bFederal Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) presented key points for an additional agreement to the Bonn-Berlin Act on Friday. Geywitz was confident that the agreement announced in the traffic light coalition agreement can be signed by the federal government, the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, the city of Bonn and its neighboring districts by “next year after Carnival at the latest.” A complete move of the ministries to Berlin is still out of the question.

There are always disputes about the law passed by the Bundestag 30 years ago, which, among other things, stipulates that federal ministries are located in both cities. Paragraph 4 plays an important role in this, in which it states that “the majority of the jobs in the federal ministries” will be retained in Bonn. Time has long passed over that.

Bonn is a “federal city”

Today, only a good third of ministerial jobs are located in Bonn. Berlin supporters have repeatedly called for all ministries to be completely relocated to the federal capital.

They also point out that Bonn received a good two dozen federal institutions such as the Federal Audit Office as compensation and that institutions such as the Federal Network Agency or the Federal Office for Information Security with many new positions were created in the municipality that is now called the “federal city”.

However, on Friday Geywitz reiterated that the Bonn-Berlin law should not be changed. The additional agreement is not about discussions about sharing costs or how many employees work where. “It’s about additional functions that Bonn and the region take on for the entire Federal Republic.”

Second federal political center

The key issues paper states that Bonn should be further expanded as a location for the United Nations and other international organizations as well as a center for cybersecurity. In addition, the former capital is to become the German location for research into natural disaster resilience.

The key issues paper underlines “that Bonn is the second federal political center alongside Berlin and that strengthening the federal city and the region is an ongoing task of national importance,” said Bonn's mayor Katja Dörner (Greens).

The North Rhine-Westphalian Minister for Federal Affairs, Nathanael Liminski (CDU), said: “If there were no second federal political center like Bonn besides Berlin, one would have to invent it.” The central result of the talks was that the federal government “explores the added value of the federal city of Bonn the whole of Germany recognizes and commits to it.”

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