What Germany’s new government stands for
How the grand coalition wants to shape Germany’s future and engage with the world. The most important points in the coalition agreement on Europe, foreign policy and migration.
Germany. Which policy areas does the CDU/CSU and SPD grand coalition want to emphasise? A look at the coalition agreement entitled “A New Awakening for Europe, a New Dynamic for Germany, a New Cohesion for Our Country”.
Germany and Europe
The coalition agreement refers to Europe 298 times. “For Germany, a strong and united Europe is the best guarantor of a good future in peace, freedom and prosperity,” it states. That is why the future government also wishes to contribute more money to the EU budget. Germany intends to cooperate closely with its neighbours France and Poland and supports the eventual accession of the West Balkan countries. The most important issues are:
- Strengthening European foreign, human rights and defence policy.
- Converting the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European monetary fund.
- Combating youth unemployment in Europe.
- Expanding the Erasmus+ exchange programme.
- Creating framework conditions for an EU minimum wage.
- Combating tax fraud and money laundering.
“We want to remain transatlantic in outlook and become more European,” is a key statement on foreign policy. On one hand, emphasis is placed on the preeminent importance of the partnership with the USA; on the other, greater weight is sought for Europe in world politics. Above and beyond its involvement in NATO, the UN and the OSCE, Germany wants to assume greater responsibility in the world and is seeking a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2018. The guiding principles of Germany foreign policy are:
- Support for arms control and a world without nuclear weapons.
- More money for development cooperation.
- Expansion of civilian peace missions.
- Commitment to human rights and religious freedom.
- Two-state solution in the Middle East conflict.
- Participation in the international coalition against IS.
The coalition agreement contains a clear commitment to the basic right to asylum, but also the intention to more strongly regulate migration:
- Limiting the number of refugees accepted into the country to 200,000 per year.
- Developing a common European asylum system and reforming the so-called Dublin Regulation.
- Countering the causes of migration through development cooperation.
- Favouring the immigration of qualified specialists in an Immigration Act.
The grand coalition believes it has an obligation to fair and free global world trade and rejects protectionism. “We will uphold Germany’s status as an open investment location, but pay attention to equitable conditions of competition,” says the coalition agreement. Key points with regard to foreign trade:
- Expansion of multilateral trade agreements.
- Bilateral free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America.
- Support for the economic development of Africa.
2018 coalition agreement (PDF)