If the federal government decrees corresponding savings measures in the event of an extreme energy shortage, parliament can now demand their lifting up to two months later. A corresponding amendment to the Energy Security Act was decided by the traffic light parliamentary groups on November 22 in the Committee for Climate Protection and Energy and approved by the Bundestag two days later.
The change in the law comes after constitutional law experts criticized in WELT AM SONNTAG that the powers to issue ordinances in the Energy Security Act were formulated so vaguely that the government could bypass the Bundestag and intervene in every energy-related area. The traffic light has now ensured that Parliament is appropriately involved in times of crisis, said the energy policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Michael Kruse, at the request of WELT: "In this way we are creating the demanding balancing act between the government's ability to act quickly on the one hand and the need of the legislature to to control and review far-reaching limitations of rights.”
The Bundestag's new veto right only applies to acute crises. This does not include the controversial paragraph 30, which the government can already fall back on in the pre-crisis situation for preventive energy saving measures and has thus decreed the currently applicable heating and lighting bans. As WELT AM SONNTAG reported, paragraph 30 was inserted into the Energy Security Act by the traffic light factions at very short notice, much to the displeasure of the opposition. According to WELT information, this happened because the break in the Bundestag session was imminent and at the same time the question arose as to how long Russia would continue to supply gas. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) had therefore called for a framework for action to be able to operate over the summer and intervene in an emergency.
But even with this standard, the traffic light agreed on a change on November 22: Previously, the Ministry of Economics could have issued regulations on its own on the basis of Paragraph 30 - if the Federal Government had delegated the authority to do so.
It is now clear for the future that energy saving regulations must always be approved by the Federal Cabinet as a whole - and therefore the FDP-led departments must also agree. Michael Kruse says: "We learned from the Corona period that it is better to involve the entire government whenever possible."