On November 15, 2023, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Finance Minister Christian Lindner, and Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck appeared at a hearing in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, in Berlin. The government has announced that it will no longer be spending from the economic stabilisation fund for the year following a recent constitutional court ruling.
According to a source close to the finance ministry, a ruling last week prohibited the transfer of 60 billion euros in unused funds from the pandemic to green projects. As a result, all spending that has not been used in 2023 is now blocked and requires the consent of the finance ministry. Credit authorisations for the economic stabilisation fund can no longer be used under current legal circumstances.
The budget committee had previously approved such spending. However, payments related to the energy price brake for this year are not affected by the ruling. The economic stabilisation fund was created in 2020 to support companies during the pandemic but has since shifted its focus towards addressing the energy crisis. Handelsblatt business daily was first to report on this decision to block spending from the ESF on this year.
The government is currently working on finding ways to address the implications of this court ruling and how it will affect their plans for future spending from this fund. Despite these challenges, they remain committed to supporting both companies and individuals affected by this situation while ensuring that funds are being used efficiently and effectively.