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Bundestag elections 2017: how it might affect trade

On September 24th takes place the election of the 19th German Bundestag. The parties are still fighting for the favor of the voters and trying to convince them of their party program. In addition to the general issues such as labor laws or the tax reform, the impact on trade is an important aspect on this year’s election. It is interesting to have a look at the parties’ position on online and offline commerce, their opinion on how German founders can be made competitive in the coming years and how payment can develop in Germany in the coming years.

Online Business

On the topic of digitalization, the parties’ platforms are discussing online platforms and marketplaces as well as the commerce of online pharmacies. In their opinion of the platforms and marketplaces, the major parties are agreeing in their electoral programs. The consensus is created mainly in the promotion of German platforms and in ensuring open and fair competition. On the other hand, their opinion on online pharmacies differ. Here, the SPD and Bündnis90 / The Greens are holding back, while the CDU / CSU, on the other hand, calls for a ban on the mail-order trade of prescription drugs. The Linke also speaks in part against the delivery of prescription drugs. Only the FDP, going against the current and wants to avoid a ban on the medication altogether.

Conventional trade

A recurring theme is the opening hours of conventional shops. Here the CDU / CSU, the SPD and the Greens hold back with regard to statements. The FDP, on the other hand, advocates flexible opening hours and the abolition of Sunday bans. According to the Linke Sundays and public holidays should be protected and minimum wage raised instead.

Sign in a shop door with opening times


In this election campaign, the CDU is rather cautious on the topic of supporting start-ups. Instead of concrete statements, vague "better start-up and growth funding" or "less bureaucracy" promises are made. In contrast, the FDP, chaired by Christian Lindner, would like to offer students the opportunity to take a semester off to found a start-up, as well as a bureaucratic year for start-ups. Furthermore, in the first three years of the year, the tax allowance is to be doubled in the case of trade tax. Like the CDU, the startup scene plays a minor role in the election program of the SPD. Here, according to the central themes of family, school and education, the main focus will be on a lighter bureaucracy for start-ups.


The parties also have differing opinions on the topic of payment. The Greens and the Linke chose not to provide any information about how they would influence the payment landscape in Germany. The CDU / CSU and the FDP are showing a strong support to maintain the actual cash system. The union parties also want to promote the possibility of a secure and efficient digital payment. The SPD has focused more on the subject of security and is committed to ensuring the highest level of data protection with the utmost security as well as the right to anonymous cashless payment.

It remains to be seen what changes will occur after the Bundestag elections on Monday and how trade will change in the coming four years.


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