German coalition agreement unveils new position on the EU and rule of law
Yesterday, German Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals announced that they had reached an agreement to form a coalition government that will replace longtime Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a move that is set to have significant policy implications both for Germany and the EU as a whole.
As regards the new government structure, Social Democrat leader and current finance minister Olaf Scholz is expected to become chancellor, while the Greens would take the foreign ministry and the Liberals would take over the justice and consumer affairs portfolio. Relevant policy changes are expected on climate commitments, the relationship with Russia and China and social policy.
With regard to the EU and EU law, the coalition agreement first mentions the Conference on the Future of Europe, noting that it should lead to a treaty reform process that paves the way towards a more federal Europe. Concerning the current rule of law crisis in Poland and Hungary, the agreement advocates for stronger support for the Commission when it comes to assessing shortcomings and bringing (more) infringement proceedings against ‘systemic violations of the Treaty’.
The agreement also calls for a wider scope of application of the Charter, in order for it to be enforceable before the Court of Justice when Member States act within the scope of its national law. It also specifically stresses the need to strengthen the Court of Justice and proposes in this sense to extend the term of office for judges to twelve years.
The full text of the agreement is available here (in German).