BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed on Friday that they wanted to launch formal coalition talks. The SPD will now ask members to vote on whether they want to take that step.
Party sources said they had agreed to a blueprint for formal coalition negotiations in a move that could ultimately end months of political deadlock in Europe’s largest economy after the election last September.
Following is a summary of the main agreed policy areas:
* Invest 5.95 billion euros (£5.28 billion) in education, research and digitalisation by 2021.
* Invest 12.0 billion euros in family, child and social measures such as in nursery centres and boosting child benefit.
* Invest 4.0 billion euros in building social housing and on tax incentives to encourage home ownership.
* Stick to goal of balanced budget with no new debt.
* Ensure all regions have fast internet by 2025. Expect that to cost up to 12 billion euros in public funds.
* Gradually abolish solidarity tax introduced after reunification in 1990 to support poorer eastern states, amounting to 10 billion euros ($12.12 billion) of tax relief for citizens. Create a support scheme for structurally weak regions anywhere in Germany.
* Introduce tax incentives for companies investing in digitalisation.
* Stabilise pensions at 48 percent of the average wage by 2025.
* Employers and employees should pay the same contributions to health insurance.
* Do not want to close any chapters in Turkey’s EU accession or open any new ones.
* Immediately end arms exports to countries involved in Yemen conflict.
* Recognise 2020, 2030 and 2050 climate goals. Tackle problems in reaching 2020 climate goal as quickly as possible. Definitely reach 2030 climate goal.
* Pass law to guarantee adherence to goal to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
* Aim to get 65 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2030.
* Manage and limit migration to Germany and Europe to prevent a re-run of the 2015 refugee influx.
* Cap at 1,000 a month the number of people who will be allowed to join their family now living as refugees in Germany.
* Make it more attractive for skilled labourers to come to Germany in an orderly way.
* Set up specialist government commission to examine Germany’s ability to integrate migrants and report to the German lower house of parliament.
* Support a joint European asylum system that fairly distributes people in need of protection around the continent.
* Turn the euro zone bailout fund, called the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), into a European Monetary Fund under parliamentary control.
* Strengthen and reform euro zone in close partnership with France so that the euro is more resistant to global crises.
* Boost Franco-German cooperation with projects such as new centre for artificial intelligence.
* Support devoting specific budget funds to economic stabilisation, social convergence and structural reform support in euro zone. Those funds could form the basis for a future “investment budget” for the euro zone.
* Strengthen European Parliament and boost European Union’s finances - Germany would be prepared to pay more into the EU budget.
* Agree ban on cultivating genetically modified plants nationwide.
* Systematically and significantly limit use of weed killer glyphosate with the aim of entirely ending use of plant protection agents that contain this as quickly as possible.
* Create 15,000 extra jobs with security authorities at federal and state level.
* Add at least 2,000 new jobs in judiciary.
Reporting by Michelle Martin Editing by Ralph Boulton