network of ministries, government agencies, UN institutions, NGOs, scientific institutions and large companies. "We must not risk these proven structures," warned the head of the Düsseldorf government.

The Bonn-based UN Climate Change Secretariat is coordinating global efforts to protect the climate. Against this background, it hardly makes sense to relocate the experts from the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Research to Berlin.

The Bonn Republic was the best thing that could have happened to Germany after the Second World War, Laschet said. Bonn has broadcast modesty and openness at the same time.

"Some in Berlin believe that the conditions and the reality of life in Berlin are typical for the whole of Germany – and they also discuss it that way. The virtues of the Bonn Republic of moderation and center, calmness and modesty would be good today. "

Even today, 6 out of 14 ministries have their first office in Bonn. The ministries are located there for education and research, for health, for agriculture, for environment as well as for defense and development, the remaining at the Spree. The federal ministries, whose first place of employment is Berlin, have a second seat in Bonn.

Brexit 2019

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