Party congress of the Greens: Baerbock and Habeck step down – politics


It was supposed to be a joint speech and a choreography that nobody should miss out on. Always taking turns, the two leaders of the Greens wanted to say goodbye to the party leadership. And by no means should the impression be given that one is more important than the other.

Friday evening in the Berlin Velodrom, the cycling hall should be the backdrop for a green skinning. The Greens have come together here for the party conference, or to be more precise: there are a few well-known Green faces in the hall – Claudia Roth, Cem Özdemir, Annalena Baerbock, Robert Habeck. Most of the more than 800 delegates are sitting at home in front of the screen at this digital gathering, which must be considered a turning point.

Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck are no longer running as party leaders because they have ministerial posts. Her successors will be appointed on Saturday: The previous vice party leader and social politician Ricarda Lang is considered an ambassador for the next generation of green people and someone who could rock the hall – if she were in the hall. But it’s not long because of a corona infection. She will give her application speech at home in front of the screen. The second party leader to be elected is the foreign and domestic politician Omid Nouripour, who, in addition to a robust political aggressiveness, has 16 years of experience in the Bundestag.

A green force field begins to shift, the only question is: where exactly? At the start of the party conference, it is Baerbock and Habeck who speak, they appear on the stage together. It will be the last time that you will stand side by side as party chairmen, says Habeck. The fact that the hall was so empty and “aseptic” was “kind of sad”. Baerbock says thank you for “four great years together.” What then comes, however, is not so gloomy, but a paean to political compromise.

The Economics Minister speaks. And the foreign minister

“It’s not a farewell, it’s not the end of an era either,” says Robert Habeck. It is now beginning “simply a new act”. Habeck then embarks on a hasty ride that takes him from the taxonomy debate to KfW loans and from wind turbines on the doorstep to high energy prices. Yes, some things hurt, says Habeck, but the idea that governing hurts the Greens is nonsensical. “Oh dear, oh dear, reality” is not a political position. “Good compromises make good politics.” Habeck, it cannot be ignored, has long since shed the role of party leader. The Economics Minister speaks.

Annalena Baerbock is thematically a little broader, coming from the government’s family policy reform projects to her work as foreign minister, in which little is still the way the Greens once thought of it. Climate foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, all important goals, she says. But reality, the threatening situation in the east of the EU, makes new demands. “We stand with Ukraine on security, defense, but above all on maintaining economic stability,” says Baerbock. Reality comes first, that is.

The foreign minister and even more so the vice chancellor, who is gaining in importance as the green coordinator, are likely to remain the center of power in the party. No one knows where the new party leaders Lang and Nouripour will stand in the structure. The party could become a think tank, a source of ideas that goes beyond daily government action, Lang has announced. But the faction leaders in the Bundestag, Britta Haßelmann and Katharina Dröge, also see themselves in the inner circle of power. Of course, the Green ministers “are perceived most in public,” said Dröge. “But we will lead as a team, the six of us will do it together.” This can also be understood as a gentle warning.

Winfried Kretschmann was almost the only one to clearly address mistakes

Then the debate began, which was initially characterized by harmony and pride in finally being able to govern again in the federal government. The words of the Green Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg were all the more striking in this round of joy. Almost as the only one in the early evening, Winfried Kretschmann spoke very clearly about mistakes in the federal election campaign. You wouldn’t be voted employee of the month for such a critical balance sheet, that’s how he started his list. But it is important “to learn from the mistakes we made in the federal election campaign”.

He listed several points, and his criticism culminated in the sentence: “In the election campaign we made ourselves too small.” Kretschmann complained that the party did not focus sufficiently on the issues of economy and work: “As a result, we unintentionally withdrew to the role of a supplementary party and were then perceived as such by the people.” So he demanded that the Greens have to broadcast in the future that they want to set the direction for all important areas of politics. Again he mentioned the economy above all. The party must be “business-friendly, but in our own green way,” Kretschmann demanded.


www.sueddeutsche.de

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