Does the US Congress have running time restrictions

The political role of the ethics commission "Secure energy supply in the German phase-out of the use of nuclear energy"

Table of Contents

1. Exit from exit from exit

2. Expert commissions

3. Siefken's model of the political process

4. Expert commissions in the political process
4.1 Models of expert commissions
4.2 Analysis steps for examining expert commissions

5. Evaluation of Siefken's model

6. Ethics Committee on Secure Energy Supply
6.1 Ethics or expert committee?
6.2 Agenda setting
6.3 Establishment and staffing (input)
6.4 Commission work (conversion)
6.5 Commission results (output)
6.6 Implementation
6.7 Role of the Ethics Committee on Secure Energy Supply in the political process

7. Conclusion: The Ethics Committee on Secure Energy Supply as an externalized negotiation system


1. Exit from exit from exit

“That's why I say to myself: I've made a new assessment; because the residual risk of nuclear energy can only be accepted by those who are convinced that it will not occur according to human judgment. "(Bundesregierung 2011f)

With these words, Chancellor Angela Merkel justified the new running time restrictions for German nuclear power plants during her government declaration on June 9, 2011. This step represented a complete reversal of the previous energy policy of the black-yellow coalition under Merkel, which in September 2010 had initiated a significant extension of the terms, the so-called exit from the exit.1 (cf. Illing 2012 241-243) With the term restrictions, the Chancellor also presented the Federal Government's new energy concept, which took over much of the content of the Ethics Commission for Safe Energy Supply (EKSE) set up by her shortly after the reactor disaster in Fukushima. (cf. Bundesregierung 2011f) Nevertheless, this is mostly only mentioned marginally in descriptions of the exit, while the focus is instead mostly on the legal aspects or the effects on the German and European energy grid.2 Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to examine the role that the Ethics Commission on Safe Energy Supply played in the German phase out of the use of nuclear energy.

In order to determine the role of the EKSE, an analysis model from Siefken is to be used, with which expert commissions (EK) can be assigned to one of six different roles in the political process. (cf. Siefken 2007) To this end, the term “expert commission” should be defined in advance in order to check whether the EKSE is such a commission. Then Siefken's model of the political process and its theoretical derivation is described, its advantages and disadvantages are worked out and the six models for classification are presented. With the help of this analysis structure, a classification of the EKSE should finally be carried out. To this end, Siefken proposes the five main research areas, Agenda setting, Establishment and occupation, Commission work, Commission results and implementation in front. Finally, on the basis of the results and with the aid of 13 key questions, the role of the EKSE in the political process of phasing out nuclear energy is classified. The results of the work are then summarized in a conclusion.

The structure of the analysis and the definition of EKen is mainly based on Siefken's work Expert commissions in the political process used, as well as his contribution in Policy Advice Handbook. The theoretical derivation of the model is supplemented by the works of other authors or the original literature. The works by Kleine, Illing and an anthology by Reiche offer detailed information on the political field of German energy policy and its development. The information on the work of the EKSE can be found primarily in its official final report and on the Federal Government's website. Information on the work within the commission and its participants was gathered from media reports and public interviews where available.

2. Expert commissions

Siefken defines a commission as "a formally established body to which responsibility is temporarily assigned for a task." (Siefken 2006: 215) The special features of an EC are:

“(1) It is used with the mandate to provide advice on a more or less precisely specified issue.
(2) It consists of people with different professional backgrounds who come from different socio-political areas. "(Ibid.)

This differentiates EKen from, for example, an advisory board that is employed on a permanent basis or a project group that is composed only of members of an administration. (cf. Siefken 2007: 64) In political practice, however, the naming of bodies is rarely based on scientific classifications, since symbolic and tactical interests play a greater role here. As a rule, the name of a committee does not provide any clear information about its tasks and working methods, but the actual work of the committee must be analyzed.3 (cf. Siefken 2006: 215 f.)

The members of EKn are mostly people with relevant knowledge in the area concerned, but for which they do not necessarily have to have a scientific background. For example, you can also come from business, politics or administration. (cf. Färber 2005: 133) Since EKen understands scientists in association with speakers of organized interests and other representatives connected with the field as experts, it is however no longer a question of scientific policy advice in the narrower sense. (see Kielmansegg 2016: 68 f.)

Due to the name of the EKSE, a small digression on ethics committees should be made at this point. Classical medical ethics committees advise and monitor doctors and scientists in the research and treatment of patients in order to create a balance between the invasive nature of modern medicine and the claim to cure. They can be founded at different levels, for example locally at a medical school. There are also political ethics committees that advise political bodies on medical policy legislation. Common features of ethics committees are their usually permanent establishment and focus on medical treatment and research. (see Altner 1998: 686-688)

3. Siefken's model of the political process

In order to be able to evaluate the role of an EC, Siefken develops its own model of the political process on the basis of Easton's input-conversion-output model and the policy cycle, which he supplements with Bachrach's and Baratz's hurdle model.45 (cf. Siefken 2007: 94) (cf. Fig. 1 & 2)

The basis for Siefken's process model is Easton's input-conversion-output model. It describes the political system as a functional differentiation of the social system, with the primary function of bindingly making and enforcing decisions. In return, it receives inputs from its system environment, which are converted into decisions, i.e. outputs, and passed on as new inputs to the political system via feedback. This loop represents the political process for Easton.6 (cf. Easton 1965: 71 f.) (cf. Westle 2007: 105 f.) For his model, Siefken primarily adopts the basic idea of ​​policy generation as a central element of the political process, the primary task of which in his model is the to convert social input into political output. Siefken does not incorporate the feedback into his model, in which reactions to the political output generate new input, since this aspect should no longer be part of the analysis. (cf. Siefken 2007: 107) (cf. Fig. 1)

The Siefken political system is also not different from Easton's Black box, rather, the course of the political process is based on the structure of the policy cycle. (cf. Siefken 2007: 94) The theoretical approach of the policy cycle is a heuristic for structuring the various phases that are passed through in the political process and at the end of which a policy can be produced. (cf. Böcher / Töller 2012: 181) For the first phase, the Problem perception and the Agenda setting summarized. A social problem must first be perceived and then relevant enough to get on the political agenda. (cf. Jann / Wegrich 2014: 107) The next phase is this Policy formulation, in which the problem is reduced to solvable aspects in order to then discuss possible alternative courses of action. In the end, there are usually specific political-administrative measures such as political control instruments. (cf. Blum / Schubert 2011: 116 f.) (cf. Jann / Wegrich 2014: 110) The developed measures are finally discussed in the Decision making decided. As a rule, however, one option has already prevailed and there are hardly any real alternatives available. (cf. Blum / Schubert 2011: 120) The following Implementation by the responsible actors and institutions is the most decisive phase of the policy cycle, since administrative action cannot be finally controlled and a decision can be changed significantly during implementation, either intentionally or unintentionally. (cf. Jann / Wegrich 2014: 114 f.) The last two phases are the evaluation and, if necessary, the termination of a political program, if this was suitable to solve the underlying policy problems. As a rule, however, the policy problem is taken up again and put back on the agenda as a new input.7 (cf. ibid .: 119 f.) Siefken also adopts the policy cycle for his models of the political process. However, he describes the individual phases as Agenda setting, Input, Conversion, output and Impact / Outcome. Since the feedback should not be part of the analysis, as already described, the phases of implementation and success testing are in the background. Siefken thus does not adopt the circular structure in his model, which remains straightforward. (cf. Siefken 2007: 94) (cf. Fig. 1)

This basic structure of Siefken's process model is supplemented by Bachrach's and Baratz's hurdle model. It describes four barriers that a high-profile demand for political change must overcome in order to become an output of the political system. In his model, Siefken adds the agenda-setting ability of the contributing actor as an additional first hurdle, since the ability as an important power resource is not available to every actor. (cf. Siefken 2007: 103) According to the hurdle model, all demands that have been successfully put on the political agenda must first overcome the second and third hurdles in order to become part of the policy formulation. The second hurdle is the basic norms of a society. Demands that conflict with these are either ignored or lead to discrimination against the proposer. But it is also possible that actually legitimate proposals are branded as illegitimate by influential actors. The third hurdle are barriers before entering the political decision-making process, such as procedural regulations and standards. Above all, they serve status-quo-oriented groups to prevent or purposefully control social change. (cf. Bachrach / Baratz 1977: 88 & 93-95) The fourth hurdle is a defeat in the subsequent decision-making process, in the form of non-treatment or rejection, as well as a strong modification of the demand. The final hurdle is the interpretation by the executing actors. For example, due to an intentional or unintentional incorrect implementation, the result can deviate significantly from the change that was actually decided.8 (cf. ibid .: 88) Siefken adopts the hurdle metaphor in his model, “because it not only describes certain phases of the process of dealing with political problems, but also clearly the connection to the situational context (hurdle 1), to the institutional context (hurdles 2 and 3) and for actors' action (hurdles 4 and 5). ”(Siefken 2007: 103). In addition, the five hurdles provide a time axis for his model along which the analysis can take place. (see ibid .: 107)

Siefken brings these three theoretical approaches together in his four-step model of the political process. At the beginning there is the agenda setting in which a political demand (input) has to overcome the first hurdle. If the demand passes the second and third hurdles, it becomes part of the political negotiation process. This is at the center of the model as the place where the conversion from input to output takes place. In Siefken's model, an EK represents an “arena of discussion and negotiation processes between the actors involved” (ibid .: 109), in addition to which other arenas exist and can be investigated. Here, however, the focus should only be on the EKs. After the negotiations have been concluded, a political decision is made and its final implementation. (see Fig. 1)

4. Expert commissions in the political process

4.1 Models of expert commissions

A frequently cited argument for the political legitimation of the establishment of an EK is the assertion that in order to solve a problem, due to the increasing complexity of social issues, additional external expertise is required. From a political science point of view, the problem-solving claim alone is not a sufficient explanation, since political actors usually pursue further goals. Short-term tactical reasons often play an important role. For example, attempts can be made to legitimize one's own position through the expected results of the commission or to stage the political ability to act, as a topic is initially removed from the agenda through the appointment of an EC or the appointment can already be presented as a provisional solution. In addition, an EC can also develop new ideas and thus ensure new movement in a political field or it offers the actors involved an arena for preliminary negotiations, which accelerates the later political process. In practice, it can be seen that the functions of EKs mostly overlap and that different motives are pursued when they are set up. (Siefken 2006: 221 f.) In order to be able to classify the function of an EC in its model of the political process, Siefken has developed six different models, each of which assigns different roles to the EC. (cf. Siefken 2007: 109 f.) (cf. Fig. 2)

Model 1: Externalized negotiation system / technocracy

In this model, the EC anticipates the actual negotiation and the political approval of the result is then only a formality. The results of the EC are then quickly and fully implemented and reference is made again and again in the political debate and in the justification of laws. The difference between the two cases is that in the case of the negotiation system, reference is made to the consensus found, and in the case of a technocracy, reference is made to specialist knowledge as a justification. (cf. Siefken 2007: 111)

Model 2: Pre-negotiation system:

In the second model, EKs serve to pre-structure a political debate while the actual negotiation takes place in the political-administrative system. The results of an EC initiate the political debate, but in the further course they represent only one of several content-related positions. As a result, a longer debate can be assumed, but the content of the debate can be structured by the results of the EC. (see ibid.)

Model 3: symbolic politics

If EKs only have a symbolic political character, an initially much-noticed topic becomes increasingly less important after its establishment. Even after the results have been published, the topic does not win this over again. Instead, a new agenda-setting process is required so that the topic gains renewed attention in the political process. According to Siefken, symbol-political EKn can be recognized, for example, by the fact that after a publicly effective establishment, no further attention is sought to draw attention to their work and results. (see ibid.)

Model 4: Postponement of action

Here the EC report fulfills such a strong agenda-setting function that it acts as a new input into the political-administrative system. The EC is set up in such a way that, if possible, no public interest is aroused, while the presentation of the results, on the other hand, is highly effective. So there is a postponement of the action. (see ibid .: 112)

Model 5: Self-regulation of the actors

In this special case, the decisions of an EC can have a direct effect on third parties without the need for special approval from Parliament or another institution. (see ibid.)

Model 6: Standalone Actor

In the last model, the EC becomes a new independent collective actor that represents its own interests in the political negotiation process. However, this case usually only occurs with firmly institutionalized bodies. (see ibid.)

4.2 Analysis steps for examining expert commissions

In order to assign an EC to one of the models, Siefken has developed 13 key questions with which the different aspects of the work of an EC can be better assessed.Since key questions 1-3 deal with the content-related policy perspective, they are not dealt with here. To answer the central questions, Siefken proposes an analysis with the five main research areas Agenda setting, Establishment and staffing (input), Commission work (conversion), Commission results (output) and implementation in front. (cf. ibid. 115) (cf. Tab. 1)

Agenda setting

The first focus of the investigation is a broad agenda setting, which includes the problem perception, the actual agenda setting and the input. In order to capture this, the political, institutional and situational context must be examined. The political context encompasses the “fundamental problems and challenges of the political field” (ibid .: 113) and is intended to help describe the pressure on the responsible actors to act. The institutional context represents the “essential framework conditions of a policy field, which also include the“ established relevant actors and their interaction traditions. ”(Ibid.) It provides the basis for the Key question 11: Are only holders of social veto positions represented in expert committees? to answer. The situational context describes the actual agenda setting. Here, “central preliminary decisions with regard to selection, setting priorities and structuring of the policy problem with regard to possible strategies for action” (Jann / Wegrich 2014: 107) are made. It not only examines which problems are present, but also how these are identified and defined. In addition, it should also be considered how actors try to influence the agenda and the topics on it. (cf. ibid.) With the help of the situational context, the Key question 7: Are expert bodies set up in response to external events? answer. (cf. Siefken 2007: 112 f.)

Establishment and staffing (input)

The next step is to examine the establishment of an EK. For this purpose, Siefken suggests the following research questions. Who chose the members according to which criteria? Who was unable to attend and for what reasons, and was there a public discussion about the composition? (see ibid .: 113). Based on the results, the Key question 8: How is the establishment of expert committees staged and marketed? answer. The results can also be used to determine the institutional context from the Agenda setting on the Key question 11: Are only holders of social veto positions represented in expert committees? an answer will be given. The basics for answering Key question 4 placed. (see ibid .: 113)

Commission work (conversion)

The third research focus is on the internal processes of decision-making, which are to be investigated using the categories of actor-centered institutionalism. This is a research heuristic by Mayntz and Scharpf, which is intended to support the investigation of policy decisions “by directing attention to the interaction of political actors under certain institutional framework conditions.” (Treib 2015: 278) Central assumption of the actor-centered Institutionalism is that politics cannot be designed autonomously by individual actors, which is why an interaction-oriented perspective must be adopted, which sees politics as the result of interdependent decisions. Institutional factors form a context of action for the actors.9 (cf. Mayntz / Scharpf 1995: 39-43.) (cf. Treib 2015: 277 f.) The first research category of actor-centered institutionalism are actors. The aim here is to examine which basic options for action the relevant actors within and outside of an EC have. The second category is the constellation of actors among each other. Both formal variables such as the internal organization and informal variables should be taken into account here. The third category is the modes of interaction between the actors. A distinction can be made here between unilateral action, negotiations, majority and hierarchical decisions. (cf. Siefken 2007: 114) (cf. Treib 2015: 287-291) On the basis of the results, the Key question 4: Can the results of expert committees be controlled by their staffing (or in another way)? and the Key question 12: Will be negotiated in the expert committees; are "linked deals" thus carried out? answered (cf. Siefken 2007: 114)

Actor-centered institutionalism does not consider individuals, but groups of people who act as actors, distinguishing between aggregated, collective and corporate actors. (cf. Treib 2015: 279-281) Since EKs are mostly small bodies, it may be that no collective actors can be identified. (cf. for example Siefken 2007: 105) In this case, individuals must then be examined as actors. This must be checked at the beginning of the analysis.

Commission results (output)

Another focus is the results of the EK. In the case of political results, a distinction can be made between the immediate political decision referred to as the output and its political consequences, the outcomes. (cf. Blum / Schubert 2011: 129). At EKen, the commission report represents the immediate output, where the structure and its presentation can be examined. The political reactions of the other relevant actors to the report are included in the outcome. (cf. Siefken 2006: 223) (cf. Siefken 2007: 115) There is a general expectation that ECs will develop a decision-making option that is as consensual as possible and that is “legally compliant, administratively practicable and socially acceptable”. (Schneider 2017: 144) However, it is often not politically intended that the results receive the broad approval of all those concerned, as the EC was set up to legitimize certain positions in controversial decision-making situations. (see Färber 2005: 132)


In the final examination of the implementation of the EC proposals in political measures, the focus is primarily on the use of the Commission's results in the political process and less on the policy-related content. Here, however, it can still be examined how many of the requirements were implemented and what weighting they had. A complete takeover of subordinate demands is of little importance if the central results of a commission are ignored. Siefken does not provide an examination scheme here, but suggests a case-based examination. With the findings from Commission results and implementation let the remaining Key questions 5: Does the use of expert committees ensure acceptance among the population and with affected social actors ?; 6: How are the results of expert panels used in political discourse ?; 9: What influence does the appointment of an expert committee have on the political discussion in the respective policy field? What influence does the report template have? and 13: Are the results of expert committees accepted by the societal actors involved or is there another public debate? answer. Also the Key question 10: How are the results of expert panels received by politicians? (cf. Siefken 2006: 223) (cf. Siefken 2007: 115)

5. Evaluation of Siefken's model

According to Siefken, his model is suitable for the structured investigation of political processes, whereby it does not provide any predictions, but reduces complexity and "draws attention to the essential aspects of political decision-making." (Ibid .: 107). Sieken names the advantages of his model, its practical relevance, as it examines the negotiation phase between the individual actors, and its connectivity, as individual aspects can be analyzed as deeply as desired. It must be noted that the rationalization of the political process by reducing it to its problem-solving aspect is a helpful reduction in complexity, but in practice the actions of the political actors are also influenced by other motives. (see ibid .: 107-109)

By structuring his model of the political process on the basis of the policy cycle, Siefken also adopts its weakness of only depicting an ideal-typical process, which is usually not given in practice. The individual phases can overlap or run in parallel. (cf. Böcher / Töller 2012: 183) According to Siefken, this can be seen as “a helpful hint” (Siefken 2007: 105) that must be taken into account in the analysis. It must also always be taken into account that the section of the process represented in the model as a negotiation, in which "political reality can be dismembered and run in several arenas at the same time." (Ibid .: 107)

Another point of criticism that can be accepted is that Siefken does not adequately take into account the aspect of the assignment of tasks to the commission by the acting actor in his analysis model. This can potentially have a major impact on the result of an EK, but Siefken only deals with it marginally.

6. Ethics Committee on Secure Energy Supply.

With the help of this analysis model, the role of the EKSE in the political process in the German phase-out from the peaceful use of nuclear energy is now to be examined.

6.1 Ethics or expert committee?

At the beginning it should first be determined whether the EKSE is an EK in the sense of Siefken's definition. For this, as described in the second chapter, it would have to be a formally established committee that takes an advisory position on a given question and is made up of people from different disciplines. (cf. Siefken 2006: 215) All three points can be assessed as applicable in relation to the EKSE. Its members had different professional backgrounds and came from different socio-political areas, such as science, the trade unions or the economy. (see Tab. 2) The commission was officially appointed by the Federal Chancellor for a predetermined time frame to answer the following question described by the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel:

“How do we manage an energy turnaround with a sense of proportion with a finite and as short a duration of the nuclear power plants as possible? What are the conflicting goals? [...] All of this should be discussed, assessed and weighted by the commission. "(Bundesregierung 2011b)

The EKSE is therefore an EK according to Siefken's definition. With regard to the designation as an ethics committee, Schneider states that political advice is often expected to have a normative orientation in addition to a professional one. For example, bodies such as the EKSE are increasingly referred to as ethics commissions, although they not only deal with moral-political issues, but also intervene in fields that were previously guided by technocratic risk discourses. (cf. Schneider 2017: 133) From the establishment of an ethics committee, politicians expect above all help in dealing with polarized value conflicts. "The» ethics «has a good name and is intended to promise that the experts also keep an eye on values, norms and the common good." (Ibid .: 144)

6.2 Agenda setting

Institutional context: the ongoing conflict over nuclear energy

The central actors in German energy policy are the federal government and the parties represented in the Bundestag at the time, the majority of which were in favor of the CDU / CSU and FDP and the SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and DIE LINKE against extending the term. Furthermore, the four large nuclear power plant operators E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW and the consumers, who are primarily interested in the safest and cheapest possible, but increasingly also environmentally friendly, supply. In addition, a large number of interest groups that advocate a wide variety of demands, such as environmental protection. (cf. Brand / Corbach 2005: 259-271) The legal framework of German energy policy is determined not only by EU directives but also by federal legislation. A secure energy supply, but also environmental protection, play a major role here. (see Körner 2005: 220-223)

Since the 1970s, there has been increasing protest in the German population against the further expansion of nuclear energy, which has intensified since the Chernobyl reactor disaster and expressed protests and demonstrations against nuclear power plants, Castor transports and repositories. (cf. Corbach 2005: 103-107) (cf. Radkau / Hahn 2013: 302-305) Nevertheless, nuclear energy has long played an important role in German electricity production. Their share was around 30 percent until the beginning of the 2000s, but fell to 20 percent in the course of the red-green phase-out. (see IAEA 2018: 18)

Political context: The exit from the exit

This first exit was a consensus agreement between the red-green federal government and the nuclear power plant operators in 2002, which provided for a residual amount of electricity for each power plant and after which the plant should be shut down. For the newer power plants this would have meant a remaining term of approx. 20 years. (cf. Radkau / Hahn 2013: 353) After the accession of the black and yellow federal government, voters and energy suppliers called for a political change of course, which found expression in the federal government's new energy program. Nuclear energy was once again viewed as an important bridging technology and in the Bundestag the governing coalition decided in November 2010 to extend the service life of the existing reactors by an average of twelve years. The term from Getting out of the exit a. (cf. Kleine 2018: 224)

Situational context: the Fukushima reactor disaster and its consequences

A few months later, on March 11, 2011, as a result of a severe earthquake off the north coast of Japan, the reactor disaster occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.10 (Bejdakic / et al. 2012: 20-23) The events were reported extensively in the international and German media and there were large public protests and demonstrations against the further use of nuclear energy. Especially in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. (cf. Radkau / Hahn 2013: 362) In these federal states, state elections took place on March 27, 2011, in which the CDU in particular threatened to lose a large number of votes. In surveys, a majority of those questioned did not believe in a real turnaround in energy policy under Merkel and Baden-Württemberg's Prime Minister Stefan Mappus (CDU) fears that he will be re-elected. (see Hessisch Niedersächsische Allgemeine 2011) (see Kleine 2018: 227-229)

As a result, a rapid change was observed among the representatives of the governing parties and a connection to the general discourse critical of nuclear power. (cf. Weiß / Markutzyk / Schwotzer 2014: 88) Just one day after the reactor disaster, the federal government announced that all German nuclear power plants would be inspected by the Reactor Safety Commission and, on March 14, 2011, a three-month nuclear moratorium, during which the seven oldest reactors and the Krümmel power plant should be taken off the grid. In addition, the EKSE was convened on March 22nd, based on the results of which and the results of the Reactor Safety Commission, the Federal Government wanted to develop a new energy concept. (cf. Kleine 2018: 227-231) The then Federal Environment Minister Norbert Rötten justified the appointment by stating that the coalition was of the opinion "that the Japanese events for us [...] give cause - really give cause - the question of the security of the To comprehensively reassess nuclear energy and the energy supply in Germany [...]. "(Federal Government 2011a)

6.3 Establishment and staffing (input)

The commission had a total of 17 members (see Tab. 2), whose invitation was accepted by the then Chancellery Minister Roland Pofalla. (cf. Hengst 2011) It can therefore be assumed that Merkel and the Federal Chancellery were in charge of the selection. The chairmen of the commission were the former long-time German environment minister and CDU member Klaus Töpfer, as well as the then president of the German Research Foundation Matthias Kleiner. The other 14 members of the EKSE represented a broad spectrum of society. In addition to church and trade union representatives, there were many members of research institutions. It is noticeable that only one business representative, Jürgen Hambrecht, then Chairman of the Board of Management of BASF, was invited and the nuclear power plant operators did not provide any participants. (cf. Tab. 2) When asked about this at a press conference, Merkel replied: “This is not a commission for the energy industry. […] [It] is involved in the cooperation with the Commission for Reactor Safety, but the energy industry itself is not the partner for assessing social risks. ”(Cf. Federal Government 2011a) The environmental protection associations and the parliamentary politicians were also not represented.

6.4 Commission work (conversion)


Due to the small number of representatives from the most varied of social areas, it is difficult to identify collective actors within the EKSE in the sense of actor-centered institutionalism. Therefore, the individual actors are to be dealt with here. If information on this is available, however, a distinction can be made as to how the individual members positioned themselves to use nuclear energy.

The two chairmen of EKSE preferred an exit from nuclear energy.In an interview, Matthias Kleiner described the nuclear moratorium as correct and stated that "the disasters in Japan [me] as an engineering scientist made [me] very thoughtful and [] fed doubts about nuclear energy." . Even before the reactor disaster in Fukushima, Klaus Töpfer was convinced that nuclear power would be phased out and, since 2010, has also been an ambassador for the Desertec solar project, which wanted to generate solar power for Europe in North Africa. (cf. Handelsblatt 2011) Töpfer explained in an interview that, from his point of view, it was the task of EKSE to “think about it and make suggestions on how to get out of this technology much faster than previously thought”. (Deutschladfunk 2011) The church representatives appointed to the commission were also considered to be well-known critics of nuclear energy and had spoken out against its use several times in the past. The Stuttgart risk researcher Ortwin Renn, who advocated a realistic assessment of the risks, was less critical. He assessed this as rather low and warned against unfounded hysteria. In principle, however, he too welcomed an exit from nuclear power. (cf. Wehaus 2011) The only known supporters of nuclear power were the FDP politician Walter Hirche and the then Chairman of the Board of Management of BASF Jürgen Hambrecht. Hambrecht was one of the signatories of the Energy policy appeals, in which forty business representatives called for an expansion of coal and nuclear power in 2010. (see Hengst 2011) (see Rossbach / Koch / Knop 2010)

Due to the open commitment of the chairperson to the exit and the requirement by the Chancellor to find ways to achieve the energy transition with the shortest possible duration (see Federal Government 2011b), it is questionable whether the supporters of nuclear power were able to exert a great influence on the work of the body and whether an alternative to the exit could have been negotiated here. Jürgen Hambrecht had announced in an interview that he would take a clear position against an exit (cf. Freytag 2011), but this position was not reflected in the final report (cf. EKSE 2011) a public hearing on April 28th in Berlin, at which a total of 28 experts and stakeholders were allowed to present their positions, including the power plant operators and environmental protection organizations. (cf. Federal Government 2011c) The specialist politicians of the parliamentary groups were, however, still not involved in the work of the EKSE.


1 The use of nuclear energy and the withdrawal from it should not be evaluated in this work and are therefore presented neutrally.

2 See, for example, Illing 2012, Kleine 2018 or Piepenbrink 2012.

3 In addition to political practice, Krick also found several inconsistent definitions of the various bodies in science. (cf. Krick 2010: 237) Since the investigation model is based on them, only the definitions from Siefken are to be used here.

4 The analysis of the conversion of input into output is carried out using the categories of actor-centered institutionalism. See the section on this Commission work in chapter 4.2 p. 8.

5 The underlying theoretical models are only briefly summarized here. A detailed description can be found in the relevant literature.

6 For a detailed description of Easton's model, see Easton 1965 and Westle 2007.

7 For a detailed description of the policy cycle see Jann / Wegrich 2014.

8 For a detailed description of the hurdle model see Bachrach / Baratz 1977

9 For a detailed description of actor-centered institutionalism see Mayntz / Scharpf 1995.

10 The exact course of events will not be discussed further here. The Federal Office for Radiation Protection offers a detailed description in its report. (see Bejdakic / et al. 2012)

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