Intended for healthcare professionals


The next step forward?

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 20 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k788
  1. Ilona Kickbusch, director1,
  2. Christian Franz, managing director2,
  3. Maike Voss, researcher3
  1. 1Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. 2CPC Analytics, Berlin, Germany
  3. 3German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin, Germany
  1. c.franz{at}

What Germany’s coalition agreement means for global health policy

Germany’s role in global health has grown in recent years—which prompted a certain amount of nervousness about whether the high level of political commitment would be maintained by a new government. On 2 February, however, the wait was over: more than four months after the elections, the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), its Bavarian sister party (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD) presented their coalition agreement. On 177 pages, the document outlines the plan for the next four years in government—provided that the party base of the SPD agrees to it. But what does this mean for Germany’s future role in global health?

At first glance, everything looks like business as usual: Angela Merkel, a strong personal supporter of global health, will most likely remain as chancellor, and the ministries most relevant for global health are still headed by the same parties—namely, the Ministry of Health (CDU), the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (CSU), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SPD), and the Ministry for Education and Research (CDU).

The coalition agreement includes a paragraph stating that the government will develop a global health strategy. The document explicitly mentions strong support for the World Health Organization, the Global Fund, and Gavi, and it reinforces Germany’s commitment to international alliances and strategic partnerships. The G20 priorities of health …

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