Exit polls published after Sunday's federal election suggest that Chancellor Merkel's conservative CDU-CSU party won the election for the fourth straight time, but will need to form a new coalition.

The entry of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) into parliament may be of concern to Germany as it signals the first time nationalists won seats since the Nazi era, but AfD is unlikely to make it to the cabinet table and shape European policy.

Instead, Merkel will stay on as chancellor and will need to form a new coalition after the collapse of its outgoing partner, the centre-left SPD. SPD leader Martin Schulz said on Sunday night that his party was leaving the coalition.

The centrist FDP party and the Greens are contenders for the position of junior coalition partner. A Green presence in the German government could influence the German position on environmental requirements in the next CAP and on the European re-authorisation of glyphosate, which is due by the end of the year. Germany abstained from initial votes on the herbicide last year and the European citizen's initiative petition calling for a ban on the chemical was led by German activists.

We stand for continuity in the Common Agricultural Policy

On preparations for the CAP after 2020, the CDU-CSU election manifesto stated: "We stand for continuity in the Common Agricultural Policy and for maintaining the two-pillar model. We also stand for the continuation of direct payments after 2020." The party called for improvements to European crisis management measures and said CAP should prioritise "active farmers, young farmers and small- and medium-sized enterprises".

Following the election of French president Emmanuel Macron in May, the major players are now in place to progress key EU reforms including the next CAP, and Brexit negotiations with the UK due to resume on Monday.

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