Söder calls for a stronger normative role for the Federal Government

by Thorsten Koch

While Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) no longer wants to discuss the course of action in the looming Corona pandemic with the Federal Government, Bavarian Minister Markus Söder (CSU) is demanding more competencies for the federal government.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) made a statement regarding the Corona crisis, emphasizing that agreements should be made, guaranteeing “clear criteria and a common approach”. Spahn spoke in favor of reliability and trust. There were warnings from the federal states about a “bidding competition” for what could become a run for relaxations of the corona regulations in place.

Söder said: “Honestly, I think it would be better if the Federal Government had more binding legal normative force than is the case.” Despite being a convinced federalist, it is “very helpful” to reach a stronger leadership by the Federal Government with regard to the trust of the citizens. Not only morally, but also legally, more federal legal competences are desirable at this point, Söder said. He added that the current impression is “that the overall foundation and acceptance for collaborative solutions is declining significantly”.

Kretschmann: “Responsibility lies with the Prime Ministers.”

Kretschmann meanwhile said that important decisions had already been taken. No further ‘federal-state conference’ was scheduled, and “the responsibility now lies with the Prime Ministers and the Counties”. Commentators saw this as a departure from the claim to achieve a nationwide, general approach to the Corona crisis.

Söder is against an overall paradigm shift in the fight against the Corona pandemic. “Anyone who thinks Corona is disappearing is, at best, naive,” he pointed out, warning of loosening, such as the lifting of the general requirement to wear mouth and nose protection. Söder said there must be no risk of a second wave of Corona infections. He announced certain sensible easing, but also an expansion of voluntary Corona tests.

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