Federal Executive: CDU wants to sharpen profile in business and climate protection

Federal Board
CDU wants to sharpen profile in business and climate protection

The Federal Executive of the CDU meets for a retreat in Weimar.  Photo: Martin Schutt/dpa

The Federal Executive of the CDU meets for a retreat in Weimar. photo

© Martin Schutt/dpa

After going into opposition, the CDU is working on a new lineup – also in terms of content and not just for the acute crises. At the start of the year, the party leadership is concerned with climate protection.

the CDU wants to sharpen its profile after the loss of power in the federal government and reposition itself on central issues such as the economy and climate protection. “I want the CDU to regain its economic policy competence,” said party leader Friedrich Merz before a federal executive board meeting on Friday in Weimar on ZDF.

“But I also want us to do business, energy and climate no longer describe and view them as separate topics, but as a unit.” The two-day deliberations of the CDU leadership also focus on the 2023 state elections, starting with the repetition of the parliamentary elections in Berlin in February.

Secretary General Mario Czaja said at the start of the conference in Weimar that the aim was not to regulate climate and economic policy through bans, but through innovation, progress and entrepreneurial spirit. The board should decide on a statement at the retreat aimed at incentives and new technologies to do more climate protection and to bring together a renewal of the industry. “Without climate protection, our economy cannot remain competitive, but without a competitive economy there can be no sustainable climate protection either,” says a draft available to the German Press Agency.

The party leadership dismissed considerations of a possible new construction of nuclear power plants. Czaja said to a question afterwards: “The exit from the exit does not exist.” The CDU is of the opinion that the existing nuclear power plants should remain in place until 2024 to secure the electricity demand. The point is to conduct research in all areas that are open to technology, including nuclear fusion and nuclear energy. The construction of new nuclear power plants is “not a signal, and that’s not the idea of ​​our program either.” The draft called for “an unprejudiced examination of the construction of new nuclear power plants”.

“The CDU is a climate protection party”

The draft also says: “The CDU is a climate protection party.” Climate neutrality cannot be achieved by avoiding CO2 emissions alone. Emissions would have to be “avoided, but also separated, stored and used”. In concrete terms, the “shackles of bureaucracy” should be broken and regulations, obligations to provide evidence and bans reduced. Germany have all the potential to become a real “hydrogen country”, for which supply chains and networks are needed. A new raw materials strategy is needed that reduces dependencies. Other energy sources such as “domestic gas deposits” should also be used.

Merz basically emphasized on ZDF: “I want to bring the CDU up to date again on factual issues.” The party had “fallen behind on many issues, and this includes the issue of climate, but also energy and the economy”. The Greens, as the “main competitor” of the Union, have very different ideas when it comes to climate policy.

Thuringia’s CDU leader Mario Voigt accused the federal traffic light government of not having an eye on the needs of people in the East. He therefore has the expectation that the CDU will set clear accents at the retreat in Weimar on the topics of affordable energy, strengthening the economy and relieving the burden on citizens. “The East is often a seismograph for political developments in Germany.” The people there have lower wages and pensions and therefore greater concerns when it comes to energy and inflation. “As the CDU, we have to be on the move with a clear agenda and continue to speak plainly.”

Merz defends his statements on New Year’s Eve riots

Merz defended his own statements in the debate about integration problems in view of the riots on New Year’s Eve in Berlin. Teachers in particular have problems being recognized by many students, he said on ZDF. “These are often students from immigrant families. And we have to discuss these issues.” Merz had pointed out in the ZDF program “Markus Lanz” that fathers forbid teachers to “correct their sons, the little pashas, ​​for something”.

The CDU leader made it clear that the Union wants to expand its leading position in surveys. According to the ZDF “Politbarometer”, the CDU and CSU currently have 27 percent. This size is a good starting point. “But we have to work on that. We want to get even better there.” 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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