Green Party Congress: Don’t be afraid of compromises


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Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck take part in their party’s federal party conference. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

The Greens are full of energy. After 16 years in opposition, they are once again part of a federal government. That entails difficult negotiation processes – but that’s what you’re elected for.

Berlin – Inspired by the long-awaited entry into the government, the Greens have started a largely digital federal party conference. The outgoing leader of the Greens, Robert Habeck, agreed his party on Friday evening to make compromises as part of the federal government.

federal party convention
The Greens hold their federal party convention in the Berlin Velodrom. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

“Compromises are the art of politics,” said the Federal Minister of Economics. However, they did not mean a farewell to ideals. “Now we can actually shape reality.”

Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir said that if the Greens in the government wanted to achieve their goals, there should be no “division of labor” between the ministers on the one hand and the rest of the party on the other – according to the motto “someone does it and the others demand”.

Criticism by Kretschmann

Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann said that the Greens absolutely had to open up new groups of voters in the future. He used his video appearance to settle accounts with the federal election campaign. “During the election campaign, we made ourselves too small,” he stated. Economic issues and jobs were not the focus enough, the Greens were perceived as a “supplementary party”.

“We started the election campaign as an alliance party and ended up as a milieu party,” Kretschmann criticized. The connection to the economy is particularly important. “We have to be business-friendly.” The only green Prime Minister also demanded: “We have to balance our message of change even more with a promise of security.”

Not enough happened during the election campaign. The Greens must show that they are not concerned with change for the sake of change, but with preserving what people hold dear.

Management team is re-elected

At the two-day party conference under the motto “Roots for the future”, the several hundred delegates connected via the Internet discussed programmatic questions and voted on changes to the statutes. On site at the Berlin Velodrom, only a small group of top Greens was there. The leadership team is to be re-elected on Saturday. The two previous party leaders, Habeck and Annalena Baerbock, are now ministers in the traffic light coalition with the SPD and FDP and are therefore not running again.

Robert Habeck
Robert Habeck listens to Annalena Baerbock’s speech. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

The 28-year-old social politician Ricarda Lang from the left wing is running together with the 46-year-old foreign politician Omid Nouripour from the Realo wing as the new leadership duo. Lang was unable to attend on site due to a corona infection.

Habeck named the new EU regulations for classifying certain forms of energy as sustainable as an example of a “difficult chapter”. The so-called taxonomy is intended to provide citizens and investors with information about the classification of financial products as climate-friendly. The EU Commission’s proposal provides for gas and nuclear power plants to be classified as “green” investments under certain conditions.

Baerbock + Habeck
Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck capture the moment with a selfie. © Kay Nietfeld/dpa

In its statement, the federal government consisting of SPD, Greens and FDP clearly opposed the classification of nuclear power as sustainable and advocated higher demands on gas as a temporary solution. “It’s good that we in the government are dealing with the nuclear issue,” stressed Habeck. It is good that the Greens have influence as part of the government.

After KfW funding stop: Habeck announces solutions

Habeck again defended the KfW funding freeze for energy-efficient buildings and announced solutions for outstanding applications. 1.8 billion euros in funding are still left, there is still “a little something” to do so. “We will still be able to finance some, possibly a lot.”

Habeck spoke again of a hard cut, he could understand the anger of many people. But the program went completely out of control. “It’s uncomfortable to have these debates, but that’s why I became a minister.”

Co-leader Baerbock, who is foreign minister in the new government, said that even if feminist foreign policy, climate foreign policy and cooperation in international organizations are very important for the Greens, the new government must first react to current challenges. “We stand by Ukraine’s side on security and defence, but above all on the question of maintaining economic stability,” emphasized the Foreign Minister.

With a massive Russian troop deployment near Ukraine, there are fears in the West that the Kremlin may be planning an invasion of the neighboring country. However, it is also considered possible that fears are only being stirred up in order to persuade the NATO states to make concessions when demands for new security guarantees are made. dpa


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