Not just the Chancellery: the federal government is planning new government buildings for billions

Not just chancellery
Federal government plans new government buildings for billions

Some of the plans date from before the pandemic: According to a media report, the federal government has construction projects worth at least 2.1 billion euros. This is met with incomprehension, especially by the opposition.

Chancellery, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Environment, Visitor Center of the Bundestag plus other buildings: The federal government has a whole series of expensive new construction projects in the planning stage, which, according to research by t-online, together cost at least 2.1 billion euros. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Finance told the portal that the need had to be re-examined because more mobile and home work had been done since the corona pandemic. Therefore, “all spatial planning from the time before the pandemic should also be reviewed in a meaningful way”.

The projects in detail:

  • Next to the Federal Chancellery an arch-shaped new building made of sandstone with around 400 offices is to be built for around 777 million euros. Finance Minister Christian Lindner recently questioned this project, for which initial work has already begun.
  • Also in the plans for an extension of his own Ministry of Finance The head of the FDP does not want to hold on to Wilhelmstrasse and instead wants “affordable apartments” to be built there. It should cost between 600 and 800 million euros and be built from 2025.
  • As reported by t-online, citing the 2023 federal budget, there are also 113 million euros for a Office building on the Spree. The Federal President and his staff are to move in there for around five years, while Bellevue Palace is being completely renovated. It is unclear who will then move in there.
  • An extension of the environment ministry is to be built for around 240 million euros. Employees of the Berlin House of Representatives and “users who have not yet been determined” should also be accommodated there, as reported by t-online.
  • According to the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks, the southern part of the so-called postal block is also to be developed on Wilhelmstrasse. According to the tender there will be a ministry building planned for 200 million euros. According to the Federal Institute, a further 980 jobs are to be created here. “A final user has not yet been determined,” the portal quoted the authority as saying.
  • In addition, the cost of the new increases Visitor Center of the Bundestag. According to media reports, they are now estimated at 200 million euros.

The plans have sparked criticism from the opposition. The left calls for a temporary stop to the planned new buildings of the federal government. “We need a construction moratorium for further federal buildings,” said Gesine Lötzsch, budget spokeswoman for the Left parliamentary group, t-online. “There is no personnel concept. The federal government is hiring more and more staff. It can’t go on like this. We need a personnel cap.” Lötzsch also criticized the fact that the traffic light government still had no digitization concept. However, a large number of officials are already working from home. “This development must lead to a reduction in office space.”

The budget spokesman for the Union faction, Christian Haase, also sees an urgent need for action. “The federal budget is in a structural imbalance,” he warned in an interview with t-online. The President of the Federal Audit Office speaks of an impending loss of control. “In this situation, all expenditure items in the federal budget, including construction projects, of course, must be questioned.” The competencies of the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (BImA) have been strengthened for better control. “It is now their task to scrutinize all federal construction projects in terms of their necessity and availability as part of an inventory analysis,” Haase continued. “Where it is justifiable, stopping construction should not be taboo.”

The CSU agreed. “It’s not the time for ostentatious prestige traffic lights,” explained General Secretary Martin Huber. “While many people don’t know how to fill their refrigerators at the end of the month, the insatiable traffic light debt squanders billions on unnecessary swanky projects.”

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