Forum Vernetzte Sicherheit

In-depth considerations on synergistic security

How a council of experts advised the German government during Corona and the complications arising from it

Statement of @Aufdecker on (Twitter) on reveiling the files from expert council

During the Corona pandemic, German government established a “council of experts.” This is relevant from a communicational and political science perspective.

First conclusion: expert advice is good, but….

There should be no question that informed policy-making shall apply. But, for this purpose, the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany provides a division into specialized ministries and a clear process of policy-making and consultations. Informed politics – that is the reason why we have clear regulations, parliaments, a whole army of registered lobby groups, etc. The individual ministries should be the experts in their field, too. If there is a lack of expertise in this area, then this expert advice should either be brought in by the ministries’ own qualified personnel or studies should be commissioned, consulting services should be purchased, and so on. A multi-layered council of experts, that all the time contradicts itself, is not the kind of expert advice that makes sense.

Second conclusion: science and politics are different

The protocols, which have since been made public, show that there were sometimes significant differences about communication and appropriate actions during the Corona pandemic. This is now being used to outrage in certain circles. Politicians have overridden the scientific advice. In some cases, fear communication was pushed that was scientifically unsupportable. However, you cannot govern a country with science. Politics is not science. It is about how to govern a crowd of people in tough times. You have to exaggerate or reassure in order to control the population adequately. That’s the nature of governance.

Third conclusion: Do not make secrets of it

The scandal in Germany is making waves right now. However, it is not one at all. It was good that politicians took advice from experts. It was normal that people did not always agree. And it was appropriate taking a decision and to rigorously implement. However, it was not good making a secret of it. It was a mistake to withhold the protocols for so long. Now the courts had to decide. It would have been better to let this council of experts meet in public. With all the information and consequences. Now it turns out that everything will come to light anyway. And that’s much worse than if the cards had been dealt openly from the start. An informed public is the basis of democracy. How a council of experts advised the German government during Corona and the complications arising from it