The SPD, Greens and FDP have agreed on 177 pages of a coalition agreement on goals, plans and promises for the new federal government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (63). The document describes how politicians intend to create Germany’s future in the next four years. They also revealed who from which party will hold which ministerial offices.
Current division of ministries at the federal level in Germany
According to the coalition agreement, the division of federal ministries was set as follows:
▶︎ SPD: Chancellor and Chancellery, Internal Affairs, Defence, Construction and Housing, Labour and Social Affairs, Health and Economic Cooperation.
▶︎ Greens: economy and climate, Foreign Ministry, family, agriculture and environment.
▶︎ FDP: finance, justice, transport and digitization, and education and research.
Highlights of the German government’s coalition agreement
Highlights of the coalition agreement include the following topics:
▶︎ The new federal government wants to tackle the “major social challenges of the 2020s”. These are mainly climate protection, digitization and social cohesion. Politicians want to create policies “that concretely improve people’s lives and keep them safe in times of change.” This includes affordable housing, good wages, a basic child benefit that lifts children out of poverty, and stable pensions.
▶︎ The coalition wants to create a society of respect that “understands diversity as a strength and recognizes every achievement and way of life,” – the document can be read. This is also to include the introduction of a new social benefit “Bürgergeld”, an increase in the minimum wage to 12 euros and opportunities for young people to participate in society.
▶︎ 400,000 new housing units are to be built in Germany annually, 100,000 of which will be publicly funded. The document states: “Affordable housing is the social issue of our time.”
▶︎ Germany is to become climate neutral by 2045. According to the agreement, the coalition parties want to lay the groundwork for strengthening Germany as “a location for industry and innovation and thus for safe and good jobs in the long term and in a sustainable way.” To achieve this, however, the use of renewable energies must be significantly increased and networks must be expanded.
▶︎ The chapter on mobility contains a number of concessions to the liberal line. Not only did the FDP prevail by opposing the introduction of speed limits on German highways, but it also prevented the inclusion of a phase-out date for internal combustion engines and a halt to new freeway construction. “Our goal is at least 15 million all-electric passenger cars by 2030,” – the coalition partners stipulate, and they want to create one million public charging points by then. Railroads are to receive more money for construction and maintenance than roads, and rail’s share of freight transport is to be increased to a quarter. In addition, new rail lines are to be planned even faster.
▶︎ Nursing staff will receive a bonus. The federal government is making one billion euros available for this purpose. In long-term care insurance, the premium is to increase “moderately”. The nursing allowance for care at home is to be increased. The nursing profession is to be made more attractive with, among other things, binding and better employment rates, higher wages in elderly care and a ban on splitting shifts into different times of day. In hospital planning, the movement parties want to move away from a simple number of beds to criteria such as actual demand for care and accessibility. In the future, hospitals should also receive money if they keep beds available for pandemic cases. The cost cap for general practitioners will be lifted.
▶︎ The statutory pension is to be “future-proofed” and supplemented by a funded pension. The promise is: “The level of pensions will be secured, pension cuts and raising the retirement age will be excluded out of respect for life’s achievements.”
▶︎ Marijuana will be legalized. This includes “introducing controlled sales of cannabis to adults for consumption in licensed stores.”
▶︎ “We will reorganize the federal government’s emergency management to combat the coronavirus pandemic.” – can be read in the coalition agreement of the parties that make up the coalition. “To this end, we will immediately establish a joint crisis team of the federal government to better coordinate the nationwide fight against the coronavirus pandemic.” The coalition parties want to create an interdisciplinary scientific pandemic council at the Federal Ministry of Health to provide scientific advice.