‘Master Plan for Migration’ leads to conflict between the CDU and its sister party CSU

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), are currently in conflict over the ‘Master Plan for Migration’ developed by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU). The former Minister President of Bavaria and leader of the CSU wants to reject migrants who are already registered in another European country directly at the German border. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is strongly opposed to this view and  is advocacting in favor of a European solution.

The conflict between the two parties is seen as very serious and harming to the CDU/CSU fraction. Seehofer agreed to give Merkel a two-week period to talk to European partners and try find a European solution. She will meet the French President Emmanuel Macron this week.

News report - ZEIT online


German development minister presents new 'Development Strategy 2030'

In an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine, German Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) announced the upcoming launch of his new ‘Development Strategy 2030’. His strategy centers around creating incentives for private investments, especially in Africa, as well as giving young people perspectives for a future in their countries of origin. To do so, he plans further investments into vocational training and education. The new development strategy focuses on crisis regions with large migration, among others the Maghreb. Müller is asking for an additional €880 million to fund his strategy goals and emphasizes that to reduce migration, the support of people in their countries is essential.

Interview – Augsburger Allgemeine


German Chancellor Merkel argues Germany must spend more on security

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has argued in an interview that Germany must spend more money on defense and intelligence services, agreeing with US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Germany for investing too little in security.

Currently, Germany spends 1.2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on its defense budget. Just before the G7 Summit, Merkel announced an increase of the budget to 1.5% of the GDP, to be reached before 2025. Though the new commitment has been positively received by the international community, it still falls below the NATO goal of 2%. 

Interview - Tagesschau (in German)


G7 countries commit US$3 billion to education for women and girls in crises

At the G7 Summit held in Charlevoix, Quebec from June 8-9, 2018, Canada, the UK, the EU, Germany, Japan, and the World Bank committed US$3 billion to invest in women and girls’ education in crisis and conflict situations. This commitment will, among other things, support innovative methods to provide education to vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, including refugees and displaced people, and support developing countries to provide opportunities for girls to complete at least 12 years of quality education.

With a commitment of US$2 billion (over five years), the World Bank is the largest contributor, followed by Canada (US$350 million) and the United Kingdom (US$250 million). The money raised exceeds the US$1.3 billion a global coalition of 30 humanitarian and development organizations has been calling for. The Canadian government said the commitments represented "the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations", and that the proposed investment could help to educate more than eight million children and teenagers.  

Press release – Prime Minister of Canada’s Office

Germany to finalize 2018 federal budget in early July

The final decision on the 2018 federal budget will be made in the first week of July, when the German Bundestag and Bundesrat will approve the budget. On June 27, 2018, the Budget Committee of the Bundestag will consult on the budget for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) at the “settlement meeting”.

For 2018, the federal government plans to allocate an additional €900 million to the BMZ, with the BMZ budget rising to €9.44 billion. This corresponds to an ODA/GNI rate of 0.5% . Germany’s failing to meet the international development spending goal of 0.7% was not only criticized by the opposition, but also by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)’s coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Press release - ONE (in German) 

Website - Bundestag (in German)


Germany increases its pledge to the Global Partnership for Education in 2018

On May 31, 2018, the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag voted for a one-off increase in this year's German contribution to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) from €9 million to €18 million. The GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership and funding platform that aims to strengthen basic education systems in countries affected by poverty and conflict and to drastically increase the number of children who are in school and learning. The advocacy and policy organization ONE welcomes this decision, but warns that the challenges of global education will persist beyond 2018, requiring greater support from Germany beyond this year.

Press release - ONE campaign (in German) 


German Development Minister calls for FTT and more sustainable investment in Africa

On the occasion of the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin, German Development Minister Gerd Müller called for stricter regulation of international financial markets, advocating for the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT) of 0.1% on the trading of shares and bonds, and one of 0.01% on speculative investments. He also underlined that the G20 should act more strongly against tax fraud, illicit financial flows, and tax havens.

Müller emphasized the potential for greater sustainable investment in Africa, and his goal of increased private, sustainable investments in the continent, particularly for German medium-sized companies. He aims to improve risk management of such engagements through a 'development investment law' that is currently being drafted under his leadership. 

Guest commentary - Tagesspiegel (in German)


German Development Minister advocates for European FTT to fund development cooperation

German Development Minister Gerd Müller is advocating for a Europe-wide African development policy and an increase in European Union development funds, particularly those flowing into the continent. He additionally has called for the introduction of a European financial transaction tax (FTT) of 0.01% on highly speculative investments. According to Müller, the revenue from this, an estimated €60 billion (US$66 billion), should be allocated to Europe’s development cooperation with Africa.

Interview - ARD (in German) 


German Development Minister against cutting development funding to countries that refuse rejected asylum-seekers

A number of conservative politicians are calling for cutting development assistance to countries that do not accept rejected asylum-seekers. However, German Development Minister Gerd Müller is against such funding reductions. In an interview with the BILD newspaper, Müller points out that cutting funding to education, health, and infrastructure projects would aggravate the local situation, and contribute to increased migration.

Interview - BILD (in German)


German Development Minister calls for an increase of development budget in 2019

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for an increase in the development budget for 2019 after the official tax estimate of the government showed that the federal government would have about 10 billion in additional funds available in the coming four years. Müller is seeking an increase of 880 million on top of the currently planned budget, arguing that the coalition agreement of the current government includes the commitment to give priority to development and defense spending should additional funds become available.

The current budget plan foresees a small decrease of the Development Ministry’s (BMZ) budget from 9.4 million in 2018 to 9.3 million in 2019. This could cause a significant drop in Germany’s ODA/GNI share to below 0.5%. Germany reached the 0.7% UN target for the first time in 2016.

News article - FAZ (in German)