Minister Guido Beermann as a guest

Minister Guido Beermann as a guest

Brandenburg's Infrastructure Minister on cross-state transport planning

It is now more than 33 years since the Wall that separated West Berlin from the east of the city and Brandenburg fell. While the infrastructures in the urban area were quickly put together, the consequences of the Wall and division between Berlin and Brandenburg have not been fully overcome.

They can be seen in the infrastructures that hinder the two federal states from growing together. Given this finding, what could be more obvious than inviting an expert who can take the perspective of the federal government, the state of Berlin and the state of Brandenburg? And that brings us to Guido Beermann, the current Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Planning in Potsdam. He has held this office since November 2019, before which he was State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and, between 2012 and 2015, State Secretary in the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research. So if anyone understands the complexity of Berlin and Brandenburg's infrastructure, it's him.

In mid-January 2023, the state minister answered the VBKI's questions. The evening was dominated by the key question of how the two federal states can further promote the convergence of infrastructure. Where is there a need for action in financial or regulatory terms? And how can the expansion, maintenance and upkeep of infrastructure be guaranteed in times of rising material costs?

The two moderators easily found current topics. Simon Batt-Nauerz, Co-Chairman of the Mobility Committee, and Dr. Ferdinand Schuster, Chairman of the Intelligent Infrastructures Committee, navigated through the jungle of infrastructures with confidence and a wealth of content. Naturally, the moderators asked Guido Beermann about the 9-euro ticket experiment from summer 2022, an experiment that is set to continue this year with the planned 49-euro ticket. This directly touched on the issue of shared rail infrastructure between the two countries. A number of routes are already overloaded, such as the RE1 connection between Magdeburg and Frankfurt/Oder. Specifically, it was asked whether the revival of the disused Stammbahn could be a solution. This would also provide a continuous connection between the rail routes from Stralsund, Rostock and Szczecin via the north of Berlin and the main railway station, Zehlendorf and Potsdam to Magdeburg.

Another current topic was the infrastructural connection to BER and the discussion about extending the U7 line to the airport. The state minister pointed out that BER is very well connected by rail. For this reason, the Potsdam state government is of the opinion that the extension of the U7 subway line to BER represents an additional local mobility service and therefore the public transport law does not assign the responsibility for this to the state. The Brandenburg Minister of Transport had already stated this in response to a question from the Left Party parliamentary group in Potsdam.

Another question was about water. It is well known that Brandenburg is one of the driest federal states, with only Saxony-Anhalt suffering even more from drought. As a result, too little groundwater is being recharged in Brandenburg. However, the cause is not only the low rainfall, but also the lack of natural water reservoirs that can quickly absorb large quantities. It became clear: Only joint regional planning can guarantee the intelligent use of water as a limited resource.

Guido Beermann not only demonstrated a high level of expertise and persistence with regard to the content of the questions, but also a high level of stamina at the subsequent reception. And so the minister engaged in one or two conversations in which the previous discussion was deepened. He made a parting promise: he would be happy to return.


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