Analysis of the German Federal Election 2021
Event: Regional and International Affairs
FES and China Institutes of Contemporary international Relations (CICIR) held a seminar on the Analysis of the German federal election 2021 and its possible implications for the Sino-German relationship in the future.
Faced with more crises and challenges than any other elections in this century, the German federal election 2021 began punctually on 26th September. Not only the current crises such as Covid-19, Afghanistan and flood catastrophes, but also the ongoing challenges like climate change, digitalization, modernization in the education system and so on made the vote difficult. The fact that the balance of power among the three largest parties changed so much within 2 months before the federal election might also show that.
What does the voter movement and the final result mean for us and for the Sino-German relationship in the future? With these questions in mind, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation and its partner China Institutes of Contemporary international Relations (CICIR) invited a well-known election analyst Richard Hilmer from Germany to give us an overview and analysis of the 2021 federal election and its potential impact on our diplomatic relations.
The candidates played a more important role than ever. Armin Laschet’s (CDU candidate) inappropriate laughter at the flood disaster area, the accusation of plagiarism against Annalena Baerbock (Green candidate) and Olaf Scholz’s (SPD candidate) comparatively stable performance und his experience in government contributed to a nearly 180-degree change in the polls from the March prediction. For the first time in history, the coalition will need 3 parties to govern. As “kingmakers’’, the Greens and the FDP are the real winners, while the so-called people's parties together (CDU, CSU and SPD) are weakened massively. Mr. Zhang Jian, the assistance president of CICIR, expressed concern about the fragmented political landscape in Germany and its possible influence on the new government's China policy. Mr. Hilmer allayed this concern by explaining the likely continuity in Chancellor Merkel's China policy in the future government, regardless of which of Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz will be the next Chancellor. The subsequent discussion also focused on solutions against polarization in German society and ways to strengthen China's image and cultural understanding through intensive communication.