On Thursday, Federal Chancellor Scholz met the Heads of Government of the Länder for consultations in the Chancellery. The conference focussed on the issues of energy, planning acceleration and digitalisation of authorities that deal with foreign nationals. The National Security Strategy and the Russian offensive war against Ukraine were also discussed.
Securing the energy supply – speeding up the expansion of renewables
Energy supply security and the expansion of renewable energy were among the key issues under discussion. The Federal and Länder Governments agreed that the development of wind and solar energy and upgrading of networks had to take place more rapidly. Federal Chancellor Scholz pointed out that far more approvals had to be granted and that more construction activity was needed. “This isn’t bad for our country’s economy either,” the Federal Chancellor added. In order to promote this, the participants of the meeting agreed on a joint monitoring process that will allow for a clear overview of the progress made in developing renewables.
Common approach to refugee policy
The Federal and Länder Governments welcomed the resolutions of the Interior Ministers of the 27 EU states which provide for a joint asylum system that is characterised by solidarity for the entire European Union. They affirmed their decisions concerning refugee policy made at their meeting on 10 May 2023 and agreed that the challenges can only be mastered if digitalisation is increased rapidly in this area. Federal Chancellor Scholz referred to digitalisation in the authorities that deal with foreign nationals as a huge modernisation endeavour that was linked to investments and a huge amount of work. He agreed with the Heads of Government of the Länder that the required measures in this area should be implemented quickly.
The current refugee situation gives rise to enormous financial challenges across all levels of government. This is why the Federal Chancellor and the Heads of Government of the Länder agreed on 10 May to set up a Federation-Länder working group for drawing up solution approaches concerning long-term financial support in refugee policy that is to be provided by the Federal Government to the Länder and municipalities. The current status of this work was reported on at the meeting.
National Security Strategy
The purpose of the National Security Strategy is for the Federal Government to position itself in view of the Russian war of aggression and the changed security situation. It was adopted by the Federal Cabinet on 14 June 2023. The Länder are also going to be involved in its implementation. This is why a process for the further procedure was specified in the Federal Chancellor’s meeting with the Heads of Government.
The Federal and Länder Governments agreed that planning had to be sped up in Germany on the whole. A Federation-Länder working group will be set up to address this goal. Federal Chancellor Scholz stressed that the Federal and Länder Governments shared the desire to streamline all decision-making processes in Germany. “The new German pace that we demonstrated with regard to the LNG terminals on Germany’s coasts should be the pace of everything we do in Germany,” the Federal Chancellor said.
State Premiers’ Conferences (MPK) are meetings of the Heads of Government of the 16 Länder with the aim of coordinating policy. They address topics at federal and state level as well as current European and international issues. Twice a year (in June and December), the state premiers subsequently meet with the Federal Chancellor. One federal state chairs the conference each year, subject to a predetermined sequence. The chair is currently held by Lower Saxony, and will be taken over by Hesse on 1 October 2023.