On the initiative of FRFG, members of parliament from the CDU, SPD, Green Party and FDP drafted a non-party motion to enshrine intergenerational justice in the German constitution.
Jens Spahn (CDU), Peter Friedrich (SPD), Anna Lührmann (Green Party) and Michael Kauch (FDP) had formulated a joint proposal in several meetings, which were accompanied and moderated by the foundation. The foundation also supported the consultations with comments by renowned constitutional lawyers. The proposal was presented on 14 July 2006.
The proposal was to enshrine the state goal of intergenerational justice in a new Article 20b of the Basic Law: “The state must observe the principle of sustainability in its actions and protect the interests of future generations”.
Secondly, Article 109(2) of the Financial Constitution of the Basic Law was supposed to be reworded to limit the possibilities of the government as well as the Länder to take on debts in the future and hence creating a basic financial law restricting national debt:
“The Federal Government and the Länder must take into account the requirements of macroeconomic balance, the principle of sustainability and the interests of future generations in their budget management”.
From FRFG’s point of view, this proposal to reform the debt order was too timid, but the representatives could not agree on a more far-reaching solution.
The bill was submitted to the Bundestag on 22 November 2006 by 104 members of parliament from four parliamentary groups and all age groups. Almost a year later, on 11 October 2007, the motion was debated in the plenary session of the German Bundestag (LINK minutes) and was subsequently referred to the Legal Affairs Committee for further deliberation and delayed for further discussion, so that no adoption took place.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Sustainable Development finally took the helm and in October 2008 convened an expert hearing at which Dr. Dr. Jörg Tremmel of the FRFG was also present.
With the resolution of the economic stimulus packages following the banking and financial crisis in 2009, the foundation urged that the members of parliament only agree to the economic stimulus package if at the same time a debt brake is introduced into the Basic Law that goes beyond the provisions of the over-fractional proposal discussed so far. In spring 2009, the debt brake was enshrined in the constitution.