BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats (SPD) agreed on Friday that they wanted to launch formal coalition talks. The SPD will now ask members to vote on whether they want to take that step.
Party sources said they had agreed to a blueprint for formal coalition negotiations in a move that could ultimately end months of political deadlock in Europe’s largest economy after the election last September.
Following is a summary of the main agreed policy areas:
* Gradually abolish solidarity tax introduced after reunification in 1990 to support poorer eastern states, amounting to 10 billion euros ($12.12 billion) of tax relief for citizens.
* Invest 5.95 billion euros in education, research and digitalization by 2021.
* Stick to goal of balanced budget with no new debt.
* Recognize 2020, 2030 and 2050 climate goals.
* Pass law to guarantee will stick to goal to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 55 percent by 2030.
* Aim to get 65 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2030.
* Manage and limit migration to Germany and Europe to prevent a re-run of the 2015 refugee influx.
* Cap at 1,000 a month the number of people who will be allowed to join their family now living as refugees in Germany.
* Specialist government commission should be set up to look at Germany’s ability to integrate migrants and report to the German lower house of parliament.
* Focus on causes of migration rather than the migrants themselves.
* Support a joint European asylum system that fairly distributes people in need of protection around the continent.
* Strengthen cohesion in Europe with Germany to play active role in debate on strengthening European integration.
* Reject protectionism, isolationism and nationalism. Need more international cooperation.
* EU needs to take leading role in climate protection internationally and in implementing the 2015 Paris deal aimed at slowing climate change.
* Strengthen European Parliament and boost European Union’s finances - Germany would be prepared to pay more into the EU budget.
* Strengthen Franco-German cooperation - Germany and France should be innovative and will show this with their intention to research artificial intelligence.
* Agree ban on cultivating genetically modified plants nationwide.
* Systematically and significantly limit use of weed killer glyphosate with the aim of entirely ending use of plant protection agents that contain this as quickly as possible.
($1 = 0.8254 euros)
Reporting by Michelle Martin Editing by Jeremy Gaunt