Civilian deployment of the Bundeswehr

Soldiers are usually not very visible to the public in Germany. However, they are currently taking on various civilian tasks in Germany during the pandemic. What is the legal basis for this? When is the Bundeswehr allowed to take on tasks inside the country at all? In Germany, the tasks of the military and the police are strictly separated and laid down in the Basic Law. However, according to the Defense Ministry, Bundeswehr support for civilian authorities in the fight against COVID counts as administrative assistance. “All federal and state authorities shall render legal and administrative assistance to each other” (Article 35(1) of the Basic Law). This assistance can be technical, personnel, and logistical. Thus, it is possible for soldiers to take over domestic tasks in times of corona. For example, in cooperation with health departments, they are tracing chains of infection from Covid-19 by telephone. Soldiers are currently providing further support in the vaccination centers, including the vaccination center in the Paul Horn Arena in Tübingen.

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Impressionen zum Leben in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie: Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL; Mostafa Elyasian, 19.12.2020

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