Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) wants to speed up road and bridge construction – and if necessary risk a dispute with Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens).

Regulations would have to be found this year to halve the planning times for infrastructure projects, he said in an interview with the FAZ and referred to the promise of acceleration in the coalition agreement.

Katja Gelinsky

Business correspondent in Berlin

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Lemke picked up the ball on Monday and told the FAZ: "We are in complete agreement in the coalition: we need acceleration for central projects, such as the expansion of renewables or bridge replacements, in order to modernize our country." However, the environment minister set clear ones Limits: “However, these do not include motorways, airports, new roads or waterways.”

With strong support from the Federal Environment Ministry, many acceleration projects have already been launched.

According to Lemke, further measures would have to be "targeted, effective and legally secure".

Apparently she doesn't count Wissing's statements on the role of environmental protection associations.

The transport minister had indicated that he might want to curtail the rights of the associations.

You can see that processes are being conducted to "delay infrastructure projects for as long as possible. That must be avoided," he said in the FAZ interview.

Many reasons for delays

Lemke now remarked that there are many reasons why the planning and construction of projects has been delayed.

"Complaints by environmental organizations are hardly one of them." The rights of environmental organizations are also derived from the Basic Law, EU law and international law.

"A blanket approach to restricting these is not expedient from a legal and technical point of view, risks legal uncertainty and thus even further delays."

Personnel capacities are central to sweeping successes in accelerating - above all in the approval and enforcement authorities, but also in procurement processes.

"Not least because of these bottlenecks, the planning simplifications and legal changes of the past decades have so often come to nothing," criticized Lemke.

A draft law is already circulating on Wissing's proposals for accelerated infrastructure projects, as the FAZ learned.

According to this, it is not just about an exception rule, so that the time-consuming environmental impact assessment is no longer necessary in the future for so-called replacement new buildings, such as the plans for the new Rahmede Viaduct near Lüdenscheid.

Such a regulation has already been made for the construction of LNG terminals for the accelerated use of liquefied natural gas.

In addition, the Ministry of Transport allegedly wants to take a look at the planning approval process, i.e. the approval process as a whole.