At their first meeting for coalition negotiations, the CDU and SPD in Berlin agreed on a series of joint projects. This includes the modernization of the Berlin administration, more staff for the police and rescue services, pushing ahead with the school construction offensive and strengthening public transport with a permanent 29-euro ticket. The core team of negotiators agreed on this on Thursday, as representatives of the two parties subsequently announced.
"We struggled to find out how we could make Berlin even better," said CDU state chairman Kai Wegner. The governing mayor and SPD state chairwoman Franziska Giffey added that a lot could be built on that had already been prepared by Red-Green-Red.
The results of the first meeting were recorded in a joint eight-page exploratory paper. The umbrella group next wants to meet on Wednesday, and 13 working groups are to continue negotiations on specialist topics as early as next Monday. The coalition agreement should be available in early April. In the case of the CDU, a party conference must then agree to this. A member vote is planned for the SPD.
Wegner: We have a tight schedule
A good three and a half weeks after the repeat election, both parties began coalition negotiations on Thursday. CDU and SPD emphasized that they want to make quick progress. "We are now going to work to develop a Berlin plan, a program on how we can really move Berlin forward, how we can solve problems," said CDU state chairman Kai Wegner at the start of the talks. "We've come up with a pretty tight schedule."
Wegner said that the CDU and SPD had achieved a good exploratory result and found many intersections. "We now have to discuss a few points in depth, of course, that's part of it." But he is quite sure that a good result will be available at the end of March. "That's what it's all about at the end of the day - and today we start with it really motivated."
The governing mayor and SPD state chairwoman Franziska Giffey added that it is also the SPD's concern that things progress quickly. "We have the responsibility to quickly set up a new state government that is capable of acting and that will then go forward with clear content-related goals and a pragmatic, solution-oriented course."
SPD is confident
Giffey said the SPD is confident that it will be able to bring up issues that are important to the party in the coalition negotiations. Last but not least, this includes Berlin as a diverse and cosmopolitan metropolis, but it is also about social and ecological issues and a strong economy.
From the beginning of next week, 13 working groups are to meet regularly for detailed work. The coalition agreement should be available in early April. In the case of the CDU, a party conference must then agree to this. In the SPD, the Jusos have already announced a campaign against cooperation with the CDU. There is also resistance in some SPD district associations.
If the negotiators come to an agreement and then get the approval of their parties, the previous red-green-red Senate could soon be history. SPD, Greens and Left have governed the capital since 2016. In a black-red Senate, CDU state and parliamentary group leader Kai Wegner is to become the first Christian Democratic mayor since 2001.
CDU clearly won with 28.2 percent
In the coming weeks, the 13 working groups will negotiate on specialist topics, from justice and culture to the economy and internal security to work and social affairs or urban development and construction.
According to the official result, the CDU clearly won the repeat election on February 12 with 28.2 percent. SPD and Greens both got 18.4 percent - the Social Democrats with a small lead of 53 votes. The left came to 12.2 percent in the election, the AfD to 9.1. The FDP flew out of parliament with 4.6 percent.