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Sylvia Pantel: The “Federal Equality Foundation” is expensive, ideological and unnecessary

Written by Sylvia Pantel for Tickys Einblick.

The federal government has decided to set up the “Federal Equality Foundation” in the cabinet. Today [published on March 26] the draft law will be debated in the German Bundestag for the first time. The foundation aims to promote equality between women and men in Germany. To this end, concepts for “successful equality” are to be developed, state authorities and commercial enterprises are to be advised, and “expertise” is to be provided comprehensively. The cost of the project in 2021 will be 3.2 million euros. In addition, 33 staff positions are to be created. A further 5.2 million euros per year are planned for the years 2022 to 2024, a total of 18.8 million euros that will be “invested” over three and a half years.

The usual confusion of terms - equality instead of equal rights
But what for? Sure, equality has already been mentioned and has become a common placeholder in the political debate. The consistent ignoring of a semantic subtlety makes the difference here.

Article 3 of the Basic Law states: "(2) Men and women have equal rights. The state promotes the actual implementation of equality between women and men and works towards the elimination of existing disadvantages."

A “Foundation for Equal Opportunities” could possibly be approved. However, this fictitious foundation is not up for debate. Instead, it's about equality. The confusion of terms suppresses the fact that equal rights is about guaranteeing the same rights for everyone (Article 3 of the Basic Law: “All people are equal before the law”). Equality, on the other hand, means equality of outcome, and that is explicitly not the mandate that the Basic Law places on the government.

The own goal of the "Foundation Council" - Majorities can be organized together with the Left Party
The board of trustees should be made up as follows: Ten places will be allocated proportionally to the parliamentary groups represented in the Bundestag. In addition, there is the respective family minister, who should have a veto right in personnel and budgetary matters. However, the members of the Bundestag who are to belong to the Board of Trustees must first be elected by the German Bundestag (Section 6 of the Foundation Statutes).

The first problem is that according to this regulation, both the AfD and the Left Party would be entitled to a place in the body. However, the CDU has a party convention resolution that prohibits cooperation with both parties. (31st party conference of the CDU in Germany, Hamburg 2018, resolutions C76, C101, C164 and C179). So it is not very consistent to create an organization for which the prohibition of cooperation would have to be relaxed.

The second grievance is a political prognosis: The AfD may not get through its candidates for the Board of Trustees, as happened with its candidates for the election of the Bundestag Vice-President to which it is entitled. So far so good. Unfortunately, the experience of the last two years shows that the firewall to the left is nowhere near as stable as our party congress resolution requires. The Union parliamentary group is currently entitled to four places, the SPD two, and all other parliamentary groups one place. In addition, there is Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD). Imagine the not unlikely case: the AfD candidate is not elected. The party outwardly stylizes itself as a victim. The candidate of the left is elected by the German Bundestag. The external impact of the process would be catastrophic for the Union. The board of trustees now includes: four Union, two SPD, one FDP, one Greens, one Left and the SPD Family Minister with the right of veto. In other words, there is a ratio of 5 to 5 between left and bourgeois forces. Since the SPD Family Minister has a veto right, the ratio is de facto 5 to 6. Red-Red-Green would have a majority on the Board of Trustees, despite a minority in parliament of the Equal Opportunities Foundation.

The expensive project of the "gender check"
In economically difficult times, the Federal Equality Foundation is to be financed with 18.8 million euros in tax money until 2024. The original demand of the SPD was 11.2 million euros annually, that is 44.8 million euros by 2024. Fortunately, the Union was able to avert the worst, but should Alliance 90 / The Greens participate in the next federal government, the Greens will push for it that it will not stay at 18 million euros until 2024. The election manifesto published by the Greens in March calls unequivocally: “With a gender check we want to check whether a measure or a law promotes gender equality and intervene accordingly where it opposes it. We will develop the newly created Federal Equality Foundation into an effective institution. “The“ Gender Check ”and the Equal Opportunities Foundation should work hand in hand to ensure comprehensive gender legislation. That will lead to further legal uncertainty. As an example, we were able to experience this with the draft law on insolvency law from October 2020, which the SPD Justice Minister presented in “female language” and which had to be “written back” in German due to doubts about the constitutionality of the law. It is already clear: Even with 40 or 50 million euros for gender activities of a foundation, gender laws will not be more compatible with our legal system.

Summary: The foundation will be expensive and left-green
So let's summarize: The German Bundestag should hand over a competence - to an ideological run-up organization. A left-green majority will most likely be organized in the board of directors of the foundation council in order to fulfill the left-green foundation mandate of "equality" - in contrast to the constitutional mandate of equality - correspondingly left-green.

With the Equal Opportunities Foundation, the federal government and the Bundestag are creating an organization that will take the powers of the government and parliament out of their hands and, at the same time, will still be a left-green apron organization. In economically difficult times, this will be financed with 18.8 million euros in tax money until 2024. That will not help enforce equality between men and women. The subject belongs in parliament and not in an overpriced foundation.

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