Commission to determine the financial needs of broadcasters

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The Commission for the Determination of the Financial Requirements of the Broadcasters ( KEF ) examines the financial requirements of public service broadcasting in Germany and recommends that the state parliaments set the broadcasting fee (until 2012 the license fee ), which is then paid for by the contribution service of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio (until 2012 GEZ ) is withdrawn.

Legal basis and procedure

The legal basis of the KEF is the State Broadcasting Agreement , which regulates both the amount of the contribution and the distribution of the funds.

After the Federal Constitutional Court complained in its 8th broadcasting judgment that the KEF procedure did not correspond to the state independence required by the constitution, because the KEF was "only an auxiliary instrument of the Prime Minister's Conference ", the KEF procedure was changed in 1994.

The KEF process takes place in three stages:

  1. Registration of the requirement by the public broadcasters at the KEF,
  2. Review by the KEF,
  3. Determination of the contribution by the state parliaments.


The KEF has 16 members who are appointed by the prime ministers of the federal states for 5 years. Its office is located in Mainz and is organizationally linked to the State Chancellery of Rhineland-Palatinate . Heinz Fischer-Heidlberger has been chairman since 2009 (member since 2007, appointed by Bavaria), deputy chairmen have been Ulrich Reimers (member since 1994, appointed by Lower Saxony) and since 2019 Hubert Schulte (member since 2012, appointed by Bremen).

Further members are as of January 2019:

  • Werner Ballhaus (member since 2019, appointed by Hessen)
  • Kay Barthel (member since 2017, appointed by Saxony-Anhalt)
  • Klaus P. Behnke (member since 2012, appointment by Rhineland-Palatinate)
  • Marion Claßen-Beblo (member since 2012, appointed by Berlin)
  • Martin Detzel (member since 2012, appointed by Baden-Württemberg)
  • Ulli Meyer (member since 2020, appointment by Saarland)
  • Ulrich Horn (member since 2007, appointed by Thuringia)
  • Werner Jann (member since 1997, appointed by Brandenburg)
  • Christian Möller (member since 2017, appointed by Schleswig-Holstein)
  • Horst Röper (member since 2007, appointed by North Rhine-Westphalia)
  • Jürgen Schwarz (member since 2017, appointed by Saxony)
  • Tilmann Schweisfurth (member since 2012, appointed by Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)
  • Gebhard Zemke (member since 2012, appointed by Hamburg)


The remit of the KEF includes:

  • a report to the federal states is drawn up at least every two years
  • the presentation of the financial situation of the broadcasters
  • if necessary, the recommendation of the amount and time for a change in the broadcasting fee
  • the opinion on the financial equalization of the broadcasters.

In contrast to the supervisory bodies of ARD and ZDF, the KEF is not responsible for checking whether the programming is in accordance with the statutory programming mandate of the public service broadcaster. Year after year, it points out that sport is by far the largest cost item (e.g. 27.7% of first-time broadcast costs in the first television program, as of 2010).

Working groups

The Commission takes its decisions in plenary sessions and has set up five standing working groups. These deal in-depth with individual expense and income blocks and prepare the decisions of the plenum.

  • AG 1: Income, own funds, financial equalization
  • WG 2: Personnel expenses including company pension scheme
  • AG 3: program effort
  • WG 4: Material expenses, investments, loans, program distribution, participations
  • WG 5: Method development, profitability report

In addition, special working groups are formed if necessary.

Web links


  1. ^ Organization plan of the State Chancellery Rhineland-Palatinate. In: State Representation of Rhineland-Palatinate. State Chancellery Rhineland-Palatinate, July 1, 2019, accessed December 24, 2020 .
  2. ^ Members of the commission. In: KEF website. Commission to determine the financial needs of broadcasters (KEF), accessed on May 21, 2020 .
  3. 18. KEF report. Commission to determine the financial needs of broadcasters (KEF), 2011, accessed on May 21, 2020 .
  4. KEF working groups. In: . Commission to determine the financial needs of broadcasters (KEF), accessed on May 21, 2020 .