The coalition government in Berlin has promised to invest in the renovation of dilapidated police stations and properties, but there is no funding allocated for this project in the draft budget for 2024 and 2025. This goes against a previous agreement made by the CDU and SPD that promised a special investment and renovation program to increase financial resources for repair, modernization, and expansion of police and fire stations.
The Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) stated that the police buildings in Berlin need to be renovated in terms of energy efficiency, with almost two-thirds of the buildings currently in questionable condition. The Interior Department is expected to present a report with a list of renovation priorities over the next two years by the end of the first quarter.
The renovation costs for the police amount to 2.1 billion euros, taking into account the requirements for climate-neutral buildings. Under the red-green-red coalition, there would have been 130 million euros for renovation but with the black and red coalition, there is concern that there will be less funding available. The climate fund would only cover climate protection-related costs of 500 million euros, leaving an additional 1.6 billion euros needed from other sources such as loans or cuts to other projects.
However, these plans may be on thin legal ice as the fund is financed through loans which are legally uncertain. There are also concerns about compatibility with debt brake rules. Additionally, Stephan Weh, head of Berlin’s police union, has spoken out against these plans and called for an immediate stop to budget discussions. Some politicians have suggested revisiting drafting new budget proposals including renovation costs before making any final decisions on funding sources.