Stumbling blocks in Germany’s coalition negotiations

In these last seven months I’ve been reporting around Europe, I’ve focused pretty exclusively on elections: the characters involved, how they and their parties fare, and the larger trends they speak to.

But without any other big elections on the horizon for a while — and because I’ve started my first fellowship-related work placement, with POLITICO Europe in Berlin — I’m now spending some time reporting on what happens after a country’s election. Here in Berlin, I’ve been tracking the efforts to form a governing coalition in Germany’s parliament.

More than a month after German elections, four parties—Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, the liberal Free Democrats and the Greens—are more than two weeks into talks to form a so-called “Jamaica coalition” (named for the parties’ colors, black, yellow and green).

This week, I looked at how refugee issues could be the biggest stumbling block in actually coming to an agreement: the Greens hold vastly different views on the issue than the other three parties at the negotiating table, and it’s unclear as of now how they’ll bridge that divide. I focused in particular on the politics of refugee deportations, an issue the Greens have been vocal about as there’s been more pressure on Merkel’s conservatives to speed up the practice.

Read the piece here, on POLITICO Europe’s site — and I’ll have more on this front in the coming weeks, as pressure intensifies on the would-be coalition partners to make significant progress.