In the middle of the final of the federal election campaign, the state parliament starts from the summer break. The parliamentary groups of the SPD, FDP and Free Voters are currently meeting for their autumn retreats. The topics of the meetings are partly the same, but there are differences in the orientation. An overview.
“We’re going full steam ahead into the second half” of the legislative period, says Florian Streibl, leader of the Free Voters parliamentary group, who have been meeting in Bad Windsheim in Central Franconia since Wednesday. The mood is obviously good with the FW, which should also have something to do with the latest surveys. Six percent in Bavaria, that will almost certainly not be enough to raise the party to the Bundestag. But measured against almost three percent in the 2017 election, that would be a doubling – which is why the FW see themselves confirmed in their work as the government group in Bavaria.
In addition to the climate crisis, MEPs will talk about innovations in Bavaria, the future of Europe and the challenges of agriculture during their retreat. When it comes to climate protection, the volunteers take a controversial position. In a resolution passed on Wednesday, the parliamentary group called for “technology openness for modern combustion engines”. At the same time, she warns of a “one-sided focus on electromobility” and a “culture war against the car”. The FW strictly reject a ban on new registrations of cars with internal combustion engines. Instead, they rely on research to provide “the best technology for tomorrow’s mobility”. On Wednesday, the FW politicians discussed the sustainable future of aerospace in Bavaria with representatives from industry and science.
Suddenly there was “a completely different feeling,” says Florian von Brunn, SPD state chairman and parliamentary group leader in the state parliament. The polls for the Bundestag election, the prospect of a red chancellor, all of this creates a “very, very good mood” among the SPD MPs who met on Wednesday in the Maximilianeum for a two-day retreat. Now it is a matter of “interlinking” politics in the federal government and in Bavaria, says Brunn.
Sozis in Bavaria have long complained that the Federal SPD has ruined their chances in the Free State – now they want to learn from the resurrection history of the SPD in the federal government. Can such a story also work in Bavaria? Yes, says Brunn. From the nationwide encouragement for SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz, the Bavarian SPD could learn, for example, “that the connection between people and content is very important”. At the party level, the question of when the SPD will name its top candidate for the state election in 2023 could soon arise. State chief Brunn would like to make a commitment as early as mid-2022 so that there is time to make the candidate known. He could imagine “that we will clarify that by then,” says Brunn, who wants to “get out of the opposition sound” with his parliamentary group. The SPD had to show “design claims” in Bavaria.
In terms of content, the topics of climate protection and health are the focus of the exam. The SPD parliamentary group will present an immediate program for more climate protection in local public transport and explain why the 10H distance rule for wind turbines “must also be abolished from a legal point of view,” said Brunn. Ruth Waldmann, health policy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group, wants to “show ways” to strengthen the health system digitally and personally.
The state parliament members of the FDP also see themselves strengthened by the polls, which recently showed up not only in the federal government, but also in Bavaria. The mood is excellent, says parliamentary group leader Martin Hagen, who expects “outstanding results” in the federal election. The Liberals’ retreat in Deggendorf takes place under the motto “#Sustainableinnovative”. From Tuesday to Thursday, the focus will be on sustainability, climate protection and digitization.
On the first day, the FDP parliamentarians dealt with what is currently the most urgent issue, climate protection. The environmental and climate policy spokesman Christoph Skutella takes the Bavarian state government’s responsibility: “The Free State must support the municipalities with the necessary preventive and sustainability investments amounting to millions”. Skutella and parliamentary group leader Martin Hagen then presented the corresponding position paper on Wednesday: Emissions trading with a fixed CO2 limit for all sectors is needed. “We want to make Bavaria a pioneer in the research and development of CO2 storage technologies,” says Hagen. Not bans are “the driver of innovation, but market-based incentives”. At the end of its retreat on Thursday, the FDP parliamentary group will then present its plans for more “digitization after Corona”.
In a previous version of this article, SPD parliamentary group leader Florian von Brunn was quoted as saying that he could “imagine” assuming the role of the top candidate for the 2023 state election himself. This was a misunderstanding and has been corrected accordingly.