Alliances at All Costs: Baerbock and Habeck Are Playing High





The party leaders Baerbock and Habeck undoubtedly lead the Greens into a new era. They want to be ally – and govern. The commitment is high: maximum willingness to compromise. The break-up signal from Bielefeld could also become a menetekel.


The mood is splendid: Both party leaders have been re-elected with more than 90 percent, the boss even with a new record. Not a single opponent in the election of the board. Debates, but little argument. And lots of applause and thank-you speeches and jubilation over electoral successes and the "two best years" of party history.

The Greens are experiencing a high at their party congress. Ironically, in Bielefeld, where it almost tore the party 20 years ago on the issue of the war effort in Kosovo. But the two-year-old and now confirmed chairman Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck have ordered the party harmony, teamwork and a new goal: the federal government. With a "nearly there" the delegates are greeted ambiguously in front of the town hall.

Of three tasks, Baerbock spoke in her passionate as well as acclaimed speech: "We need the team, we need alliances and we have to act." Alliances – "just with those who challenge us," she said. "We are no longer a civic movement, we are a political force that has the task of shaping it," Habeck said shortly afterwards.

The Greens want to govern, that was not to be missed in Bielefeld, and they are getting ready to become allied. Not only for SPD or Left, but also for Union and FDP. At the state level that works, in the Bund it should be. Or better: it has to. The party chiefs are playing poker

The price of alliance

Baerbock and Habeck show great strategic skill in offering the Greens the chance to participate in the government in Berlin. For this they demand harmony and maximum willingness to compromise. The deal is still going on, the Greens are still flying high, nor are black-green or green-black obvious options. That's why the party pulls along. But that can change quickly until the next federal election.

The desired "socio-ecological transformation" is ambitious, but above all very expensive. And she needs time. The younger ones in the party and on the street are already pushing for more radical means. Words rich come to meet them, the party leaders – knowing that many of their demands with the Union are so unattainable.

The alliance ability has a high price. At the party congress, Baerbock and Habeck have taken out a mortgage. They are governing, they are condemned to success. The party congress of Bielefeld can be a departure signal for the Greens. Or to the menetekel. Then the party could again face an ordeal. Like 20 years ago.

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