At the end of the Merkel era, the GroKo wanted to improve the Basic Law once again: in terms of children’s rights and the term “race”. Union and SPD fail, however – the theatrical thunder is great.
Berlin – Angela Merkel’s grand coalition failed because of two symbolic projects – in just two days: Children’s rights will probably no longer find their way into the Basic Law in this legislature. And the term “race” will probably not be deleted from the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, despite plans to the contrary. The parliamentary groups of the Union and SPD in the Bundestag * blamed each other.
“The closer the end of this legislative period comes, the clearer it becomes which worldview CDU * and CSU * continue to cultivate: retrograde and hostile to modernization,” said SPD parliamentary group vice-president Dirk Wiese of the AFP news agency. Union parliamentary group Vice Thorsten Frei accused the SPD – but also the Greens – of having “overstepped the curve” in the debate about children’s rights.
Children’s rights: No agreement in Merkel’s GroKo – Union accuses red-green of desire for “sovereignty over children’s beds”
On the subject of children’s rights, the coalition and opposition were actually largely in agreement. At least as far as the goal is concerned: A new passage should be added to the Basic Law, which should stipulate the express protection of children’s rights – including the development of independent personalities and special consideration of their well-being. However, there was a dispute over the question of how far these state-guaranteed rights should extend without diminishing the rights of parents.
According to the Union’s information on Tuesday, the negotiations failed because the SPD and the Greens demanded that children’s rights be explicitly named as a “state goal” in the Basic Law. This would have reduced the scope of parental rights to the detriment of the state, explained Frei. “Behind the definition of children’s rights as a national goal is ultimately a different understanding of the relationship between the state, parents and children,” he explained. “We’re not going along with that.” Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) was “deeply disappointed” and accused the Union of a lack of willingness to reach an agreement.
Green parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt spoke of a “poor certificate for the coalition, especially for the Union”. As Minister of Justice and Family Affairs, Lambrecht did not understand how to “create the necessary majority for the rights of children to actually be enshrined in the Basic Law”. Frei pushed the buck on: “The state sovereignty over children’s beds, as the SPD and Greens want, cannot be done with us,” he said on Wednesday. He spoke of a “calculated failure” of the negotiations by the Greens and the SPD.
“Race” as a term further in the Basic Law: GroKo will not agree – “no more changes to be expected”
The next presumably final throwover followed on Wednesday. Because the grand coalition will probably no longer initiate the replacement of the concept of race in the Basic Law. “There is no draft law from the coalition to amend the Basic Law on the subject of ‘race’, so that a short-term change in the Basic Law is no longer to be expected,” said the legal advisor of the Union parliamentary group, Ansgar Heveling, who Rheinische Post. Although there will probably still be a hearing in the Legal Affairs Committee, the project will be through for this electoral term.
Johannes Fechner, spokesman for the SPD legal and consumer protection working group, confirmed that the term will probably remain in the Basic Law for the time being. “The Union wants to keep the concept of race in the Basic Law,” he told the German Press Agency on Wednesday. The argument of time pressure is hypocritical, because the responsible ministries agreed months ago to delete the term. The Union parliamentary group then blocked a corresponding cabinet decision: “Because of the blockade of the Union, the outdated concept of race is unfortunately still in the Basic Law.”
At the moment it is stated in the Basic Law that nobody should be disadvantaged “because of their race”. This has long been criticized because it indirectly implies the existence of different human races. The agreement between Seehofer and Lambrecht provided for a ban on discrimination “on racial grounds” to be included in the constitution. (AFP / dpa / fn) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.