The new CDU-SPD coalition with Kai Wegner and Franziska Giffey at the front , Source: Kai Wegner on Facebook

First CDU mayor set to lead Berlin in more than 20 years

First CDU mayor set to lead Berlin in more than 20 years

The coalition agreement also calls for keeping the 29-euro ticket indefinitely

It seems that after all the tribulation, Berlin will have a new mayor, as the SPD and CDU reached a coalition agreement after three weeks of negotiation. The new agreement was announced yesterday and saw the incumbent mayor Franziska Giffey at the helm of negotiations with the Christian Democrats.

The most likely new mayor of the German capital is Kai Wegner, from the CDU. His new office will represent a historic break for the city, which has had a string of Social-Democrat mayors for the last 22 years. These results came about after the repeat of the September 2021 elections, a decision by the Berlin constitutional court due to too many irregularities.

Adapting to the circumstances

At the same time, some analysts have pointed out that, apart from all the major crises the SPD saw in office during the last years (refugees, Covid-19, cost of living, housing), electing the CDU is a reaction to ‘anti-car’ policy.

This is because during the elections on 12 February most districts outside of the so-called S-Bahn ring and far away from the city centre, which are also traditionally more car-dependent, voted for the CDU.

A CDU-SPD coalition is nothing new for Germany, especially on the national level, however, both parties had to pivot their legislative agenda to meet in the middle and form a compromise agreement. Yet, this coalition government would last until the previous legislative period, scheduled to end in 2026, because the constitutional court deemed this election a re-run, despite the fact that it was held a year and a half after the first one.

New legislative agenda for Berlin

One of the key shifts in the coalition agreement is the mobility turnaround. Wegner explained that the CDU’s approach would be less restrictive and focused on providing options through public transport, new rail routes and more bike lanes.

In terms of housing, the approval process for new construction should be streamlined, coupled with a transition towards digital tools for the administration. The coalition agreement also features a proposition to modernise the police – a direct response to the Berlin riots that happened on New Year’s Eve and some analysts credit for the CDU’s rise in popularity, with their ‘tough-on-crime’ approach.

Additionally, the incumbent Mayor, Franziska Giffey, explained that the 29-euro ticket should remain a feature of the city indefinitely, as a better version of the ‘Germany Ticket’. Additionally, the coalition will set up a special fund of around five billion euros for climate protection.



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