Special times require special measures. But politicians sometimes have unexpected difficulties with flexible rules and temporary exceptions. Delta or omicron. Corporate boards can virtually do billions in business, and supervisory boards can approve balance sheets and takeovers online. But if city officials want to decide on new streetlights for their city, then they have to make a presence in smaller or larger boardrooms. And this despite the fact that political representatives are being asked to set a good example when it comes to avoiding contact.

In any case, it is incomprehensible that the state government praises local self-government as a noble good, but restricts it in important points. Because the municipalities are not nearly as autonomous in their everyday political business as the Hessian Ministry of the Interior claims. In any case, the self-organization of the local parliaments is not so far away that the heads of the city council are allowed to invite people to the Internet, at least for a foreseeable period of time. Because decisions by video conference are not allowed in Hesse.

But what is the point of discussing something online but not being able to decide?

If the Ministry of the Interior thinks that the people's representatives should also meet "under the direct observation of the people" during the pandemic, then that only has something to do with transparency to a limited extent, but little to do with health protection.

sequence of decisions

The matter becomes even more incomprehensible with regard to the bodies that do not meet in public anyway, such as the magistrate and the municipal board.

Most of their meetings consist of a series of decisions.

Why shouldn't that be possible virtually via the Internet?

Municipalities like Wiesbaden, with their desire for online meetings, are not interested in permanently shifting political processes to the Internet.

Rather, it is about a clever and time-limited exception for the exceptional case of a pandemic.

In two years of the pandemic, however, the Interior Ministry's learning curve seems to be extremely flat.

In fact, nothing has changed in this matter in almost two years.

As usual, the doubters in the Ministry seem to set the tone.

They complain about all sorts of problems and unresolved legal issues, for example when a city councilor unintentionally "falls off the line".

These arguments are not convincing.

However, they do highlight the pitiful progress on the way to the much-cited digitization.