Tesla Grünheide: Regulatory Control Council calls for faster approval procedures

The advisory body refers to existing reform concepts and urges implementation. Digitization is also being used too little.

The Vice-Chairperson of the National Regulatory Control Council, Sabine Kuhlmann, warns of a “general inventory in the approval process”. Behind the name is an independent advisory body of the federal government, which is supposed to monitor bureaucracy costs. The tasks also include proposals to reduce administrative hurdles and improve legislation. Well that has Handelsblatt Kuhlmann on building permits questioned.

Legislators should accelerate planning

“A new federal government should definitely put the slow approval procedure on the agenda,” says Kuhlmann. Brandenburg’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Jörg Steinbach, had a similar view after criticism from Tesla boss Elon Musk voiced. Steinbach suggested that Planning and approval law in Germany “to be checked”. The criticism from the federal government earned incomprehension: So much has not been done for any project to ensure that it is implemented quickly. The authorities involved see other reasons: Tesla has changed the application many times afterwards and therefore it had to be checked again and again and interpreted several times.

There are suggestions for improvement

Sabine Kuhlmann, who teaches politics, administration and organization at the University of Potsdam, sees a need for action. “We need a plan acceleration agenda. It has to be a matter for the boss, ”is her appeal. Suggestions for improvement are on the table. For her, it is not just about investments, but also about making progress with the energy transition. At the end of June, the Control Council proposed seven measures to speed up the process. This includes binding standardizations in nature and species protection and more speed in legal proceedings, as well as the use of project managers. They are supposed to help with resource bottlenecks in the licensing authorities. In addition, the committee wants the federal states to set up expert pools. Municipalities could then fall back on these in order to process complex large-scale proceedings or an accumulation more quickly.

Digitization as a helping tool

“Digitization could also be used more effectively by holding hearings online rather than physically,” says the deputy chairman of the anti-bureaucracy committee. This has proven itself in the Corana crisis. In addition, the administrative scientist initiates the discussion as to whether an approval procedure should always be reopened if the original application has been changed – as in the case of Tesla Grünheide. “If the change is an improvement, then keep going with the congestion quo of the process you’ve achieved,” she suggests. That, in turn, cannot be said in the Tesla case. Steinbach had already expressed the basic idea of ​​not having to start over and over again when changes were made.

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Four laws passed for faster approval procedures

On the other hand, there can be no talk of a standstill in this matter. In the legislative period that is now coming to an end alone, the authorities passed four legislative proposals to accelerate planning and approval procedures. Kuhlmann warns: “We have to be careful not to repeat ourselves there.”

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