Transition in Germany from Merkel to Scholz, from conservative-dominated to green-influenced

The Green Party is about to become a coalition partner in a German national government for the second time. The first was when they governed with the Social Democrats from 1998 to 2005. This time the coalition will include the Social Democrats and the Free Democratic Party in addition to the Greens. (The Greens have played such a role in many German state governments for thirty years.)

Co-leader Annalena Baerbock as been proposed as foreign minister. If confirmed, she will be Germany’s first female foreign minister. Co-leader Robert Habeck has been proposed as vice-chancellor and economy minister with responsibility for climate policy.

The Greens have nominated Cem Ozdemir, a former party leader, as agriculture minister. The son of a textile factory worker and a teacher who came as guest workers in the 1960s, he will be the first member of Germany’s three-million-strong ethnic Turkish population to serve as a federal minister. The Greens also put forward senior party figures Anne Spiegel as family minister and Steffi Lemke as environment minister.

On Wednesday the three coalition partners unveiled their vision of how to push through a green transformation of Europe’s biggest economy.

The results of a ten-day vote of 125,000 Green Party members on the coalition agreement are expected during the first weekend in December, around the same time as the SPD and FDP expect to ratify the deal. This would mean the SPD’s Olaf Scholz could succeed Angela Merkel and become chancellor in the week of December 6. This will be a historic transition of power.

A co-editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a Green movement activist for almost thirty years.