Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) promises more speed in the fight against right-wing extremism in the Bundeswehr. In addition, he now announced an imminent change in the Soldiers Act. The conditions will be improved so that those who “demonstrably work against our constitution and reject it can be removed from service more quickly,” said Pistorius in the Bundestag in the debate on the annual report of the military commissioner Eva Högl.
“The majority of the troops stand firmly on the ground of the Basic Law,” said Pistorius. At the same time, you know that there are others. He announced that the soldiers’ law “can be introduced shortly, hopefully before the summer break, otherwise immediately after”. He did not give details.
Attracting and retaining good staff will be a challenge, the minister said. “Without the right men and women – and I emphasize: also more women – we will not be able to cope with the tasks that lie ahead of the Bundeswehr in the next few years,” said Pistorius.
Högl also sees an urgent need for action on the subject of right-wing extremism in the Bundeswehr. The topic continues to require “our full attention, consistent pursuit and a lot of prevention” – even if she notes that the number of cases has fallen in 2022. However, the procedures took far too long. She very much hopes that the amendment to the Soldiers’ Law will be passed this year to make dismissals easier.
In its annual report, Högl pointed out that in the past legislative period, the plan to make a simplified dismissal within the first eight years of service possible in particularly serious cases was not implemented. According to paragraph 55 paragraph 5, a temporary soldier can be dismissed without notice during the first four years of service if staying on would seriously jeopardize the reputation of the Bundeswehr.