The CDU and the Greens in North Rhine-Westphalia met on Tuesday for the first coalition talks in Düsseldorf. The basis for the negotiators around the state party leaders Hendrik Wüst (CDU) and Mona Neubaur (Greens) is a joint exploratory paper.

It is also interesting what is not on the twelve pages – especially with regard to internal security. NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) had coined a “zero tolerance” strategy in the black-yellow coalition from 2017 and focused on combating clan crime. It was also in the CDU state election program.

Two weeks after the CDU election victory, there is nothing more to be found in the exploratory paper. Combating child abuse is mentioned as a “criminal strategic focus”. It goes on to say that right-wing extremism is “currently the greatest threat to our democracy”. On the other hand, one would “proceed consistently” and “take a look at hate speech and conspiracy myths”. Organized crime and cybercrime should be “consistently combated”. An independent police commissioner in the state parliament should be the contact person for citizens in the event of conflicts. 15,000 “police forces” are to be hired by mid-2027.

In view of these black-green plans, security circles warn against a slacking off in the previous approach.

“The CDU made the state election campaign successful, especially with the issue of internal security. The people and the police in the state now expect that the politics of the past five years will be consolidated,” said Michael Mertens, NRW state head of the police union (GdP), at WELT’s request.

The “changed wording” may be a “compliment to the Greens”, “but that will not change anything in the fight against crime”, said Mertens. Whether fighting clan crime is rhetorically emphasized or treated as a sub-item of organized crime, “it remains a focus.”

The exploratory paper does not say much about internal security, which is why he is “looking forward to the small print in the coalition negotiations”. The GdP considers the planned police commissioner to be “dispensable” since there is a petitions committee in the state parliament for disputes. In addition, the union is demanding the withdrawal of the 41-hour week and a return to fewer hours.

The German police union is also alarmed. “There must be no flinching in the fight against clan crime. Otherwise it will set us back years,” explained DPolG country chief Erich Rettinghaus. Then the police officers on site “immediately lost the respect they have laboriously gained in recent years”. The union is demanding more video surveillance, stun guns and body cameras. The planned external police officer is seen as a “pure political issue of green politics”.

The former CDU member of the Bundestag Wolfgang Bosbach headed a security commission for the black and yellow previous government and urged vigilance: “The exploratory round was short and successful, but my experience tells me: the devil is in the details. Concrete agreements are more difficult than headlines.” The CDU will “not support compromises at the expense of internal security”. Bosbach is convinced that “Herbert Reul will continue his work as Minister of the Interior”.

A fundamental internal political conflict will accompany the coalition talks: the CDU is committed to more powers for the security authorities, the Greens want to limit them.

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