The news marks the end of weeks of speculation: Annalena Baerbock is the name of the German Greens’ candidate for chancellor for the federal elections next September. The co-leader of the eco-liberal party has cleared up the question this Monday after reaching an agreement with Robert Habeck, with whom she has shared the co-leadership of Los Verdes since 2018.
Habeck thus makes way for what will be the second woman to present a candidacy for the Federal Chancellery after the Christian Democrat Angela Merkel , in power in Germany since 2005. Baerbock’s candidacy has yet to be ratified in a congress of her party next June, but that step is considered a mere formality.
“I am deeply convinced that this country needs a new beginning, ” Baerbock told a news conference on Monday. The 40-year-old environmentalist politician is presented as the candidate that seeks to break with the status quo, which aims to place the fight against climate change and the protection of the environment at the center of society, and at the same time place Germany on the path of industrial reconversion with an eye on the digital economy and renewable energies.
Baerbock studied Political Science and International Law in Hamburg and London, and began in the military at Los Verdes in 2005. After joining the party, he began a rapid rise in the structure of the formation. In 2009 she was already the president of The Greens in the federal state of Brandenburg.
She has been a federal deputy since 2013. Before that, she worked in her party’s office in Brussels. She is an uncompromising defender of the European Union . Baerbock was born and raised in a town near the city of Hannover, in central Germany. As a teenager, he played soccer and also practiced trampoline jumping as a gymnastic discipline.
That experience left him with a lesson that he likes to apply in life: to achieve something new you have to “dare to jump”, as he once said in an interview with the German weekly ‘Die Zeit’. Baerbock is married, the mother of two girls, and lives in Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg near Berlin.
It is the first time that the Greens have nominated an individual candidacy for the chancellery: the party, founded in the early 1980s by antimilitarist and environmental forces, has historically presented itself to the general elections with a political duo due to the impossibility of leading a federal government.
The current polls, however, point to an unprecedented scenario in German federal politics: the eco-liberals could be, with more than 20% of the votes, the second party in the country. The Greens are currently the most relevant party of the German center-left. The Social Democrats of the SPD languish, meanwhile, in the polls with a voting intention of around 15%.
If these projections materialize, Los Verdes is emerging as a key party to form a government . The most likely coalition is between the conservatives of the CDU-CSU and the eco-liberals, a formula that already works in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg – the only one in Germany with a government led by the Greens – and also in neighboring Austria .
The German Greens could also have in their hands to send to the opposition the conservatives of the CDU-CSU, who have ruled Germany uninterruptedly for 16 years, are mired in a serious political crisis on the threshold of Angela Merkel’s political goodbye and remain without official candidate for chancellor.
Faced with this crisis of German conservatism, the ballot box could make possible a tripartite between the eco-liberals, the social democrats and the liberal-conservatives of the FDP, in a coalition known as the “semaphore” in Germany because of the colors of the three formations -green, red and yellow-.
If this complicated political equation was achieved, Annalena Baerbock would make history: it would be the first environmentalist policy to reach the Federal Chancellery of Germany.