Coalition agreement in lower saxony: groko wants to monitor

The security policy of the SPD and CDU in Lower Saxony will become more restrictive. Asylum seekers are to be deported more efficiently.

More surveillance, better deportation: Groko in Lower Saxony. Photo: dpa

Politics in Lower Saxony is becoming more conservative. This was to be expected in a grand coalition, but the 138-page coalition agreement bears the signature of the CDU – or at least of an SPD freed from the Greens – in many places, especially in security policy.

As early as the beginning of 2018, the new coalition partners want to introduce an amendment to the police law in the state parliament. This is to regulate electronic ankle bracelets and online searches. In other German states, there have already been heated debates about state Trojans, i.e. the hacking of computers by German authorities. However, the word Trojan does not appear in the coalition agreement. (Download here)

Preventive detention for dangerous persons will also be tightened. Instead of the current ten days, people who have not yet committed a crime will in future be allowed to remain in custody for up to two and a half months. A judge must decide on preventive detention. It will initially last 30 days and can then be extended twice by a court. During the election campaign, the CDU had called for up to 18 months’ detention without charge.

In future, anyone who covers their face at demonstrations in Lower Saxony will again be committing a criminal offense. Under the red-green coalition, masking was only a misdemeanor.

In addition, video surveillance at "crime hotspots" is to be expanded – but not just ordinary ones: "Intelligent video surveillance can be a further development."

Lower Saxony’s state data protection authority takes a critical view of biometric facial recognition, which is currently being tested in a pilot project in Berlin: "It is possible to use it to identify people who have not committed any crimes," says authority spokesman Jens Thurow. "Their data is also matched and stored."

The coalition also wants to make video recordings without sound possible in custody cells and create a legal basis for the 500 body cams for police officers already ordered by Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD). In addition, the SPD and CDU are increasing the number of police positions by up to 3,000. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is also to be strengthened.

The two parties want a tougher course on asylum policy. "We will promote the integration of immigrants and refugees with long-term prospects of staying," the coalition agreement states. All others are to be deported more efficiently. "Short-term feasible deportations" are to be possible directly from the initial reception facility in the future.

The coalition also wants to approve the classification of the Maghreb states as safe countries of origin in the Bundesrat. In the last legislative period, Lower Saxony abstained. This makes the group of people who have hardly any chance of getting a residence permit even larger.

The SPD and CDU also want to deport people "who have not accepted reasonable integration services offered to them.