Government extends emergency powers by three months
The current decision means the extraordinary mandate will remain in effect until the end of November.
Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag prolonged the extraordinary authorisation formally called “Epidemic emergency situation of national relevance”. Lawmakers approved the government’s proposal with 325 votes in favour, 235 against and 5 abstentions. All opposition parties were against the proposal while government coalition parties voted for the extension.
In the parliamentary debate, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn argued that federal states and local authorities must have a legal basis for enacting measures to fight the coronavirus as the “pandemic was not over yet”. The minister pointed out that although more than 100 million doses of vaccine had already been administered in Germany, less than 60 per cent (59.4%) of the population has received both doses. Therefore, averting an overburdening of the health care system remains the primary goal.
Germany introduced the extraordinary legal order in March 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic. The federal, as well as the state governments were authorised to govern by decree without parliamentary consent. According to the decision of federal lawmakers, the emergency powers will be in place until the end of November.