He has not given up his negative course on an internal police study of racism, but there is movement in the matter: Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) announced on Tuesday that he would like an investigation into racism in everyday life . In addition, the daily work of the police must be further investigated. SPD Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz had previously announced in the WDR Cosmo podcast “Machiavelli” that the federal government wanted internal police to investigate racism independently. Of course there is still some internal talk.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) still rejects an investigation that exclusively identifies racism in the ranks of the police … Photo: imago images / Jürgen Heinrich
Movement in prevention
In addition to conflicting announcements about planned studies, there are changes that are already a deal. For example, various federal states are currently tightening their laws to check police applicants even more closely for their loyalty to the constitution. Specifically, this concerns the so-called regular questioning in the protection of the constitution. According to the plan, in the future, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution would be required to provide data on applicants by default and without initial suspicion. In five federal states – Bremen, Lower Saxony, Bavaria, Saarland and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – the introduction of such a regular search is planned, according to the ministries of the interior there.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the planned law, which should come into effect at the beginning of 2021, stipulates that in the future a regular demand must also apply to all civil servants in the judicial service, not just police officers. In Bavaria, the regular test will already affect all police candidates from next spring 2021.
Regular demand is not undisputed
The measure is not undisputed. Six other federal states are currently investigating whether they will make data query the standard. The Saxon Ministry of the Interior, which belongs to these six countries, states when asked that “the regular questions infringe the applicants’ fundamental rights to informative self-determination and freedom of choice”. Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Hesse are also still in the vote. The Hesse Ministry of the Interior emphasizes that a future default question cannot be ruled out, but that it is currently awaiting the ruling of the expert committee convened in September. This was used after several right-wing incidents became known among police officers, including unauthorized requests for personal data on police computers in Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. The committee must deliver results in the spring. Then it will be decided whether Hessen will also go along in the future and have police officers checked by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
Two are not going
Two states, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt, will continue to refrain from regular investigations in the future: the Office for the Protection of the Constitution will only be active there if there are well-founded suspicions of the applicants; However, with regard to the latter, it is important to note: if an applicant does not agree to a possible revision by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, he will be excluded from the application process. Several Ministries of the Interior confirm this upon request.
Rule searches already exist
The regular questions already exist in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Hamburg. In North Rhine-Westphalia, where dozens of right-wing cases have recently become known among police officers, they have existed since 2018. Since there have been 104 suspected right-wing extremist cases since 2017, the Ministry of the Interior explains that these are civil servants who the Service were. The regular search only applies to police officers.
A weak point that also mentions the internal authority in Brandenburg. A spokesperson pointed out that it was so far unclear what the consequences of reporting anti-constitutional efforts by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution would have if an employee was already a civil servant. In Brandenburg, the most profound changes in a national comparison are on the negotiating table. According to the wishes of the Brandenburg Minister of the Interior, Michael Stübgen (CDU), there should be a presumptive independent investigation of all candidates in the public service in the future. In addition, there is also a “follow-up obligation”, that is, reporting deviations that only become known later. “We must be able to prevent extremists from creeping in,” Stübgen told Tagesspiegel.
The spokesman for the domestic policy of the FDP faction in the Bundestag, Konstantin Kuhle, calls for the recruitment of personnel in … Photo: dpa
Ask about national uniform rules
The spokesman for the domestic policy of the FDP faction, Konstantin Kuhle, also calls for the regulation question to be extended to all security authorities and for uniform national regulations. “It cannot be that the interior ministers say in speeches on Sunday, ‘We are taking the issue of right-wing extremism seriously,’ but cannot reach consensus on the rule request,” Kuhle told the Tagesspiegel. The rule query is not a “panacea”, but an “important part of an overall strategy”. If certain countries withdraw, it is “counterproductive”.
The protection of the constitution is restrained
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is cautious on this matter. “We do not interfere in the political debate,” said a spokesman when asked by the Tagesspiegel. At this point, it is difficult to take a position on the precise details of the rule request. Here the authority refers to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In response to the question whether a nationwide regular survey exceeds the capacities of the constitutional authorities, the bureau merely points out that it “depends on the individual case”.
In all states there are already control mechanisms in place to check whether political candidates are loyal to the constitution. The coming months will show whether the rule query is established as an additional means and for which groups it will apply.