Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) has appealed to the politicians of the traffic light parties to leave the crisis mode behind in budgetary policy and in the preparation of laws. “In recent years we have often made laws in a pig gallop,” said Buschmann of the German Press Agency. “It wasn’t good for the laws, they were flawed,” he added.

The high level of government spending and the rapid pace of preparing laws in recent years were due to both the corona pandemic and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The war not only had an impact on defense spending, but also made it necessary to mitigate the effects of increased energy costs. But just as budgetary policy now has to “go back to the regular operation of the debt brake,” Buschmann warned that it was also necessary to “get back to the regular mode with its deadlines” when drafting legislation.

“You can’t seriously believe that if you give another house a law to review, that you can do it solidly and seriously in 24 hours,” the FDP politician pointed out. “If you’re supposed to put your hand in the fire for making things work, you need more time.”

Buschmann: Economy suffers from “bureaucratic burn-out”

In order to lead Germany out of the recession, Buschmann believes that “a trend reversal in the burden of bureaucracy” is now needed. He can understand the loud complaints of the trade associations about too many legal regulations and reporting obligations. “My impression is that part of the German economy is really suffering from a bureaucratic burn-out,” he told the dpa. “What we as legislators, as a federal government, as states, as the European Union demand from companies exhausts them so much that they can hardly take care of their core business – that must not be.”

A building block to remedy this is the planned bureaucracy relief law. According to Buschmann, key points for this are to be decided at a cabinet meeting at the end of August. “I am confident that we can do something substantial there,” said the minister. In his opinion, the federal government should also launch a European initiative to reduce bureaucracy at EU level, for example together with the French.

Minister emphasizes the importance of digitization

When asked about the current economic downturn, Buschmann said: “I think we have to do everything in our power to make the country more attractive again, to invest here and do business here.” When it comes to tax relief, Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is trying to “send a clear signal”. Another important building block is digitization.

The e-file will be fully introduced by the federal judicial authorities and the federal courts by the end of this year. As far as digitization is concerned, he could say for the federal and state governments: “We are pulling together.” He was shocked when it became apparent at the beginning of the corona pandemic that many health authorities were not set up digitally. This also applies to many other authorities, such as immigration offices. “It’s a nuisance,” Buschmann said. After all, if you don’t have any data sets, you can’t benefit from the potential of artificial intelligence. More effective processes are enormously important, especially in times of a shortage of skilled workers.

From Buschmann’s point of view, the so-called digital check for laws introduced at the beginning of the year, in which every project is checked for its digital suitability, is “not a fad, but it is a mandatory requirement so that this state can still function in the future”.

In the 2021 federal election campaign, the FDP focused heavily on the topic of digitization and, according to pollsters, appealed to many young voters in particular. Buschmann emphasized that he had introduced electronic file management in the Federal Ministry of Justice within a year. Christian Lindner has increased investments in digitization in the Ministry of Finance, Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has launched the digital Deutschlandticket. Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) has set up a simple system together with Saxony-Anhalt to pay out the energy allowance for students. Nevertheless, the following applies: “You cannot press a button and expect that the digital desert will turn into a blooming digital landscape overnight.”