From within society there is a great desire for renewal in our country.

Young people in particular expressed this expectation in the Bundestag elections.

They voted for Free Democrats and Greens more than average.

Your voting decision is linked to the hope that something will finally change.

As clear as the desire for a new departure is, the task of the voters also represents an unprecedented challenge. This is particularly true for the FDP. The party system has changed. Forms of majority formation that have been practiced for decades have become obsolete. Only a single two-party coalition would still have a majority in the Bundestag: Another grand coalition, this time under the leadership of the SPD. This fourth grand coalition since 2005 would be an extension of the “business as usual”. Such a “business as usual” has been voted out.

At the same time, it is clear that the parties that have now agreed on an exploratory paper did not look for each other in the election campaign. They come from different directions. Programmatic differences did not disappear into thin air with election day. Participation in government by the FDP must therefore always make a difference. In 2017 we proved that we can only join a coalition if the concerns of our voters are given significant consideration. This standard remains unchanged.

The humility in front of the citizens' vote, however, makes it necessary to find common ground. Herein lies the chance that this election result offers. We can overcome some polarization. It's not about founding a new political epoch straight away. It is more urgent to solve people's everyday problems. We are united by the goal of revitalizing the promise of social advancement, digitizing and decarbonizing our society and securing our prosperity.

Social Democrats and Greens see themselves as left-of-center forces. In a future coalition, the FDP would assume a special responsibility. The exploratory paper states that a new government should also be there for those who did not vote for it. Already during the election campaign we made it clear that there would be no left drift with us in Germany. Personal responsibility, motivation and equal opportunities remain the benchmarks of our actions - we have proven this in the years of the opposition and this also applies to any type of government participation. The basic values ​​of freedom and self-determination are not negotiable for us.

We could therefore not join a government, increase taxes or disregard the debt brake. It is now clearly anchored in the exploratory paper that a future government must move within these guard rails. A new coalition would understand sustainability not only in an ecological sense, but also comprehensively in an economic sense. With the entry into capital coverage for retirement, for example, we are taking a big step in this direction. We want to accelerate planning processes, reduce bureaucracy, activate private capital to cope with future tasks, relieve citizens and companies - for example with electricity costs. We want to enable climate protection in a technology-neutral way,Modernize our country socially and finally create contemporary citizenship and immigration law. These and many other points in the exploratory paper show: We as Free Democrats remain the lawyer and the contact person for the middle class in Germany.

It doesn't work without a partner

This is all the more true as the Union parties are currently only able to act and govern to a limited extent.

The content-related overlap with the Union was and is undoubtedly great in many areas.

In the past, however, the CDU and CSU all too often put their program up for grabs after an election.

This made it difficult to work together.

In the meantime, with regard to the Union, the will to govern, internal unity and willingness to cooperate in a spirit of trust are being discussed publicly.

However, both would be the prerequisite for being able to form a stable government for Germany.

In addition, the Union parties have not been able to win Alliance 90 / The Greens for joint cooperation since the Bundestag election.

We Free Democrats know that if you want to make progress, you cannot go without a partner.

Despite all the differences in the matter, the exploratory talks were characterized by trust, respect and mutual consideration.

People from the middle-class in our country in particular appreciate it when the impression does not persist that political actors are primarily concerned with satisfying their own needs.

After all, governance is also a question of style.

I would like to continue this new form of political culture.

The author is federal chairman of the FDP and chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the German Bundestag.

Keywords: fdp, traffic light coalition, grand coalition, responsibility, class, people, traffic light, task, advocate, government, parties, elections., christian lindner, social democrats, drift