Board meeting: CDU wants to bring climate protection and a stronger economy together

board retreat
CDU wants to bring climate protection and a stronger economy together

Friedrich Merz consulted with the CDU board in Weimar.  Photo: Martin Schutt/dpa

Friedrich Merz consulted with the CDU board in Weimar. photo

© Martin Schutt/dpa

At the start of the year, the CDU marked its positions on energy and climate protection. Further updates to the content are to follow. But self-set hot topics distract attention a little.

the CDU campaigns for incentives and new technologies to bring together more climate protection and a renewal of industry in Germany. “We want the issue of economy, energy and climate to be understood as a holistic, as a unified issue,” said party leader Friedrich Merz on Saturday after a CDU board meeting in Weimar.

The governing body decided on a statement with several proposals. Merz made it clear that building new nuclear power plants is not part of it. After the loss of power in the federal government, the CDU wants to reposition itself on several issues in 2023.

Merz emphasized: “We want and must remain an industrial country.” Problems can be overcome primarily with market-based instruments, not always with more regulation. The “Weimar Declaration” states: “Without climate protection Our economy cannot remain competitive, but without a competitive economy there can be no sustainable climate protection.” Climate neutrality cannot be achieved by avoiding CO2 emissions alone, they also have to be stored and used. Merz campaigned for a “CO2 circular economy “Similar to waste recycling.

New construction of nuclear power plants?

The relaunch of the energy course did not go entirely smoothly. Merz said he specifically asked for an intensive discussion to take place. “And so have we.” A half-sentence in a draft of the declaration, which also called “an unprejudiced examination of the construction of new nuclear power plants of the most modern generation”, caused irritation at times. Merz also expressly made it clear: “We are not in favor of building new nuclear power plants.” In the adopted statement, the CDU advocates “the continuation of research and development of next-generation nuclear energy”.

The content of the start of the year for the CDU was also somewhat overshadowed by the hot topic of migration – and this was fueled by the CDU itself. After the New Year’s Eve riots in the capital, the campaigning Berlin Union caused a stir with a catalog of questions in which they also asked for the first names of suspects with German nationality . Merz himself then brought the formula of “little pashas” into the debate about integration problems in schools.

The party is discussing the balance of the migration course and the tone of voice, and critical internal comments were also heard in Weimar. Merz spoke of “two or three requests to speak” and that there was “no discussion at all on the subject”. There was a will that he absolutely shares, that some have been in for decades Germany living people are not to be treated in the same way as those “who cannot and do not want to behave”. That is exactly what he said himself. “So the Turkish baker on Sonnenallee in Berlin is just as affected by these riots as everyone else.”

The basic program is to be revised

In general, after the loss of power in the federal government, the CDU also wants to “bring up to date” on other issues, as Merz calls it. This year, preparations for a new basic program are to progress, which are to be decided in 2024. The current one is from 2007. One focus was now on economic policy, in which the CDU sees its competence dwindling. However, repositioning should also be about social issues such as pensions. Opinions from the base are to be obtained by means of a questionnaire sent to all members in March. Secretary General Mario Czaja is planning four regional conferences that will lead to a federal convention on June 16 and 17 in Berlin should lead.

For Merz, who has been party leader for a year at the end of January, 2023 will also bring mood tests in three state elections: After the repetition of the parliamentary elections in Berlin on February 12, also in Bremen and Hesse, where the new Prime Minister Boris Rhein wants to defend a CDU stronghold. Merz likes to refer to federal surveys in which the Union leads and clearly distances itself from the SPD Chancellor’s Party. The CDU and CSU currently come to 27 percent in the ZDF “Politbarometer”, which, according to Merz, can still be expanded. In the 2021 federal election, the CDU fell into the opposition with the worst Union result of 24.1 percent after 16 years as Chancellor of Angela Merkel (CDU).


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