The clock is ticking: Will the Ministry of Transport be able to implement all the projects in the coalition agreement?
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A glance at the coalition agreement of the government factions CDU/CSU and SPD from 2018 shows more than 20 planned projects in the mobility sector for the 19th legislative period. A look at the past months shows: The areas affecting the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure have been largely worked through, especially in road traffic - even if some “big chunks” are still waiting for a parliamentary procedure.
- The planned mobility research program was adopted in January 2020, the amendment to the Road Traffic Act was implemented at the beginning of the year (although ultimately only partially), and in the spring a legal framework was created for cycle paths on federal roads.
- Nevertheless, major projects from this legislation are still open: the development of a mobility platform, the amendment of the Passenger Transport Act, and a new law on autonomous driving.
3 major projects and 15 weeks of meetings remain
More and more companies offer various forms of mobility, especially in large cities. As demanded by politicians, they are increasingly being linked to public transport. One major problem is that there are only a few platforms that connect them across the board and on the basis of uniform and open standards. The German government wanted to change this with a “digital mobility platform”. Motions submitted by the opposition parties last year on this issue are now to be rejected. Instead, the CDU/CSU wants to draft a cross-party motion (Link). According to this proposal, it is very unlikely that a concrete initiative will be launched and passed before the end of this legislative term.
The situation is different with the Autonomous Driving Act: a glance at the calendar and the current status show that implementation by the end of the legislature is realistic and can be expected. The Passenger Transport Act, probably the largest and longest announced project of the Ministry of Transport, should also be amended by the next federal election. The coming months will therefore be labor-intensive, but at the same time successful for the current federal government.
Coalition agreement as a measure of a legislature
The review shows once again how decisively the coalition agreement influences legislation during a legislative period. In the transport sector, it is clear that proposals and agreements that are laid down between the parliamentary groups in the coalition agreement are usually also dealt with and have a chance of being put into practice.
The coalition agreement reflects the work program of the various ministries and is ultimately used as a kind of “homework book” of the federal government: Not only by the coalition factions to structure the legislative period, but also by the opposition factions to refer to planned projects and remind the government of its own requirements.
Looking ahead to the coming year, it will therefore be all the more important to closely monitor the federal elections in advance and also during the negotiations on the coalition agreement. Anyone who wants to have certain projects implemented in the coming years should advertise that these will be included in the next coalition agreement: There is a high probability that these will be implemented.