I have noticed that these two words have a similar meaning, such as "agreement" or "accord." But it seems that they are often not interchangeable because they "get there" in different ways. Is this true, especially given the context of politics?

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    You may want to first look it up in a dictionary and then come back here with any remaining unclearities. (By the way: no, these are rather different words.) – Christian Geiselmann Nov 9 '17 at 10:46
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    I bet this comes from a reverse lookup of English agreement. – Janka Nov 9 '17 at 10:49
  • To be able to answer your question we may need some context from where you believe that these words supposed to have a similar meaning. Also read: german.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/628/… – Takkat Nov 9 '17 at 11:20
  • @Takkat - I have seen these two words in the context of politics and elections a lot - I got the sense that they both mean 'agreement' but that Vereinbarung is used in the context of political parties shaking hands on a plan, while Übereinstimmung is used in the context of voters agreeing about a party (where the party has the agreement or the confidence of a certain public). – changesquare Nov 9 '17 at 11:41
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    I have added "nuance" to the question that is usually not found in dictionaries, and nominate it for reopening. Also, the context of politics that the OP mentioned in a comment adds further dimension to this question. It is no longer "cut and dried" (to use the American idiom). – Tom Au Nov 24 '17 at 12:06

To get a better understanding of the two words, let us look at the corresponding verbs:

(etw.) vereinbaren = to agree, to contract sth., to arrange, to appoint

übereinstimmen = to correspond, to accord, to coincide, to match

Knowing this we can easily see the difference between the two nouns:

die Vereinbarung = the agreement, the arrangement, the contract

die Übereinstimmung = the accordance, the accord, the compliance, the agreement

One could go into more detail, but I think when seeing the nouns as nominalization of its corresponding verbs, the difference already gets clear.

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