Produced by Joe Sinclair; filmed and edited by James Sandy
Germany's Christian Democrats and Social Democrats have reached agreement on forming another grand coalition. And there will be enormous interest around Europe in what this might mean for the prospects of eurozone integration, and EU reform. The Social Democrats will be pleased that under the coalition deal they are to receive the finance ministry and foreign ministry portfolios that will elevate their position in the public eye. However, against that must be set the fact that their leader Martin Schulz led the party to its worst ever result since 1949. His personal popularity is plunging in opinion polls. In short, he's a weaker leader.
Meanwhile for the CDU, the restive nature of a lot of politicians who have had enough of Angela Merkel's cautious centrism is likely to come to the fore the longer this coalition lasts. There are some who think the party simply has to move in a more conservative direction to distinguish itself from the SPD, and indeed to avoid losing support further to their right. So all in all, the prospects for the coalition are not fully satisfying to important elements in both parties and the prospect, I think, for a big breakthrough on eurozone integration and EU reform. But the prospect is rather low given the fact that neither party particularly wanted to be where it is today.