From 2 to 11 July 2019, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme brought a six-person delegation of the Budget Affairs Commission (BAC) of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, headed by the Deputy Chairman, ZHU Mingchun, on a fact-finding trip to Speyer, Stuttgart, Berlin, Prague and Vienna.
The aim of the trip was an exchange of ideas on issues of budget monitoring, the administration of state assets, and the social insurance system. These issues are of particular relevance in China today, as in the wake of reforms concerning the monitoring of state finances by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Council is obliged, as of October 2018, to report on the status of the state assets to the Standing Committee.
In Speyer, the Rector of the German University of Administrative Sciences, Prof. Holger Hühlenkamp, greeted the delegation. Prof. Gisela Färber then gave a presentation on the social insurance system and the financial supervision of the social insurance agencies. In Stuttgart, the delegation had discussions with Michael Baun and Gerhart Schneider, of the “Budget Modernization” Division of the Baden-Württemberg Finance Ministry on the capital accounts of the state, and the introduction of a results-oriented budget.
In Berlin, Ralf Wohltmann, the Director of the Pension Fund of the Berlin Dentists’ Association, gave a presentation on the capital-based pension system of the pension fund. In the Federal Ministry of Finance, the delegation was greeted by Dr. Stefan Olbermann, the Head of the Division “Economic Analysis of States and Bilateral Relations”, together with his colleague Dr. Michaela Braun-Werner and Birgit Reichenstein from the Division “IMF, International Financial Architecture”. Dr. Claus Tollmann from the Division “Fundamental Issues of Shareholdings” then gave a presentation on the administration of state-owned companies. Michael Roscher and Wolfgang Lapp from the division “Taxation of Agriculture and Forestry; Evaluation; Inheritance Tax; Land Tax; Property Tax, Transaction Tax and Related Taxes; Issues of State Tax and Municipal Tax” gave a presentation on the current status of the land tax reform in Germany. At a further event, Dr. Heike Eggers, Division Head at the Federal Insurance Office explained the tasks of the Federal Insurance Office and the monitoring of the finances and assets of the social insurance agencies.
In Prague, the delegation was greeted by Miloslava Vostrá, Chairwoman of the Budget Committee of the Czech Parliament. Following this, the delegation had discussions with Jiří Dolejš and Petr Venhoda, Deputies of the Czech Parliament and members of the Budget Committee, on the current financial and economic situation in the Czech Republic. In the Czech Ministry of Finance, the delegation had an expert discussion on the administration of state assets with the Deputy Minister Ondřej Landa and Jana Marešová, Head of the Department for State Assets.
In Vienna the delegation had talks with Andreas Hanger, Deputy Chairman of the Budget Committee, and with other member of the Budget Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Austria on the topic of budget audits and the monitoring of state assets. To round off the trip, the delegation discussed the Austrian social insurance system at the Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, and Consumer Protection with Annemarie Masilko, Deputy Head of the Department of Social Security, as well as with Katrin Eglseer and Michael Reingruber.