Udo Bullmann sees a new era of progress for Germany and Europe
The German federal elections in September last year made it clear: the German voters want a government that makes Germany fit for the future and pushes for sustainable development and solidarity.
We Social Democrats and our candidate Olaf Scholz, as well as our coalition partners, are the clear winners of this election. With this mandate, we have negotiated a forward-looking and ambitious coalition agreement, which guides our new government through these difficult and challenging times and lays out a long-term vision for Germany and Europe.
Despite some minor and some major differences in our political philosophy, what unifies us coalition partners – Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals – is the commitment to developing the European Union towards a union of progress, freedom, sustainability and equality.
With our coalition agreement, we are going beyond Merkel’s and the CDU’s on-the-go management of the past. Instead, we have developed, and continue to develop, a forward-looking agenda for Europe, making Germany a driver of progress and reform and overcoming the conservatives’ mentality of blockades, cutbacks and foul compromise.
The new German government will commit to a strong and sovereign Europe that has learnt from the mistakes of the past. We will not fall back into the traps of austerity politics. Olaf Scholz, as finance minister, has shown that a new way of crisis management, based on investments, increasing social cohesion and strengthening local economies, is the way forward. Our common vision for inclusive and sustainable growth, guided by the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, extends beyond Germany. This narrative has been enshrined into the coalition treaty and will be the guiding principle for our common work – also within the European Union.
And we will couple this with a social dimension, focusing on wage increases for the most vulnerable and adding to increasing social cohesion, as well as social inclusion, throughout Germany and the European Union.
This coalition is a one-of-a-kind in many regards. It is the first time that, on the federal level, a three-party coalition has been built, and it is the first time that Greens and Liberals have worked together under the leadership of a Social Democratic chancellor. In addition, while some may have feared that 16 years of conservatives in power, all under Merkel, might lead to a difficult transition, Olaf Scholz is proving already with his crisis management that his extensive experience in government pays off.
For our international partners, Germany will remain a strong and reliable ally, and we will therefore push for a Europe which takes on more of its responsibilities in the international sphere, pushing for the Sustainable Development Goals and holding the European Union accountable to its announcements.
This idea and narrative have also been enshrined in Germany’s new role as partner for the EU’s neighbourhood, especially with relations to the UK continuing to play a crucially important role. Germany in particular, as well as the EU as a whole, has established close political and cultural links to the UK, especially through trade. Despite the difficulties stemming from the UK leaving the single market, the new German government will continue to work as closely as possible in other policy areas beyond our economic partnership.
In the tasks of ending the pandemic worldwide, fighting climate change and launching a global Covid-19 recovery initiative along the lines of sustainability, social equality, democracy and peace, the UK must – and will be – a partner for our young progressive government because, without partners, we will not be able to reach our ambitious goals.
In urgent diplomatic crises, such as the ongoing conflict on the Eastern border of the European Union, we remain committed to reaching out for multilateral solutions and to our allies and our alliances. Democracy, the rule of law, and peace cannot be weighed against each other; they are part of the same narrative.
With this new, one-of-a-kind government, we have put Germany on track towards climate action, social progress and global fairness. We have made the UN Sustainable Development Goals our guiding principle for our approach towards global politics, and we remain firm on multilateral, diplomatic solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.