The coalition government has promised to renovate dilapidated police stations and properties, but the draft budget for 2024 and 2025 does not allocate any funding for this. This is a violation of the coalition agreement with the CDU and SPD, which promised a special investment and renovation program to increase financial resources for repair, modernization, and expansion of police and fire stations.
The Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) stated that police buildings in Berlin need to be renovated in terms of energy efficiency as almost two-thirds of them are in questionable condition. The Interior Department will present a report on renovation priorities over the next two years by the end of the first quarter.
Renovation costs for the police amount to 2.1 billion euros, taking into account climate-neutral building requirements. Under the red-green-red coalition, there would have been 130 million euros for renovation, but with the black and red coalition, there is concern that there will be less funding available. The climate fund would only cover climate protection-related costs of 500 million euros, leaving another 1.6 billion euros needed from the budget.
The use of loans to finance this fund may be legally uncertain, and it may not comply with debt brake regulations. There are also concerns about the compatibility of this fund with other financial obligations in Berlin’s budget. Stephan Weh, head of the police union, has spoken out against these plans and called for an immediate stop to budget discussions. He suggested that a new draft budget be created that includes funding for renovations in 2024/25.
The Senate Finance Administration continues to examine the consequences of a decision made by Germany’s Constitutional Court regarding funds used by states to finance their own climate protection initiatives within their respective budgets.
In summary, while Berlin’s interior ministry has identified many buildings in need of repairs and upgrades to meet energy efficiency standards, they lack adequate funding due to cuts made by Germany’s federal government under its current black-and-red coalition government.