“A New Beginning for Europe. New dynamism for Germany. New cohesion for our country” is the title the Grand Coalition chose for its government programme until 2021. It seeks to champion strengthening the European Union as a guarantor for peace, security and prosperity. With its objective of a balanced budget, which has been achieved since 2014, the Federal Government considers itself responsible for monetary stability, and wishes to be a role model for its partners in the Eurozone. At the same time, it has indicated a willingness to make a larger contribution to the EU budget. Together with France, the Federal Government wants to strengthen and reform the Eurozone to enable the euro to better withstand global crises.
For Germany, it wants to ensure that everyone benefits from the good economic situation. This should create greater social justice and reinforce people’s trust in the ability of politics to act effectively.
The results of the 2017 general elections spelled strong losses for the major parties that had formed the last government. By contrast, the right-wing populaist AfD made large gains and entered the Bundestag as the largest opposition party. Despite the ongoing favourable economic conditions, many people are concerned about the future. Not least this led the Federal Government to conclude that it needed to foster social cohesion in the country and overcome divisions. It has thus set out specifically to strengthen families, improve provisions for old age and unemployment, and promote education, innovations, and digitisation. One key element is to more carefully control immigration and improve the integration of migrants. The Basic Law assures politically persecuted persons a basic right to asylum. Germany will continue to help people in distress who have a right to asylum. At the same time, the Federal Government is intensifying its efforts to have people who have no prospect of being able to reside in Germany leave the country again. The Federal Government hopes that the reform of the Common European Asylum System will be concluded by 2018.
Following on from successes
In the prior legislative period, the Bundestag for the first time resolved a minimum wage for all sectors. In 2018, it was EUR 8.84 per hour of work and will continue to be reviewed regularly.A quota for women in large stock corporations was introduced in 2016. As of the end of 2017 companies have been meeting the requirement that at least 30 percent of the members of a supervisory board must be women. At the end of 2017, women accounted for 25 percent of the supervisory board members of Germany’s 200 largest corporations. Advancing the Energy Transition, through which Germany has already increased its share of regenerative energies significantly, as well as the expansion of the digital infrastructure are further focal points.