Germany is a federal state, that's what the constitution says, and that's even covered by the perpetual guarantee.

Federalism must not be abolished under any circumstances.

That does not mean, however, that the distribution of competences between the federal and state governments cannot be changed.

Recently, the debate on this has become more dynamic, although changes to the Basic Law are a cumbersome affair.

Helen Bubrowski

Political correspondent in Berlin.

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The FDP in particular is very active here, wants to reduce the state offices for the protection of the constitution and strengthen the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK).

Cyber ​​security is also a topic of discussion again and again.

There is the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), which among other things takes care of the protection of the federal network.

Otherwise, however, its competence is limited.

Cyber ​​security is essentially the responsibility of the 16 state interior ministries, the BSI can only provide administrative assistance.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) believes that this is no longer up-to-date in times of attacks on critical infrastructure, disinformation and actions by cybercriminals.

"The federal and state governments must counter cyber threats in a coordinated manner," said Faeser at the presentation of a cyber security agenda on Tuesday in Berlin.

The federal states are "overwhelmed" with this task in the long term.

According to the concept, the war in Ukraine "shows once again how essential cyber security is for a modern, high-tech and digitized industrial state like Germany".

The federal states would also have to agree in the Bundesrat

Faeser proposes making the BSI a central office for cyber security.

This requires an amendment to the Basic Law, and the federal states would also have to agree with a two-thirds majority in the Bundesrat.

Faeser says she has received "positive signals" about this.

The Federal Criminal Police Office and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution are examples of such central offices.

In contrast to other federal authorities, they can coordinate the cooperation between the federal and state governments and also have the right to issue instructions to the state authorities.

According to Faeser's will, the federal government should also be given additional powers to avert danger.

For this, too, a constitution is necessary.

The Interior Minister also wants to strengthen the Federal Police with more staff and better technology.

In order to be able to act faster in the event of cyber attacks, the operators of critical infrastructure - for example in the area of ​​energy or health care - should also be closely linked to the BSI situation center.