A Guide German Party Election Platforms 2021

Alice Hubbard

Alice Hubbard is a research intern at AICGS for the summer of 2021. She prepares briefing material, manages databases, supports the research projects of resident fellows, and helps to organize and document AICGS events.

Currently, Ms. Hubbard is pursuing a BA at Johns Hopkins University in International Studies with a concentration on Germany in a Globalized World and German language. In the fall she will be pursuing a MA in International Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as part of a 5-year BA/MA program. Her coursework and research interests focus primarily on transatlantic relations, the European Union, and technology regulations.

Before coming to AICGS, Ms. Hubbard interned with the U.S. Department of State as a Swedish Language intern through the VSFS program. She was also the Communications Director of European Horizons at Johns Hopkins University.

Eleanore Spies

Eleanore Spies is a development intern at AICGS for the summer of 2021. She prepares briefing material, manages databases, supports the research projects of resident fellows, and helps to organize and document AICGS events.

Currently, Ms. Spies is pursuing a BS at the University of Maryland in Economics and a minor in Sustainability and Statistics. Her coursework and research interests focus primarily on the sustainable economy, green energy, and the German language and culture.

Before coming to AIGCS, Ms. Spies participated in a month-long language program at Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany. She previously worked as a B Corp intern at Bethesda Green.


CDU / CSU (the Union)

Campaign Platform

  • Foreign Policy
    • Work together with democratic partners, especially in Latin America and the Indo-Pacific, to address issues such as climate change, trade, and digital security.
    • Focus on foreign policy cohesion within Europe.
    • Strengthen transatlantic partnerships.
    • NATO and the American nuclear umbrella are vital for German security.
    • Cooperate with China, while working together with partners to counter China on issues such as intellectual property, technology, and data.
    • Modernize military and security capabilities to include AI, cyber, and space.
    • Strengthen climate change mitigation with partners around the world.
    • Continue to strengthen the EU and European integration efforts.
      • A bigger role for EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner.
      • Strengthen European technological innovation.
    • Work to establish a joint European armed forces within the framework of the European Defense Union and PESCO.
  • Climate change
    • Greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045 in Germany and work toward CO2 neutrality worldwide by 2050.
      • Improve access to green energy and energy efficiency.
      • Increase innovation for reducing waste and using recycled materials.
      • Support cab companies and delivery companies in switching to electric vehicles.
    • Adapt fisheries to climate change.
  • Economy / Spending
    • While gradually abolishing the EEG surcharge, will also reduce the income tax burden on small and medium-sized incomes.
    • In the long term, aiming for the full basic tax-free allowance for children (Kinderfreibetrag).
    • Ensure that tax returns can be done all online.
    • Advocate for fair taxation of the digital economy.
    • Need a common corporate tax base so that companies in Europe are taxed according to the same rules wherever possible.
    • Support a European financial transaction tax with a broad assessment basis; but it must not burden small investors and private pension provision.
    • Will increase the maximum amount of capital-forming benefits that employees can receive from their employer.
    • Reject the reintroduction of a wealth tax.
    • Want to make Germany the leading financial center, especially for sustainable production.
    • Goal of business and government spending 3.5 percent of gross domestic product on research and development by 2025.
    • Improve financial security and choice for pensioners.
    • Gradual exit from Hartz IV.
  • Education
    • Tackle the issue of digital education urgently and modernize schools.
    • Continue to encourage young people to choose careers in science and technology.
    • Eliminate gender-specific wage and pension gaps.
    • Expand the federal education premium program to equip employees with the skills they need for the future.
    • Further develop the Upgrading Training Assistance Act.
    • Aim to place at least one German university among the world’s top 20.
    • Increase education on nutrition.
  • Other
    • Strengthen Germany’s position as a rail hub of Europe by increasing train capacity, increasing electric and clean trains, and allocating funding for more infrastructure.
    • Improve integration of different modes of transportation, such as connecting rail lines to airports.
    • Support increased agricultural aid and a reduction in hostility toward farmers.
      • Increased agricultural digitalization.
      • Meet consumer demands for domestically grown products, including support in research for increased organic agricultural yields .
    • Increased animal welfare.
    • Modernize civil contract law, including electronic legal transactions.
    • Improve consumer digital security.
    • Improve Disability Equality Act and ensure fair access to the labor market.
    • Improve healthcare through digitalization and reduced bureaucracy for doctors and nurses.
    • Support sports development in all areas and, above all, expand preventive health care.
    • Further develop the “Joint Task for Agricultural Structure and Coastal Protection,” which is funded by the federal and state governments.
    • Sustainable Growth Plan
      • By 2030, 65 percent fewer greenhouse gases should be produced in Germany than in 1990.
      • Cap corporation tax at 25 percent.
      • Less bureaucratic costs for companies.
      • Abolish EEG surcharge.
    • Innovation
      • Use a total of 3.5 percent of the gross domestic product for research and development by 2025.
      • New Federal Ministry for Digital Innovations and Transformation.
    • Modern State that Benefits Citizens
        • The government must become climate neutral.
    • Social Support
      • Develop a company pension plan for all.
    • New Quality of Life
      • Invest 15 billion euros in Internet networks.


Campaign Platform

  • Environment
    • Operate climate-neutrally by 2045.
      • Solar and wind power supported by a clean hydrogen economy.
      • Align policy with the United Nations Sustainability Goals (SDGs).
      • Expansion of electricity grids, railway lines, hydrogen lines, and charging stations for electric cars.
    • Plan for the socio-ecological restructuring of the economy with a long-term industrial strategy.
  • Economy/Spending/Taxes
    • Increase income taxation equality
      • Reduce taxes for low- and middle-income earners.
      • Distribute tax burden fairly between spouses with different incomes.
      • Reinstate wealth tax.
      • Improve inheritance tax and introduce minimum taxation for asset-holding family foundations.
      • Introduce a financial transaction tax.
    • Increase minimum wage to 12 euros an hour and expand the scope of the Minimum Wage Commission for future increases.
    • Support for allocation of funds to increase in-company training programs, especially for young professionals and people changing careers.
    • Create a citizen-oriented welfare state.
      • Welfare payments should be easily digitally accessible.
      • Strengthen the statutory pension and create a permanent pension level of at least 48 percent.
      • Improve disability pensions.
      • Increase access to affordable housing.
      • More support for parents and those caring for elderly relatives.
      • Increase financial support for students and youth welfare up to the age of 27.
  • Foreign Policy/Trade
    • Strengthen a united Europe.
      • Especially to deal with global competition.
      • Digitally sovereign Europe.
    • Targeted and coordinated support for German and European technology and value chains.
  • Technology
    • Proactive competition and antitrust law to increase market competition and data/consumer protections.
    • Expand obligations of the federal, state, and local authorities to provide digital administrative services and expand student access to the internet.
  • Other
    • Improve local public transport and rail transport by 2030.
    • Reform health care sector to improve research on and access to personalized medicine, increasing cooperation between health care sectors.
    • Improve working conditions.
    • Equality in the workplace.
      • Equal pay for equal work.
      • One woman must be present on a large company board.
      • Better access to start-up capital for women and a coordinated support strategy to remove gender-based barriers, especially for technology-related business start-ups.
    • LGBTQ+ rights
      • Ensure that non-traditional families receive support and have the ability to adopt.
      • Abolish psychological reports to determine gender identity.
      • Oppose discrimination and violence.
    • Immigration and refugees
      • Ensure that refugee families are able to stay together or reunified.
      • Additional funding to increase access to integration and language courses.
    • Ensure freedom of the press, free access to news, and increased media literacy programs.


Campaign Platform

  • Protect livelihoods
    • Immediate climate protection program.
    • Return the CO2 revenue to people as a lump sum per capita.
    • Systematically include climate protection in our legal system.
      • Climate impact assessment.
      • CO2 brake.
    • 5 million new solar roofs over the next four years.
  • Economy in the Future
    • Klimaverträge (Carbon Contract for Difference).
    • All investments, not only green ones, must have a sustainability assessment that is transparent to all investors.
    • Want the European Central Bank (ECB) to create a digital euro.
  • Ensuring solidarity
    • Immediately raise the statutory minimum wage to 12 euros.
    • Convert unemployment insurance into occupational health insurance.
    • Equal pay law to close the pay gap between men and women.
  • Enable education and research
  • Living together
  • Collaborate Internationally
    • China
      • Demand that China put an end to its blatant human rights violations.
        • The European Supply Chain Act must deny goods from forced labor access to the internal market.
      • Compliance with sustainable product standards and a transparent roadmap to combat the climate crisis, for example by phase-out of coal in China.
      • Unification with Taiwan must not be forced against the will of the people of Taiwan.
    • Russia
      • Tighten if necessary the sanctions imposed on Russia for the annexation of Crimea contrary to international law and the military action against Ukraine.
      • The Nord Stream 2 pipeline project must be stopped.
    • Global South
      • Debt restructuring and also debt forgiveness.


Campaign Platform

  • Environment
    • Expand the EU’s Emissions Trading System.
    • Abolish the EEG levy (Renewable Energy Sources Act).
    • Climate protection through encouraging new innovation.
    • No driving bans, instead focusing on improving local public transport and better traffic management to avoid congestion.
    • Work to expand protections for endangered species and the Arctic.
  • Economy/Spending/Taxes
    • Bundled reduction of bureaucracy
      • Bürokratieentlastungsgesetz IV – Bureaucracy Relief Act IV
      • “Einheitliche Ansprechpartner 2.0” – Single Point of Contact 2.0
      • Shift in social security contributions
    • Reduce corporate tax burden to 25 percent, offset by other tax increases such as income tax and sales tax.
    • Work together with the United States to set a global minimum taxation for companies to increase fairness by preventing large corporations from being able to avoid taxes.
    • Provide greater tax incentives for research and development and provide framework for venture capital.
    • Return to free-market principles.
    • Reduce tax burden on employees and employers below 30 percent.
    • Create a European digital single market.
    • Financing for smaller specialized hospitals and for ensuring the supply of medicines and vaccines.
    • Modern banking regulations and supervision that protects the private sphere and lessens state involvement.
  • Foreign Policy/Trade
    • Strengthen the EU and establish a common European foreign and security policy as well as a European Army.
    • Transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund (EMF).
    • Strengthening of rules-based multilateralism.
    • Establishment of a National Security Council to aid in a unified German foreign, security, and development policy.
    • Improve immigration policy for skilled workers based on the Canadian point system and revising the “Blue Card.”
  • Technology
    • Effective regulations for gatekeeper companies that prevent them from distorting competition, especially through the Digital Markets Act with the EU.
    • More investment in modern technology and access to the internet to enable digital teaching.
    • Administrative modernization and digitization, including the digitization of healthcare.
    • Establish digital freedom zones with fewer regulations to encourage greater innovation.
    • Roadmap for AI development and legal framework.
  • Other
    • Education
      • More flexible vocational training.
      • Establishment of a European Digital University.
    • Transportation
      • Remove bans such as on diesel or speed limits.
      • Privatize rail traffic to encourage.
    • Work
      • More flexible working hours, including ability to work from home and protections and support for working people with families.
      • Encourage diversity in the workplace.
    • Controlled legalization of cannabis.

Die Linke

Campaign Platform

  • Dissolution of NATO and replace it with a collective security system focusing on disarmament.
  • Phase out coal by 2030 and make Germany climate-neutral by 2035.
  • Increase minimum wage to €13 an hour, from €9.50.
  • Improve social welfare programs, health care, child care, and access to public transportation.
  • Stronger market regulations.


Campaign Platform

  • Stricter immigration, refugee, and border policies.
  • Reduce corporate and private taxes and regulations.
  • Improve welfare state, child care, health care, and pensions.
  • Emphasis on “traditional” German culture.
  • End Germany’s transition to renewable energy sources and abolish the CO2 tax.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.