Luc Frieden (CSV) said from the outset that he wanted to move quickly to form the CSV-DP government that would emerge from the elections--without, however, rushing things. As soon as Frieden was appointed on 9 October, the CSV and DP, with a combined majority of 35 MPs, began negotiations.
From the very first meeting between the two partners, the principle of thematic discussions involving civil society was agreed upon. Twelve themes were then selected.
Without waiting for the conclusions of these working groups, an initial political agreement was reached: to do everything possible to preserve Luxembourg’s triple-A rating. This was largely a symbolic agreement, however, all the more so given that national statistics bureau Statec has expressed pessimism about the near-term trajectory of the country’s economy.
Possibly by the end of November
Can an incoming stormy economic climate trouble the good understanding displayed so far by Frieden and the delegations? This will be the challenge of these three days, during which the parties will have to negotiate once the conclusions of the working groups have been reached. Both sides have said that they don’t foresee major deal-breakers.
Still, positions on certain issues are highly anticipated, particularly taxation, housing and social cohesion.
In 2018, after a similar phase of consultations, the allocation of ministries was unveiled 40 days after negotiations began. The coalition agreement was validated five days later and the government appointed the following day, 5 December. If this is taken as a benchmark, then the new government could be appointed as early as the end of November.
This article was originally published in Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.