BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) reached
agreement on Wednesday on the policy platform for a coalition
government, but the SPD’s roughly 464,000 members still have a
chance to veto the deal.
Following is a summary of the main policies agreed:
* Systematically and significantly limit use of weed killer
glyphosate with the aim of entirely ending use of plant
protection agents that contain this as quickly as possible.
* Ban on patenting plant or animal genes.
* Reject cloning of animals for food production.
* Invest 5.95 billion euros in education, research and
digitalisation by 2021.
* Invest 12.0 billion euros in family, child and social
measures such as nursery centres and boosting child benefit.
* Invest 4.0 billion euros in building social housing and in
tax incentives to encourage home ownership.
* Stick to goal of balanced budget with no new debt.
* Ensure all regions have fast internet by 2025. Expect that
to cost up to 12 billion euros in public funds.
* Make Germany more attractive for financial institutions in
view of Britain’s looming departure from the European Union.
* Develop a comprehensive blockchain strategy and campaign
for a legal framework for trading with cryptocurrencies and
tokens at the European and international level.
* Prevent abuse of short-term contracts, companies with more
than 75 employees can employ a maximum of 2.5 percent of their
workforce on a short-term basis.
* Raise the level of student funding and increase
* Increase the minimum wage for apprentices.
* Gradually abolish solidarity tax introduced after
reunification in 1990 to support poorer eastern states, which
currently provides 10 billion euros ($12 billion) of tax relief.
* Support devoting specific budget funds to economic
stabilisation, social convergence and structural reform in euro
zone. Those funds could form the basis for a future “investment
budget” for the euro zone.
* Strengthen and reform euro zone in close partnership with
France so that the euro is more resistant to global crises.
* Turn the euro zone bailout fund, called the European
Stability Mechanism (ESM), into a European Monetary Fund under
parliamentary control, anchored in EU law.
* Strengthen European Parliament and boost European Union
finances – Germany would be prepared to pay more into the EU
* Boost investment in Europe.
* Support fair taxation for big companies, especially
internet firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
Companies should no longer be able to play EU states off each
other in terms of taxation, and tax dumping must be banned.
* Work to introduce substantial financial transaction tax.
* Boost Franco-German cooperation with projects such as
researching artificial intelligence.
* Seek greater cooperation with Poland and intensified
dialogue between the two societies, including by supporting
youth meetings and youth networks.
* Stabilise pensions at 48 percent of the average wage by
2025 and ensure that contributions do not rise above 20 percent
of gross wages.
* Increase minimum pension levels in order to combat old-age
* From Jan 1. 2019, employers and employees to pay the same
contributions to health insurance.
* Set up commission to examine whether a joint fee structure
for private and public patients is feasible.
* Further reduce arms exports, tighten arms export
guidelines in 2018, and ban sales of assault rifles and other
small arms to countries that are not members of the European
Union or NATO or have similar status.
* Immediately stop arms exports to countries directly
involved in the Yemen conflict, and coordinate similar approach
with partners in joint European projects.
* Push for joint European arms export policies.
* Earmark any additional government surplus primarily for
defence, development and crisis prevention, with spending to be
split equally between military and non-military projects.
* Intensify dialogue with U.S. federal government, Congress
and U.S. states, as well as American public, with eye to making
German and European positions more visible.
* Take the initiative to strengthen European foreign policy
making mechanism, similar to PESCO structure set up to
coordinate EU military projects.
* Do not want to close any chapters in Turkey’s EU accession
negotiation, or open any new ones.
* Germany and France to continue pushing for solution to
Ukraine conflict. Prepared to loosen sanctions if Russia
implements terms of Minsk agreement aimed at ending fighting in
* All West Balkan countries have a chance of joining EU.
They need to undertake reforms on fighting organised crime and
corruption and on establishing the rule of law.
* Pursue goal of strengthening European contribution to
NATO, and strengthening cooperation between EU and NATO.
* No mention of NATO target of spending 2 percent of GDP on
military. Aim to achieve agreed NATO capability goals and close
gaps in capabilities.
* Recognise Germany’s existing 2020, 2030 and 2050 climate
goals. Take measures to reach 2020 climate goal as soon as
possible (after 2020). Definitely reach 2030 climate goal on
time and pass law to guarantee this.
* Devise programme to gradually reduce coal-fired power
* Continue with plans to phase out nuclear power generation.
* Manage and limit migration to Germany and Europe to
prevent a repeat of the 2015 refugee influx.
* Do not expect migration (excluding labour migration) to
rise above the range of 180,000 to 220,000 per year.
* Cap at 1,000 a month the number of people who will be
allowed to join family members now living in Germany as migrants
enjoying a lesser degree of protection than full refugee status.
* Make it more attractive for skilled labourers to come to
Germany in an orderly way.
* Improve Germany’s ability to integrate migrants and
promote deeper involvement of people of migration background in
* Set up new post of commissioner to lead fight against
anti-Semitism and support Jewish life in Germany.
* Affirm that Israel’s current settlement policy, saying it
“contradicts existing international law and does not find our
support, because it makes a two-state solution more difficult”.
* Start EU initiative to ensure sufficient and sustainable
financing for – and reforms of – the United Nations Relief and
Works Agency (UNWRA) that serves Palestinians refugees.
* Older diesel vehicles to be retrofitted to reduce
emissions as far as technically and economically viable. Boost
funds for national diesel forum, which aims to find ways to
reduce pollution from diesel engines.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin, Andrea Shalal and Thomas
Escritt; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Richard Balmforth)