The police in East Frisia are preparing for a major operation for a meeting of leading SPD politicians in the coming days on the North Sea island of Norderney. Politicians from the SPD state groups in the Bundestag from Lower Saxony/Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia come together for a retreat on the East Frisian island. According to the party, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, party leaders Lars Klingbeil and Saskia Esken and several ministers are also expected to attend the two-day meeting. Several hundred police officers are on duty to secure the meeting, as the responsible Aurich/Wittmund police station announced in response to a dpa request.

“The Aurich/Wittmund police station is preparing for a large-scale police operation,” said a spokeswoman. The emergency services receive support from neighboring departments, the water police, the riot police and the federal police, among others.

Conference entitled “Stability and Strength”

The spring meeting of the SPD state groups is scheduled for next Thursday and Friday in the Conversationshaus, the spa house in the center of the island. It is the third time that the state groups from North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony/Bremen have met together. With 28 MPs from Lower Saxony and Bremen and 49 MPs from North Rhine-Westphalia, they are two of the largest state groups of the SPD in the Bundestag. A total of 207 members of the party sit in parliament.

Under the title “Stability and Strength”, the politicians want to discuss the key areas of public services, the welfare state and Europe. In addition to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the members of the Bundestag and the SPD leaders, Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, Labor Minister Hubertus Heil, parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich and Bundestag President Bärbel Bas are also expected to take part in the conference. The chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation, Yasmin Fahimi, and the SPD’s top candidate for the European elections, Katarina Barley, will also come to the island.

Police presence on the island will be increased

According to the Aurich police station, islanders and holidaymakers will be able to see “significantly more police presence” on the island. In some cases there could be restrictions on traffic, for example through closure measures. “The emergency services may also occasionally approach or check people,” said the spokeswoman. However, the declared goal is to keep restrictions for the citizens on the island as low as possible.

Norderney Mayor Frank Ulrichs said in response to a dpa request that the meeting of the SPD parliamentary groups was an “outstanding event” for the island. “We are particularly honored by the visit of our Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.” The North Sea island does have experience with visiting political celebrities, said Ulrichs. Many prime ministers, federal chancellors and some federal presidents have already been to the island for vacation or for political events. It is remarkable that so many high-ranking politicians are now coming to the holiday island at the same time. “We haven’t had that in this form before.”

The island is looking forward to the event “with excitement and joy,” said the mayor. The city plans to have Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other government members sign the Golden Book.

Website of the SPD regional group for Lower Saxony/Bremen Website of the SPD regional group for North Rhine-Westphalia