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Federal police agency to move to Berlin

7 January 2004

BERLIN – In a further centralisation of authority in post- reunification Germany, the Interior Ministry announced plans Wednesday to move the federal police agency (BKA) to Berlin, from its current location in Wiesbaden.

Interior Minister Otto Schily said that the BKA’s top management would be moved to Berlin in the year 2006. By the year 2008 the BKA will have 2,500 employees in the German capital, as against the current figure of 500.

The announcement of the plans to move the BKA to Berlin comes at a time of a widening debate about the role of the city as Germany’s capital in view of the country’s traditional decentralised system.

After World War Two, the former West Germany’s various federal agencies were geographically dispersed around the country, which then had the small Rhine River city of Bonn as its provisional capital. This was in contrast to most other European states where power and authority were largely concentrated in the capital city.

Among Germany’s federal agencies the labour office is still located in Nuremberg with the vehicles office in Flensburg, the top court in Karlsruhe and the federal intelligence agency in Pullach, near Munich.

Last year plans were announced to move the federal intelligence agency to Berlin by the year 2008.

German President Johannes Rau on Wednesday, in talks with Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, said that the newly-established Federalism Commission consisting of federal and state representatives should work to provide a new definition of Berlin’s role as the capital.

The commission is headed by Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber and by the parliamentary floor leader of the ruling Social Democrats in the federal parliament, Franz Muentefering.

Rau is to meet those two men later in January. Wowereit welcomed the news, telling Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa that the Federalism Commission “is the proper framework” to discuss the issue of Berlin’s role in the country.


Subject: German news