DÜSSELDORF (dpa-AFX) – Optimistic, but not spontaneous: a good two weeks after the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the CDU and the Greens started coalition negotiations in Düsseldorf. The CDU and the Greens have never ruled together in the most populous federal state. More than 50 participants met on Tuesday for the first round of meetings and negotiations, led by Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) and Mona Neubaur, the leader of the Green Party. The highest committees of the CDU and the Greens approved coalition negotiations on Sunday after the parties formulated common goals in an exploratory speech.
When they came to the Malkasten Artists’ Association, Neubaur and Wüst were optimistic. “At a small party conference over the weekend, we got a real boost that we should now get down to work with the CDU negotiators,” said Neubaur (44). But she was “realistic enough to know that some of the roads we will take are long.” At the same time, she was “so optimistic” that both sides “will make every effort to find new solutions for the people of North Rhine-Westphalia together.” Times are serious. “And that is why we show that we are capable of action, we are determined to do something good.”
Prime Minister Wüst (46), who has held office only since October 2021, called the reconnaissance document a good framework that needs to be filled now. “It’s less about a great work of art and more about a political craft,” emphasized Wüst. This must be taken into account in government initiation, government formation and subsequent government activities.
Wüst and Neubaur did not set a specific time frame for coalition negotiations. “This path is made by walking and we are taking the time we need to achieve a good result for the country,” said Wüst. Neubaur said “in-depth solutions will now be found with the necessary care, but also with the necessary speed.”
The CDU and the Greens join coalition talks with a total of over 150 participants. In the coming weeks, 13 specialized working groups, each with 12 members, will work on the details of the coalition agreement. On Tuesday, the five-person steering groups of the CDU and the Greens met together with the leaders of the working groups of both parties.
The CDU also appointed several prominent Bundestag politicians. Former Federal Minister of Health and the current leader of the Bundestag’s faction, Jens Spahn, is to take over the leadership of the working group for climate protection, energy and the economy from the CDU side. On the Greens’ side, this working group is headed by lead candidate Neubaur. Climate protection plays a key role in the negotiations for a possible first black and green government alliance in NRW.
Thomas Jarzombek, a Bundestag MP from Düsseldorf, was appointed head of the working group for an important school area. He is the spokesperson for education policy in the CDU / CSU parliamentary group. On the green side, in front of him, sits the politician and teacher of the Arnsberg school, Verena Verspohl.
Former Education Minister Anja Karliczek, Ralph Brinkhaus and Paul Ziemak are also among the CDU negotiators. The current ministers of state of NRW Herbert Reul, Ina Scharrenbach, Karl-Josef Laumann, Lutz Lienenkämper and Ina Brandes lead CDU working groups on internal security, construction and housing, health, finance and transport. Negotiations for the Greens are conducted, among others, by Oliver Krischer, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economy and members of the Bundestag Lamya Kaddor and Irene Mihalic.
According to the exploration paper, the CDU and the Greens want NRW to be the first climate-neutral industrial region in Europe and are committed to a rapid phase-out of coal by 2030. In particular, they want to build at least 1,000 additional wind turbines for the next five years and use all areas suitable for photovoltaics. The controversial minimum distance adjustment for wind turbines is under the microscope. In addition, 10,000 additional teachers are to be recruited and teachers are to receive the same salary regardless of the type of school.
Nurses from university hospitals again demonstrated in front of the paint box, demanding relief in their daily work. The Police Association (GdP) called with green flags for a 38.5-hour working week. The climate minder also picked up the poster. Wüst and Neubaur stopped by the protesters and talked with them.
Meanwhile, the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND) called on the eventual future black and green state government not to open up any more new areas for new areas of single-family homes. The Association of Towns and Municipalities of NRW has requested that citizens and municipalities contribute financially to the creation of renewable energy value in order to increase local acceptance, for example in the construction of wind turbines.
In the state elections on May 15, the CDU was the clear winner with 35.7 percent. In turn, the SPD fell to 26.7 percent. The Greens managed to almost triple their voting share compared to 2017 to 18.2%. and came in third. Until now, the federal state was ruled by the CDU and the FDP./dot/DP/men