Before the Prime Ministers' Conference (MPK), Lower Saxony's head of government, Stephan Weil, asked the federal government to contribute more to the costs of taking in refugees. "The position of the states is clear: the federal government must get more involved in this common task, especially in favor of the municipalities," said the SPD politician and current MPK chairman of the German Press Agency.
Around Easter, there should be renewed talks between the states and the federal government about a “fair sharing of the cost burden”. These are to be prepared on Thursday in a conference of the heads of government of the federal states.
North Rhine-Westphalia's Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) told the "Rheinische Post" that the MPK "should send a clear signal from the states to the federal government: the chancellor must finally live up to his responsibility and make financing the refugee costs a top priority".
It's also about more fundamental things
According to Weil, the consultations on Thursday in Berlin, in which the federal government is not yet taking part, will also deal with "urgently needed regulations to speed up planning and approval processes" in addition to questions of refugee and energy policy.
The previous agreements between the federal and state governments in this area must be specified, demanded Lower Saxony's Prime Minister. "We are too complicated and too slow for many processes. We have to become simpler and faster," he said. Corresponding proposals from the federal states are available to the federal government.
According to a media report, four German industry associations called for a speedy acceleration of planning processes. If the halving of the duration of the planning process, as stipulated in the coalition agreement, is not decided this month, the climate goals of the traffic light government can no longer be achieved, according to a letter from which the "Augsburger Allgemeine" quoted. Lengthy approval procedures would also slow down the expansion of the digital and energy infrastructure in Germany.
The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) is one of the signatories. Its managing director Wolfgang Große Entrup told the newspaper: "The crises have also relentlessly exposed the home-made problems in Germany - for example the insanely long approval processes for industrial plants." What is now necessary is "pragmatism instead of Sunday speeches. Otherwise we can forget about the transformation of the economy to climate neutrality."