Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - The committee of inquiry into the flood disaster of July 2021 in North Rhine-Westphalia will be continued. On Thursday, the state parliament decided, with the votes of all parliamentary groups, to reinstate the body in the new electoral period. The CDU and Greens had previously joined the corresponding application by the opposition SPD and FDP.
In the flood disaster in mid-July 2021, 49 people died in NRW alone. The damage is estimated at around 13 billion euros.
With the state elections in mid-May, the work of the flood investigation committee was initially terminated. However, the extension was necessary "in order to be able to answer the few open questions satisfactorily and with regard to the suffering of the affected citizens in the flood areas," the parliamentary groups had argued.
A few weeks before the election, the then Environment Minister Ursula Heinen-Esser (CDU) resigned because of her stay in Mallorca during the flood disaster. In the application for the reinstatement of the U-Committee, the parliamentary groups ask 30 questions about the behavior and communication of the then CDU/FDP state government during the flood. It is still unclear whether Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) will also have to testify as a witness.
The previous U-Committee had only decided on an interim report after seven months of work. However, according to the parliamentary groups, several evidence resolutions and expert opinions could not be processed and no final report could be prepared. Further questions only arose during the course of the committee's work.
According to the SPD, the work of the committee could take about a year. After that, a cross-party commission of inquiry is to be set up to draw up recommendations in the event of future natural disasters.