Germany’s legislature, the Bundestag, will begin deliberating on a pair of proposed laws establishing a supplementary defense budget today. One
Germany’s legislature, the Bundestag, will begin deliberating on a pair of proposed laws establishing a supplementary defense budget today.
One of the laws would establish a 100-billion-euro fund for multi-year, complex projects related to alliances and national defense. The other would amend the German constitution to allow for the existence of this fund.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the creation of this fund two months ago as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It would represent a significant increase in defense spending for a country which has historically neglected its military budget.
Both laws will likely pass the Bundestag unimpeded. The spending boost has broad support in Germany as a signal of solidarity with Ukraine. However, whether this boost will remain in the long term remains to be seen. Scholz’s government claims it intends to increase defense spending to the NATO minimum of 2% of GDP, but its budgetary plans indicate that the regular defense budget will remain flat. Should this occur, then raising spending to 2% will exhaust the supplementary budget by 2025. The debate around these bills will reveal the level of support in the Bundestag for raising defense spending in the long term, not just temporarily.
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