By Elisabeth Hellenbroich
After a period of almost two months of negotiations, a new German 3-parties’ coalition government, a novelty in Germany since the sixties, will succeed the former coalition government under Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Christian Democratic Union (including the Bavarian based partner, the Christian Social Union) CDU/CSU and the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The incoming new government will be chaired by former vice chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) who is going to be elected chancellor by the German Parliament probably on December 8th .
The new government is called “traffic-light” coalition, based on the colors “Red” (SPD), “Green” (The Greenies) and “Yellow” (the FDP). While each party represents a very different historical background, the SPD, Green Party and Liberal Party (FDP) seem to be united in one field: sociopolitical liberalism (Gender et cetera). Aside the new chancellor Olaf Scholz, his vice chancellor will be Robert Habeck, chairman of the German Greenies, who will be responsible for a “Super ministry of Economy and Climate Protection.” The new foreign minister will be Annalena Baerbock, second chairwoman of the Green Party (during the election campaign she acted as “wannabe chancellor” to succeed Merkel, but the Greenies got only 14,8 % of the vote [6.8 million votes of 46 million people who participated in this election, with 60 million eligible voters], the CDU/CSU got 24,1%, the SPD 25,7%). Recently Baerbock became known for her staunch opposition against the Russian/ German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and a tougher stand against China. FDP chairman Lindner will get the ministry of finances.
On the background of the rapidly expanding corona pandemics in Germany, which has catapulted the country into a new emergency situation and the rising worldwide monetary inflation, the new government will put the main focus on renewable energy and climate protection. If one looks more closely at the 177 page long coalition treaty (6030 lines, with more or less as many items negotiated!), it essentially consists of a “wish list”, where one “can’t see the forest for the trees.” The primary focus of the future government will be “climate, environment protection and energy conservation”, including the expansion of renewable energy by 80% and a clear rejection of “nuclear energy” (continuing Merkel’s decision from the year 2011) as part of a future energy mix. This means the government’s climate package and decarbonization plan is t h e primary and supreme state objective – to which all other policy issues will be subordinated.
Furthermore the treaty is based on a strong consensus concerning the “social values of society” which are based on strengthening a “liberal world view.” It seems that “minorities” are more important in the future than the “majority” of society. Emphasis will be made on “diversity” as well as “gender policy” that some would like to incorporate in our basic Law. Fact is however that a “majority” of the German population wants to have family and raise children. It cannot deal with an excessive “Gender” language that is getting imposed on all areas of social life and education. The new coalition wants to make “Gender Studies” mandatory, for example for medical students. Emphasis is also made on abortion rights as well as on the legalization of “drugs” like the free consumption of cannabis for adults (even though it is known from the Netherlands how destructive and far reaching the consequences of cannabis have been for society). Family life is getting re-defined from a “Gender” point of view which also includes new forms of adoption laws for partners of the same sex.
We should remind ourselves that in the opening words of the preamble of the German Basic Law, which the fathers and mothers of the German Basic Law after the horrendous experience of the 2.World War emphasized explicitly: “Conscious of their responsibility before God and man, Inspired by the determination to promote world peace as an equal partner in a united Europe, the German people, in the exercise of their constituent power, have adopted this Basic Law.” But in the present coalition treaty the word “Christian value” cannot be found. There are exactly 11 (!) lines (3716- 3729) devoted to the issue of churches and religious communities. In this paragraph the main focus is only a further push for the separation of state and churches. However, the reality is that the majority of German people wants families with children or lives according to “Christian values.” Dealing with other cultures implies that they are not looked at from the standpoint of “liberal criteria” but on the basis of the cultures’ specific historical traditions. One can read: “We will work out a ‘Gender Action Plan’,” (p 152 of the treaty).
In respect to the government’s future foreign policy, the government defines itself as a key player within the EU- architecture that will be the principle framework for Germany’s Foreign Policy. Its major foreign policy orientation will be the “fight for democratic Human rights on a world scale: “We act from the standpoint of European self- conception. (…) A democratic, strategically acting sovereign EU is the basis for our peace and well-being … We will deepen partnerships and defend our values of freedom, democracy and human rights.” This includes support for the EU commission to act against “systemic infringements”. From here the aim of forming the “United States of Europe” (Bundesstaat) is not very far away.
“Our foreign, security and development policy will be ‘value based’”, the treaty states. German Foreign policy is supposed to define a strategy that includes several areas- such as protecting the free style of living in Europe and engage world- wide for the protection of peace and human rights.” This implies “multilateral cooperation with those states that “share our values”. This will be directed against “systemic rivalry with authoritarian ruled states” and it implies strategic “solidarity with our democratic partners”. Human rights defense is hence the most important compass.
“The transatlantic alliance is a central pillar and NATO an indispensable part of our security,” the treaty underlines. “Together with our partners we want along the line of a “feminist foreign policy” strengthen the rights, resources and representation of women and girls world -wide and promote diversity! We want women in international leading positions.” Aside the renewal and dynamization of transatlantic relations with the US and Canada, the aim of the next coalition government is to “stabilize a rule based international order, confront authoritarian developments and cooperate strongly with our eastern neighborhood partners within the EU. In particular with states such as Moldavia, Ukraine, Georgia, as well as with Belarus.
There is emphasis on a strong partnership with France as well as the need for dialogue with Russia which however implies an “immediate end of the destabilization attempts against Ukraine, violence in Eastern Ukraine and annexation of the Crimea.” The coalition wants to cooperate more strongly with Russia on future subjects, such as cooperation in hydrogen energy and health, as well as tackling global challenges such as climate and environment, while it further emphasizes the importance of transatlantic coordination in respect to China and demands a peaceful settling of conflicts in the South China Sea as well as in respect to Taiwan. This includes the desire to push for disarmament talks with US, Russia and China.
A fundamental paradox remains: on the one side the new government wants drastic energy saving – on the other side there is the demand that more initiatives should be taken for “transnational” European infrastructure projects, based on rail- infrastructure and digitalization, which is to be combined with a credit policy guarantee from state credit institutions such as the KFW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) and the European Investment Bank -EIB.
If we look however at the huge challenges that the new government is going to face: the expanding Corona Pandemic, a huge inflation and growing military escalation between NATO and Russia as well as mounting tensions vis a vis China, it is hard to imagine that the next government with its unique focus on climate and energy, as well as its social policy orientation and value based foreign policy, will have the “competence”, adequate “foresight” and “sense of proportion” to manage the huge crisis.