BERLIN – The policy bottlenecks that many people thought would impede Germany’s Ampelkoalition (“traffic-light coalition”) have materialized, well into its second year in power. The country’s first three-party government since the 1950s, comprising the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and the Liberal Democrats (FDP), took office with an ambitious agenda and high hopes for far-reaching reform. The almost 200-page coalition agreement promised to “Dare More Progress,” signaling a break from the complacency that characterized the last years of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship.
Presenting a raft of policy proposals in an orderly, rational fashion, the coalition agreement gave the impression of a government willing and able to implement reforms. The results so far suggest otherwise. Some, like the electoral reform bill, have been poorly designed, while others, including a recent meeting convened to address the country’s ailing education system, ended in failure.