The Hessen CDU wants to change its partner after ten years of black-green politics. The new duo soon wants to negotiate a coalition agreement in times of crisis. Top topics: refugees and internal security.
Hesse is facing a change of government. Germany’s first black-green-governed country is to get a black-red cabinet. Almost five weeks after the state elections, the clear winner, the CDU, has decided to begin coalition negotiations with the SPD.
In the evening, the party council and state executive committee of the SPD in Kassel unanimously decided to start coalition negotiations with the CDU, as an SPD spokesman announced. According to the CDU, the negotiations should begin on Tuesday.
So far, the CDU has been governing Hesse together with the Greens for around a decade, mostly quite quietly. The SPD, on the other hand, has been pushing the opposition bench for about a quarter of a century. With Faeser, she had significantly lost support in the October election compared to the vote five years ago.
Now the social democracy is getting a boost. Rhein said: “We as the CDU want to attempt to form a government in Hesse with the SPD, with the Social Democrats, and work together in a Christian-social coalition for the first time in 70 years.” They want to write a program with the SPD that combines reason and progress. “A program for common sense in dealing with migration. Prudent, never foaming at the mouth.”
“But in the end it wasn’t enough”
He justified the decision for the SPD with larger overlaps. Rhein referred to the current many crises. “Today the focus is on issues where we have to form a coalition from the center.” The Greens approached the CDU in the explorations. “But in the end it wasn’t enough,” explained Rhein. And then made an unusual confession: rejecting the Greens was a “really difficult decision emotionally.”
The decision is bitter for the Greens. “Incomprehensible,” wrote party leader Omid Nouripour, himself a Frankfurt constituency and a proud Eintracht fan, on X (formerly Twitter). For the Greens, participation in state governments in Schleswig-Holstein or North Rhine-Westphalia is always proof of their political reliability and ability to form coalitions – even with the CDU. This explains the unrest that Baden-Württemberg Finance Minister Danyal Bayaz revealed – even in a government with the CDU: “We Greens have to ask ourselves critically why former coalition partners no longer see us as a modern force for change, but apparently more perceived as a kind of burden in difficult times,” he wrote on X.
GroKo now an option in Berlin again?
Could the Hessian rapprochement between the CDU and SPD also indicate a changed mood in federal politics? In Berlin, a new edition of the GroKo around the last federal election was seen as the greatest possible evil. But the cards have now been reshuffled – and the traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP have had to realize how difficult it is to govern in a three-party coalition of such different partners. However, Faeser immediately reassured people that developments in Hesse should not be over-interpreted. “It is an offer to conduct coalition negotiations in a federal state. And that says everything about what I have to say about other things in terms of value.” According to CDU federal chairman Friedrich Merz, the decision of the Hessian CDU is not a preliminary decision for coalitions at the federal level. “The decision of the Hessian CDU to now lead coalition negotiations with the SPD and not with the Greens is, first of all, a decision of the Hessian CDU – due to the Hessian challenges that exist for a future state government there,” said Merz in the “Interview with Week” on Deutschlandfunk, which is broadcast on Sunday.
He is sure that Hesse’s CDU state chairman Rhein has made a wise decision. “However, I also want to say that for the federal party this is not a preliminary decision in one direction or the other.”
Faeser: “I will remain Federal Minister of the Interior”
The Hessian CDU wants to start coalition talks next Tuesday. The coalition agreement should be negotiated “before Christmas”. The new state parliament will be constituted in Wiesbaden on January 18, 2024. Faeser does not want to be part of the new state government. “I will remain Federal Minister of the Interior,” she announced in Berlin. You have an important task in the federal government.
The CDU named the results of its explorations with the SPD as a commitment to limiting irregular migration with a return offensive and the establishment of return centers, a security package with more police officers and more video surveillance as well as an initiative to store IP addresses in order to combat child pornography on the Internet . Both parties also want to use a “Hessengeld” to promote the purchase of a first home, especially for families, and to improve climate protection, for example with a 100,000 roof program for photovoltaics. In addition, a separate ministry for agriculture and forestry as well as viticulture, hunting and homeland is to be created.
As the clear election winner, the CDU was able to choose whether it would again forge a government alliance with the Greens or with the SPD.
The Greens, Social Democrats and Liberals all lost votes in Hesse on October 8th compared to the 2018 state election. The CDU is ruling out cooperation with the significantly strengthened AfD. The right-wing populists will in future be the largest opposition in the Wiesbaden state parliament – dealing with them is likely to be a challenge for a future black-red alliance.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.