On 5 September, the German team at FleishmanHillard Brussels organised a Roundtable debate on the upcoming German Bundestag elections, which are taking place on 24 September 2017. The event was welcoming guests from different industries and countries to hear FleishmanHillard advisor, former European Commissioner, Minister of State for European Affairs, and Member of the German Bundestag, Günter Verheugen’s assessment on possible outcomes and consequences.
Participants debated on the most probable coalitions that could form within the weeks following the election. The question was not if Merkel and the Christian Democrats would continue to be in the government, but how and with whom. At this point in time, a duet between Merkel and Schulz seemed to be the easiest and the most possible option. The other one could be a constellation of Christian Democrats (CDU), Greens and Liberals (FDP), the so-called ‘Jamaica coalition’, although a number of policy concessions needed to be made for this to happen.
Participants highlighted that while Brexit, digitisation and energy policy were either not mentioned by the party programmes at all or only deficiently, the focus seemed to lie on a muddle through strategy with no radical actions or changes in German policy.