German coalition deal gives EU reform hopes, same foreign policy

  • Petr Boháček
  • 9.2.2018 12:43

A grand coalition deal struck on 7 February between German Conservatives and Social Democrats will bring little changes to German foreign policy and will generate chances for a wider EU reform.

The deal will have to be approved by a contentious party-wide SPD referendum. Both Conservatives and Social Democrats have lost support since the election, with the far-right anti-migrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) nearly tying the SPD with 15 %. The deal puts the implementation of the Minsk Agreements as a precondition for improved relations with Russia, plans more EU defence integration, pledges to increase defence spending and close capability gaps in NATO, yet fails to mention NATO's 2 % GDP military spending goal. The new coalition will breathe life into EU reform ambitions as it signals support for the establishment of the European Monetary Fund, a special Eurozone fund. Although France and Germany are the main driving force pushing for deeper EU integration, their efforts might be met with resistance from the V4 group, underscoring the persisting East-West division within the EU. The agreement also mentions better cooperation and dialogue with Poland and the United States.

About author: Petr Boháček

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