The special fund is coming – the money should flow entirely into the troops

The struggle lasted weeks, and now an agreement has been reached: the special fund of 100 billion euros will come – and it will only benefit the Bundeswehr.

The negotiations between the government coalition and the Union lasted more than three hours on Sunday evening, and then the knot finally burst and a good result was achieved for the Bundeswehr. Important procurement projects for the Bundeswehr are now to be initiated as quickly as possible. “An initiative to accelerate procurement will be launched immediately and before the parliamentary summer break,” said representatives of the SPD, Greens, FDP, CDU and CSU late on Sunday evening.

The negotiations had been conducted in the Ministry of Finance. The host, FDP leader Christian Lindner, said that from his point of view two goals had been achieved: “First, we are strengthening the Bundeswehr in a one-time financial effort,” said Lindner. “Secondly, we ensure solid public finances by maintaining the debt brake of the Basic Law.” The anchoring in the constitution emphasizes the “special exceptional character” for the Bundeswehr. This is important to fight inflation.

The Union was also satisfied. “The 100 billion will flow entirely into the Bundeswehr. From our point of view, that is the key point, ”said Union housekeeper Mathias Middelberg of the German Press Agency.

There was a dispute about how the money should be used. The Greens in particular had called for part of the sum to be used for cyber security measures, strengthening civil defense and supporting partner countries. These projects are now to be implemented, but financed from the federal budget.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the creation of the special fund on February 27, a few days after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, in his “Zeitenwende” speech in the Bundestag. The special fund is to be anchored in the Basic Law because it is intended to allow loans to be taken out of the way of the debt brake. Therefore, a two-thirds majority in the Bundestag and Bundesrat is required – without the support of the Union, the project would have failed.

With investments in the Bundeswehr, NATO’s two-percent target will now be “achieved on average over several years,” the converts and negotiators made clear.

The defense minister welcomed the agreement on Twitter. “The 100 billion euro special fund for the Bundeswehr is a huge step – but it is also an urgently needed step. We can finally equip the troops as they deserve and as they urgently need to ensure national and alliance defense,” said Christine Lambrecht.

The German Bundeswehr Association had repeatedly pointed out the need for extensive investments in the Bundeswehr. The federal chairman, Colonel André Wüstner, had warned of a failure of the special fund of “massive damage” within the Bundeswehr. And to make it clear: “The Bundeswehr needs this money.”