Merkel agrees to clarification

Discussion about BND Merkel agrees to clarification

In the current debate, Federal Chancellor Merkel has provided assurances that the responsible persons at the BND and in the Chancellery will “provide all information necessary for clarification”. Parliamentary oversight is necessary and correct. However, in light of the security situation, intelligence services are required.

On Tuesday (5 May 2015), Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel made assurances that the Federal Government would naturally provide information to the investigative committee appointed. Those responsible at the BND, but also those in the Chancellery, will report back, “and provide all information necessary for clarification”, she said in an interview with Nordwestradio.

Oversight of the BND--Bundesnachrichtendienstis necessary

Parliamentary oversight of intelligence services is necessary and correct. Insofar as required, she herself is available to provide a statement to the investigative committee. In light of the security situation, we need fully functional intelligence services “to protect the life and limb of 80 million people,” said Merkel.

She feels it remains important – as before – that friends don't spy on each other. We should strive towards this “challenging goal”, according to Merkel. The Federal Chancellor emphasized that Germany is currently in a consultation process with the USA. This is also reported on in the relevant committees on an ongoing basis. When collecting information, we must “concentrate on what is necessary”. There are clear principles for protecting German citizens - “these must be adhered to”, said Merkel.

Already on Monday (4 May 2015), at a press conference with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Sobotka, she explained that the Federal Government would do everything possible to guarantee the working capability of the intelligence services. “And in the face of international terrorist threats, for example, this working capability can only be ensured by cooperation with other intelligence services. This also includes (in part, firstly) the NSA--National Security Agency.”

Caught between freedom and security

At the same time, Merkel spoke at the press conference about the delicate relationship between freedom and security. The aim is to strike a balance between two things: on the one hand, protecting the privacy of private citizens, for example. On the other hand, the safety of the population from terrorist attacks and other threats must be guaranteed. This is an inherent conflict between freedom and security.

The Federal Chancellor summed up: “Firstly, the things that need to be improved must be improved.” On the other hand, “it is required that our intelligence services, and particularly the BND--Bundesnachrichtendienst must also cooperate internationally, and will continue to do so, to protect the life and limb of 80 million Germans in the best way possible. It will also remain my task to maintain this balance,” said Merkel.