After weeks of negotiations, the three parties that make up the next government presented a partnership roadmap on Wednesday, and the coalition agreement was elaborated in great detail in Germany’s postwar consensus-led political tradition.
Germany has a long history of coalition politics. Since the end of World War II, one party has clearly won the majority only once — under Konrad Adenauer in 1957. Nevertheless, he decided to join forces with a small party to build a coalition.
Coalition agreements are not legally binding, but serve as a way to ensure that all members are on the same page, especially in the face of crises or unforeseen events. These are ways to minimize tensions between partners and ensure the stability and durability of the governing alliance.
The new government, led by Olaf Scholz, is a rare arrangement that brings together his Social Democrats, environmentalist Greens, and professional Liberal Democrats. It is the first time since the 1950s that the three partners have had to set aside differences and horse trade over issues to form a government, and the agreement is becoming more and more important.
Given how unusual it is, the current coalition agreement came to fruition relatively quickly, although it would take nearly 11 weeks for the government to swear.
In contrast, in the last government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the deal lasted nearly 25 weeks as the first round of coalition negotiations failed and a second attempt with a new partner was required. The final agreement they reached was a record, with nearly 64,000 words.
The new agreement will be presented by party leaders Wednesday afternoon. In it, partners found common ground for key policy issues such as increased investment in digital and climate infrastructure, refraining from tax increases, and support for the country’s commitment to democracy and the European Union.
“Germany needs a stable and credible government that can meet the challenges facing us,” the parties outlined a previously published agreement. “Our discussions have shown that we can succeed with this.”
Documents presented on Wednesday still require approval by the leaders or members of each party. The process is expected to be completed by early December, after which Mr. Schortz and his new government can pledge.
More recently, this system has allowed the coalition to stay together for a four-year legislative period. However, in the 1960s and early 1980s, some governments collapsed as junior partners broke away from coalitions with both Conservatives and Social Democrats.
Every time it was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.