The German Greens voted at a party congress to support official coalition talks with the Social Democrats and the Liberals which could see the three parties form a government.
“We are fortunate to take responsibility and play a decisive role in this progressing government. We are happy to take on this responsibility,” the party tweeted on Sunday after the vote paved the way for formal negotiations.
The Greens came third in the September 26 elections with nearly 15% of the vote, becoming potential kingmakers in a German coalition government.
The party agreed on Friday with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to open coalition negotiations after exploratory talks. The pro-business leadership of the FDP is also expected to approve official talks on Monday.
The government would be led by the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, current vice-chancellor and finance minister, whose party finished first in the elections.
Among the Green Party’s priorities for a new government are extended climate protection and enhanced social justice.
“We are focused on the big tasks of the future and on saying: this decade is the decade in which we will put Germany on the path to 1.5 degrees,” said the Greens co-leader. and candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock.
Party co-leader Robert Habeck said: “We are entering a new phase of green history where we will have the chance to shape reality. We want responsibilities. We want to shape reality.”
The initial agreement between the parties includes accelerating Germany’s coal exit and increased investment in renewable energy. But the partners said they would not raise taxes for the rich because the Free Liberal Democrats were against such a move.
Scholz said he hoped a coalition government could be formed before Christmas.
However, it is not certain that formal talks will result in a government, with the center-right FDP having to compromise with the SPD and the Greens further to the left. The FDP had previously withdrawn from coalition talks in 2017 that involved the Christian Democrats and the Greens.
An SPD-Greens-FDP government – known as the party-colored traffic light coalition – would put Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in opposition for the first time in nearly 16 years.
Merkel had announced in 2018 that she would not run for chancellor in the 2021 elections.
CDU chancellor candidate Armin Laschet took responsibility for the party’s electoral defeat on Saturday, calling for unity within the party.