Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Germany's coalition talks: What happens next? - DW
Four months after parliamentary elections, formal coalition talks begin Friday between Germany's conservatives -- Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) -- and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Merkel has said that she wants to conclude the negotiations by February 12. In 2013, the formal coalition talks for the current partnership with the SPD took three weeks.

It is, however, likely that the talks will not be plain sailing, with leftists in the SPD already voicing anger at a number of agreements struck in preliminary talks, especially with regard to income tax, family reunifications for refugees and health insurance.

Always the "leftists" fault, obviously. As for the "What happens next?" part:
The full 440,000-strong SPD membership has been promised a say at the conclusion of negotiations as to whether they accept the coalition contract that has been drawn up. And that vote is anything but certain in view of the divisions within the party with regard to the inevitable concessions that will have to be made.
by Bernard on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 at 06:53:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"contract that has been drawn up"

Help to understand the meaning of contract here.
Is a document --induenturre?-- enumerating obligations of the political groups' signatories (wholly or individually) who administer state funds a customary?

How is such a "contract" enforceable?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 at 07:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Disclaimer: I'm not a native German speaker. I think the DW piece is referring to what is called Koalitionsvertrag in Germany and loosely translated as "coalition contract" by DW - We Europeans are generally not native English speakers. Vertrag can be translated as agreement, but also, yes, contract, or even treaty (such the infamous Versailler Vertrag in 1919). Germans tend to be quite formal when doing business: during a project with a German customer, our interlocutors always insisted that each details of the deliverables, acceptance criteria, technical training and support must be specified "in the contract".

It's no surprise that a coalition agreement between political parties be written down in a formal document. There are several Wiki pages (nur auf Deutsch) documenting past "coalition contracts".

by Bernard on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 at 09:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for that information. I will investigate.

Sorry for any confusion, too. I meant to type indenture. I don't know what happened there.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 28th, 2018 at 11:24:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I know it is not enforceable, though it uses the same word you'd use for a legal contract. In fact it is probably illegal since parliamentarians are only bound by their own conscience according to the constitution. So basically the buying and selling of those consciences is what the coalition agreement is all about.
In practice it is enforced in the same way that party discipline is enforced: Since you vote for a party and not a person the placement on the list is all important. And if MPs get silly they might be forgotten when the list is made.
by generic on Mon Jan 29th, 2018 at 12:40:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series