The German coalition’s decision represents an important step forward for the German people who have steadfastly opposed nuclear weapons for decades. ICAN and its partners in Germany and across the world congratulate this government for taking a first step towards the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and respecting the will of the German people who no longer want illegal weapons stationed in their country. Along with Norway who will also participate in the first Meeting of States Parties, Germany is showing leadership in Europe, NATO and the world towards a modern security policy.
In the coalition agreement, the future governing parties plan to take part in the first meeting of states parties (MSP) of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This will make Germany the second NATO member state after Norway and the first country in which nuclear weapons are stationed to be observing the conference of states. The draft explicitly states the goal of a "Germany free of nuclear weapons".
“With this announcement, the German opposition of the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty ends. This finally gives us the chance to change the debate on the importance of nuclear weapons in Germany as well. The announcement by the German government that it will observe the MSP is a success for the TPNW and the states that are seriously trying to achieve disarmament ”, said Florian Eblenkamp, board member of ICAN Germany.
The withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany is also not ruled out by the coalition agreement. The treaty merely sticks to the view that "(...) as long as nuclear weapons play a role in NATO's strategic concept, Germany has an interest in participating in the strategic discussions and planning processes." This is covered by participation in NATO's nuclear planning group.
Subsequently, the draft agreement specifies the procurement of a successor system for the Tornado aircraft. This procurement must not lead to Germany's nuclear participation being set for decades. The coalition agreement leaves room for a non-nuclear capable aircraft to replace the Tornado. “The purchase of new delivery systems for the use of nuclear weapons must not mean that Germany's nuclear participation will continue. That does not go together with a constructive attitude towards the conference of states for a nuclear weapons ban," says Florian Eblenkamp.
The new traffic light coalition envisions itself leading a modern security policy. The coalition agreement allows for a paradigm shift in the field of foreign and security policy.
Broad support for TPNW in Germany
Representative polls show consistently that the vast majority of Germans wants Germany to end nuclear sharing and to join the TPNW. Most recently, polls by Kantar show that the majority of supporters of all democratic parties would oppose the government acquiring new nuclear capable aircraft.
136 German cities want the German government to support the TPNW. Amongst those are all 16 state capitals, led by coalitions across the entire democratic spectrum. Combined these cities represent about 30% of the German population.