German CDU does not emphasise its ‘C’


Central Europe


Photo AFP, Tobias Schwarz

The German Christian Democratic Union is not going to emphasize its Christian roots more emphatically than it has done up till now. The party should, however, become more “bourgeois” but also “cosmopolitan”. That is one of the key objectives in the new “Charter of Fundamental Values”, which the party presented on Monday.

The Charter is intended to form the basis for the work of ten specialist commissions that will develop the program over the next year and a half. It is expected to be adopted in early 2024. According to the ideas of the CDU chairman Friedrich Merz, it should apply for the next ten to fifteen years.

Although, in the past, the CDU referred to the "responsibility" that people have to take "towards God", this reference does not return in the new charter.

In the charter, the Christian Democrats defend their claim to be “a people’s party of the centre”. This is the “right answer to fragmentation, populism and polarization” and contributes to the stability and cohesion of society. “Every human being is wanted, unique, unavailable and should live freely and self-determinedly,” emphasizes the charter.

At the same time, the CDU sees itself as “obligated to the traditions of the Enlightenment and is open to all people who - regardless of their own religious convictions - share their basic values”. “The love of people from the beginning to the end of life is the basic claim of our policy,” the text emphasizes. According to the Charter, good politics must come from the individual person and combine individual freedom with responsibility for others.

It is emphasized that politics can “only give penultimate answers”. The CDU defines itself as “social, liberal and conservative - and bourgeois in the best sense of the word”. She stands for a promise “to be able to contribute and advance in Germany, for social integration and self-determination, for family orientation and the support of human bonds”. This reports the German Catholic news website Katholisch.de.


The chairman of the expert commission “Foundation of Values and Fundamentals of the CDU”, the Mainz historian Andreas Rödder, emphasized that for the first time, the “bourgeois” would take a prominent place in the basic program. This would bring together civil society and the Christian image of man.

Bourgeois politics combine “individualism and a commitment to the common good, cosmopolitanism and a sense of homeland,” according to the charter. According to Rödder, the CDU stands for “Christian, bourgeois and cosmopolitan, for the European way of life and the active self-assertion of Western democracy”. This reports the local news website Domradio.

In an analysis in the German magazine Cicero, Volker Resing writes that the document does not seem to create a front on the party’s right flank, but on the other side. “The CDU takes the SPD and especially the Greens as a target”.



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