No militarization of civil society

Petition against the Bavarian law to promote the Armed Forces in Bavaria

BR about petition against Bundeswehr Act HERE

Press release from 09.07.2024: “Opposition to the draft law on the militarization of the education sector” by GEW Bayern HERE

Sign the petition HERE

Dear Minister of State Beißwenger,
Dear members of the Committee on Federal and European Affairs,
Dear Members of the Bavarian State Parliament,

As petitioners pursuant to Art. 115 of the Bavarian Constitution and Art. 1 ff BayPetG, we reject the law on the promotion of the Bundeswehr in Bavaria. We ask you to vote ‘NO’ in the final plenary reading of the law to promote the Bundeswehr in Bavaria. If the law is passed, we would ask that the petition be approved by the lead committee with the assessment “Consideration”.

We would also like to briefly justify this:

1. encroachment on academic freedom

The law on the promotion of the Bundeswehr in Bavaria interferes disproportionately with the autonomy of universities and thus with the freedom of research and science. “This is in conflict with the Bavarian Higher Education Innovation Act (BayHIG) and violates the principle of academic freedom in accordance with Art. 5 para. 3 GG, Art. 108 of the Bavarian Constitution.

With the BayHIG, the Bavarian State Parliament has reaffirmed the autonomy of the universities in many respects. One aspect of this is the possibility for individual universities to use the innovation clause to commit themselves to disclosing the extent to which research is used for military purposes (transparency clause), or even to reject research for military purposes altogether (civilian clause). The present draft law massively encroaches on this freedom.

2. interference with freedom of belief and conscience in schools

The law on the promotion of the Bundeswehr in Bavaria violates freedom of conscience in accordance with. Art. 4 GG, Art. 107 BV.

In addition, the draft law contradicts the state’s neutrality requirement in accordance with. Art. 4 GG, Art. 107 BV, since the Bundeswehr is not mentioned as one cooperation partner among many others, but is now specifically singled out. The draft envisages making Bundeswehr youth officers explicit cooperation partners at schools.

This amendment to the Bavarian Education and Teaching Act (BayEUG) deprives pupils or their legal guardians of the opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to take part in events in which a Bundeswehr officer plays the role of a teacher imparting values. Compared to the corresponding regulations for religious education in schools, the regulation from the law to promote the Bundeswehr in Bavaria would be an unprecedented encroachment on the individual’s freedom of conscience.

We therefore ask the members of parliament to be faithful to the constitution in this vote and reject the bill.

This would save us from having to go to the Bavarian Constitutional Court.

With kind regards

Martina Borgendale, Chairwoman of GEW Bayern
Thomas Rödl, Managing Director DFG-VK Bavaria
Adelheid Rupp, former member of the Bundestag, lawyer

and other supporters(sign here)

Further information from GEW HERE
Brief opinion by RA Adelheid Rupp HERE
Further information from the DFG-VK Bayern HERE
Draft law of the Bavarian state government HERE
Bavarian Armed Forces Act: University research for the military? | BR24 HERE
Keynote speech by the Prime Minister HERE
“With a Bavarian Bundeswehr Act, we are flying the flag as the party of the Bundeswehr!” Markus Söder
Press articles very meager: SZ from 17.04.2024 HERE