Christian Democratic Union (Germany)

Christian Democratic Union (Germany)

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The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 and conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 political party in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. It is regarded as on the centre-right
Centre-right
The centre-right or center-right is a political term commonly used to describe or denote individuals, political parties, or organizations whose views stretch from the centre to the right on the left-right spectrum, excluding far right stances. Centre-right can also describe a coalition of centrist...

 of the German political spectrum. Along with its Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n sister party, the Christian Social Union of Bavaria
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

, the CDU forms the CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU, unofficially also referred to as the Union parties or the Union, is the name of the Bundestag parliamentary faction comprising the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria , considered to be sister parties...

 grouping, also known as the Union, in the Bundestag
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

.

The leader of the party, Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

, is the current Chancellor of Germany
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

. The CDU is a member of the European People's Party
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.The EPP is the most influential of...

 (EPP), and sits in the EPP Group in the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

. Internationally, the CDU is a member of the Centrist Democrat International
Centrist Democrat International
The Centrist Democrat International was until 2001 the Christian Democrat International and before that the Christian Democrat and People's Parties International...

 and the International Democrat Union
International Democrat Union
The International Democrat Union, abbreviated to IDU, is a centre-right international alliance of conservative and liberal-conservative political parties. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the IDU comprises 45 full or associate members...

. The CDU is the largest political party in Germany, followed by the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

.

Party platform


The CDU is Christian-based, applying the principles of Christian democracy
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 and emphasising the "Christian understanding of humans and their responsibility toward God." CDU membership consists however of people adhering to a variety of religions as well as non-religious individuals. The CDU's policies derive from Political Catholicism
Political Catholicism
Political catholicism is a political and cultural conception which promotes the ideas and social teaching of the Catholic Church in public life...

, Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth, economics, social organization and the role of the state...

 and political Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, as well as fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance...

 and national conservatism
National conservatism
National conservatism is a political term used primarily in Europe to describe a variant of conservatism which concentrates more on national interests than standard conservatism as well as upholding cultural and ethnic identity, while not being outspokenly nationalist or supporting a far-right...

. The CDU was the first proponent of the social market economy
Social market economy
The social market economy is the main economic model used in West Germany after World War II. It is based on the economic philosophy of Ordoliberalism from the Freiburg School...

, although the party has adopted more liberal economics
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

 policies since Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

's term in office as the Chancellor of Germany (1982–1998). In terms of foreign policy, the CDU commits itself to European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

 and a strong relation with the USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and opposes the entry of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 into the EU, preferring instead a privileged partnership with Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. In addition to citing various human rights violations, the CDU also believes that Turkey's unwillingness to recognise Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 as an independent, sovereign state contradicts the EU policy that its members must recognise the existence of one another. Domestically, the CDU emphasises curtailing red tape
Red tape
Red tape is excessive regulation or rigid conformity to formal rules that is considered redundant or bureaucratic and hinders or prevents action or decision-making...

 and the preservation of cultural traditions.

Opponents of the CDU are the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 (SPD), the democratic socialist
Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation...

 The Left
The Left (Germany)
The Left , also commonly referred to as the Left Party , is a democratic socialist political party in Germany. The Left is the most left-wing party of the five represented in the Bundestag....

 party and Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens is a green political party in Germany, formed from the merger of the German Green Party and Alliance 90 in 1993. Its leaders are Claudia Roth and Cem Özdemir...

. The CDU has however governed in two Grand Coalition
Grand Coalition (Germany)
In modern Germany, grand coalition describes a governing coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats, as they are the two largest parties.-Weimar Republic:...

s with the SPD as well as in various coalitions with the Alliance '90/The Greens. The CDU rejects coalitions with The Left and extremist right-wing parties.

The Free Democratic Party
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

 (FDP), a conservative-liberal
Conservative liberalism
Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or, more simply, representing the right-wing of the liberal movement....

 party, is the preferred partner of any CDU government since the CDU and FDP have similar attitudes towards fiscal policy
Fiscal policy
In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government expenditure and revenue collection to influence the economy....

. As a conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 party, the CDU supports stronger punishments of crimes and supports involvement on the part of the Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 in cases of domestic anti-terrorism
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terrorism is the practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and corporations adopt to prevent or in response to terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed.The tactic of terrorism is available to insurgents and governments...

 offensives as well as in natural catastrophes. In terms of immigrants, the CDU supports initiatives to integrate immigrants through language courses, and aims to further control immigration. Dual citizenship
Multiple citizenship
Multiple citizenship is a status in which a person is concurrently regarded as a citizen under the laws of more than one state. Multiple citizenships exist because different countries use different, and not necessarily mutually exclusive, citizenship requirements...

 should only be allowed in exceptional cases.

History


Immediately following the collapse of the Nazi dictatorship
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

 at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the need for a new political order in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 was imminent. Simultaneous yet unrelated meetings began occurring throughout Germany, each with the intention of planning a “Christian-democratic party.” The “Christlich-Demokratische Union” was established in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 on 26 June 1945, and in Rheinland and Westfalen in September of the same year.

The founding members of the CDU consisted primarily of former members of the Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

, German Democratic Party, German National People’s Party, and German People’s Party. Many of these individuals, including CDU-Berlin founder Andreas Hermes
Andreas Hermes
Andreas Hermes was a German Christian Democratic Union politician, agricultural scientist, Finance Minister of the Weimar Republic, and a member of the resistance to Nazism.- Life :...

 and future chancellor of Germany Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

, were imprisoned for the involvement in the German Resistance
German Resistance
The German resistance was the opposition by individuals and groups in Germany to Adolf Hitler or the National Socialist regime between 1933 and 1945. Some of these engaged in active plans to remove Adolf Hitler from power and overthrow his regime...

 during the Nazi dictatorship.

One of the lessons learned from the failure of the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 was that disunity among the democratic parties ultimately allowed for the rise of the Nazi Party. It was therefore crucial to create a unified party of Christian Democrats – a Christian Democratic ‘’Union’’. The result of these meetings was the establishment of an interconfessional (Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 and Protestant alike) party influenced heavily by the political tradition of liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism
Liberal conservatism also known as progressive conservatism is a variant of political conservatism which incorporates liberal elements. As "conservatism" and "liberalism" have had different meanings over time and across countries, the term "liberal conservatism" has been used in quite different...

. The CDU experienced considerable success gaining support from the time of its creation in Berlin on 26 June 1945 until its first convention
Political convention
In politics, a political convention is a meeting of a political party, typically to select party candidates.In the United States, a political convention usually refers to a presidential nominating convention, but it can also refer to state, county, or congressional district nominating conventions...

 on 21 October 1950, at which Chancellor Adenauer was named the first Chairman of the party.

The CDU was the dominant party for the first two decades following the establishment of West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 in 1949. Konrad Adenauer remained the party’s leader until 1963, at which point former minister of economics Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1963 until 1966. He is notable for his leading role in German postwar economic reform and economic recovery , particularly in his role as Minister of Economics under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer...

 replaced him. As the Free Democratic Party
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

 (FDP) withdrew from the governing coalition in 1966 due to disagreements over fiscal and economic policy, Erhard was forced to resign. Consequently, a grand coalition
Grand coalition
A grand coalition is an arrangement in a multi-party parliamentary system in which the two largest political parties of opposing political ideologies unite in a coalition government...

 with the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

 (SPD) took over government under CDU Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1 December 1966 until 21 October 1969.-Early career and wartime activities:...

.

The SPD quickly gained popularity and succeeded in forming a social-liberal coalition
Social-liberal coalition
Social-liberal coalition in Germany refers to a governmental coalition formed by the Social Democratic Party and the Free Democratic Party .The term stems from social democracy of the SPD and the liberalism of the FDP...

 with the FDP following the 1969 federal election
German federal election, 1969
The 6th German federal election, 1969, was conducted on 28 September 1969, to elect members to the Bundestag of West Germany.-Issues and Campaign:...

, forcing the CDU out of power for the first time in their history. The CDU continued its role as opposition
Opposition (politics)
In politics, the opposition comprises one or more political parties or other organized groups that are opposed to the government , party or group in political control of a city, region, state or country...

 until 1982, when the FDP’s withdrawal from the coalition with the SPD allowed the CDU to regain power. CDU Chairman Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

 became the new Chancellor of West Germany and his CDU-FDP coalition was confirmed in the 1983 federal election
German federal election, 1983
The tenth German federal election was conducted on March 6, 1983, to elect members to the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany.-Issues and campaign:...

. Public support for the coalition’s work in the process of German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 was reiterated in the 1990 federal election
German federal election, 1990
The 12th German federal election, 1990 was conducted on December 2, 1990, to elect members to the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany...

, in which the CDU-FDP governing coalition experienced a clear victory.
After the collapse
Die Wende
marks the complete process of the change from socialism and planned economy to market economy and capitalism in East Germany around the years 1989 and 1990. It encompasses several processes and events which later have become synonymous with the overall process...

 of the East German government in 1989, Kohl – supported by the governments of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 – called for German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

. On 3 October 1990, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was abolished and its territory re-annexed by West Germany. The East German CDU
Christian Democratic Union (East Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany ) was an East German political party founded in 1945. It was part of the National Front with the Socialist Unity Party of Germany until 1989....

 merged with its West German counterpart, and elections were held for the reunified country. Although Kohl was re-elected, the party began losing much of its popularity because of an economic recession in the former GDR and increased taxes in the west. The CDU was, however, able to win the 1994 federal election
German federal election, 1994
The 13th German federal election, 1994 was conducted on October 16, 1994, to elect members to the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany.-Issues and Campaign:The SPD let its members elect a candidate for Chancellor against Helmut Kohl...

 by a narrow margin due to an economic recovery.

Helmut Kohl served as chairman until the party's electoral defeat in 1998, when he was succeeded by Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as the Federal Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

; Schäuble resigned in early 2000 as a result of a party financing scandal
1999 CDU contributions scandal
In late 1999, it was discovered that the German Christian Democratic Union political party had accepted illegal donations while under the control of Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the 1990s...

 and was replaced by Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

, who remains the leader of the CDU to this day. In the 1998 federal election
German federal election, 1998
A German federal election was conducted on September 27, 1998, to elect members to the 14th Bundestag, the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany.- Issues and campaign :...

, the CDU polled 28.4% and the CSU 6.7% of the national vote, which was the lowest result for CDU/CSU since 1949. Thus, a Red-Green coalition
Red-green alliance
In politics, a red-green alliance is an alliance of "red" social-democratic or democratic socialist parties with "green" environmentalist parties. The alliance is often based on common left political views, especially a shared distrust of corporate or capitalist institutions...

 under the leadership of Gerhard Schröder took power until 2005. In 2002, the CDU and CSU polled slightly higher – 29.5% and 9.0%, respectively – but still lacked the majority needed for a CDU-FDP coalition government.

In 2005 early elections were called after the CDU dealt the governing SPD a major blow, winning more than ten state elections, most of which were landslide victories. The resulting grand coalition
Grand coalition
A grand coalition is an arrangement in a multi-party parliamentary system in which the two largest political parties of opposing political ideologies unite in a coalition government...

 between the CDU/CSU and the SDP faced a serious challenge stemming from both parties’ demand for the chancellorship. After three weeks of negotiations, however, the two parties reached a deal whereby CDU received the chancellorship while the SPD retained 8 of the 16 seats in the cabinet and a majority of the most prestigious cabinet posts. The coalition deal was approved by both parties at party conferences on November 14. Merkel was confirmed as the first female Chancellor of Germany by the majority of delegates (397 to 217) in the newly assembled Bundestag on 22 November.

Although the CDU/CSU lost support in the 2009 federal elections, the FDP experienced the best election cycle in their history, thereby enabling a CDU/CSU-FDP coalition. This marked the first change of coalition partner by a Chancellor in German history.

Members


A May 2011 study by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Konrad Adenauer Foundation
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is a German political party foundation associated with the centre-right Christian Democratic Union . The foundation's headquarters are located in Saint Augustine and Berlin. Globally, the KAS has 78 offices and runs programs in over 100 countries...

 concluded that the CDU currently has 499,646 members. Of those nearly half-million members, 25.4 % of members are female and 74.6 % male. Female participation is higher in the former East German states with 29.2 % compared to 24.8% in the former West German
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 states.

Before 1966, membership totals in CDU organisation were only estimated. The numbers after 1966 are based on the total from 31 December of the previous year.

Data about state party group



State group Chairman Members
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

Thomas Strobl 74.669
Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

Frank Henkel 12.568
Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

Saskia Ludwig 6.797
Bremen
Bremen (state)
The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is the smallest of Germany's 16 states. A more informal name, but used in some official contexts, is Land Bremen .-Geography:...

Thomas Röwekamp 3.246
Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

Marcus Weinberg 9.697
Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

Volker Bouffier
Volker Bouffier
Volker Bouffier is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union. Since August 31, 2010, he is the Minister-president of the German state of Hesse. Additionally, he has been the chairman of Hesse's CDU since July 2010. From 1999 to 2010, he was minister of interior and sports in the state...

47.789
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Lorenz Caffier
Lorenz Caffier
Lorenz Caffier is the chairman and leader of the Christian Democratic Union in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.-Personal life:...

6.038
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the sixteen states of Germany...

David McAllister
David McAllister
David Graeme McAllister AM is the Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet and a former Principal Dancer with the company.-Biography:...

72.813
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

Norbert Röttgen 165.273
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

Julia Klöckner 49.856
Saarland
Saarland
Saarland is one of the sixteen states of Germany. The capital is Saarbrücken. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1,045,000 inhabitants. In both area and population, it is the smallest state in Germany other than the city-states...

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is a German politician of the CDU. Since 10 August 2011, she is the current Minister-President of the Saarland, succeeding Peter Müller. In 1998, she was a member of the Bundestag, the German federal parliament.- Weblinks :...

20.651
Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

Stanislaw Tillich
Stanislaw Tillich
Stanislaw Tillich is a German CDU politician. He is the Minister-President of the Free State of Saxony...

13.148
Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt
Saxony-Anhalt is a landlocked state of Germany. Its capital is Magdeburg and it is surrounded by the German states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia.Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of...

Thomas Webel 8.410
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

Jost de Jager 26.674
Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

Christine Lieberknecht
Christine Lieberknecht
Christine Lieberknecht is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union . She currently serves as minister-president of the state of Thuringia since 2009, and as chairwoman of the CDU state party in Thuringia....

12.035

Party strongholds


The traditional strongholds of the party are concentrated in rural and Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 regions such as the Eifel
Eifel
The Eifel is a low mountain range in western Germany and eastern Belgium. It occupies parts of southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, northwestern Rhineland-Palatinate and the south of the German-speaking Community of Belgium....

, Münsterland, Sauerland
Sauerland
The Sauerland is a rural, hilly area spreading across most of the south-eastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, in parts heavily forested and, apart from the major valleys, sparsely inhabited...

, Fulda
Fulda (district)
Fulda is a Kreis in the north-east of Hesse, Germany. Neighboring districts are Hersfeld-Rotenburg, Wartburgkreis, Schmalkalden-Meiningen, Rhön-Grabfeld, Bad Kissingen, Main-Kinzig, Vogelsbergkreis.-History:...

 district, Emsland
Emsland
Landkreis Emsland is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany named after the river Ems. It is bounded by the districts of Leer, Cloppenburg and Osnabrück, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia , the district of Bentheim and the Netherlands .- History :For a long time the region of the Emsland was...

, Oldenburger Münsterland
Oldenburger Münsterland
The Oldenburg Münsterland is the southern, predominantly Catholic portion of the former Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, now a part of Lower Saxony in Germany. Before 1803, it was part of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster . It comprises the modern day counties of Cloppenburg and Vechta, an area with over...

, the Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

 Eichsfeld
Eichsfeld
The Eichsfeld is a historical region in the southeast of Lower Saxony and northwest of Thuringia in the south of the Harz mountains...

 as well as areas in Nordfriesland
Nordfriesland
Nordfriesland, English "Northern Friesland" or "North Frisia", is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It includes almost all of traditional North Frisia along with adjacent areas to the east and south and is bounded by the districts of Schleswig-Flensburg and Dithmarschen, the North Sea and...

, Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

, Schwaben
Swabia
Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany.-Geography:Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined...

, Vorpommern, Taunus
Taunus
The Taunus is a low mountain range in Hesse, Germany that composes part of the Rhenish Slate Mountains. It is bounded by the river valleys of Rhine, Main and Lahn. On the opposite side of the Rhine, the mountains are continued by the Hunsrück...

, and smaller cities such as Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...

, Konstanz
Konstanz
Konstanz is a university city with approximately 80,000 inhabitants located at the western end of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of Germany, bordering Switzerland. The city houses the University of Konstanz.-Location:...

, and Pforzheim
Pforzheim
Pforzheim is a town of nearly 119,000 inhabitants in the state of Baden-Württemberg, southwest Germany at the gate to the Black Forest. It is world-famous for its jewelry and watch-making industry. Until 1565 it was the home to the Margraves of Baden. Because of that it gained the nickname...

. There is less support in Bremen
Bremen (state)
The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is the smallest of Germany's 16 states. A more informal name, but used in some official contexts, is Land Bremen .-Geography:...

, Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

, and East Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

.

Relationship with the CSU



Both the CDU and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) originated after World War II, sharing a concern for the Christian worldview. In the Federal Parliament (Bundestag), the CDU is represented in a common faction with the CSU. This faction is called CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU
CDU/CSU, unofficially also referred to as the Union parties or the Union, is the name of the Bundestag parliamentary faction comprising the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria , considered to be sister parties...

 or, informally, "the Union;" its basis is a binding agreement known as a Fraktionsvertrag between the two parties.

The CDU and CSU share a common youth organisation: Junge Union
Junge Union
The Junge Union Deutschlands or JU is the jointyouth organisation of the two conservative German political parties CDU and CSU...

.

On issues of federal policies the CDU and CSU don't differ, but they remain legally and organisationally separate parties. The social differences between the CDU and the somewhat more socially conservative
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

 CSU have sometimes been a source of conflict in the past. The most notable and serious such incident was in 1976, when the CSU under Franz Josef Strauß
Franz Josef Strauß
Franz Josef Strauss was a German politician. He was the leader of the Christian Social Union, member of the federal cabinet in different positions and long-time minister-president of the state of Bavaria....

 ended the alliance with the CDU at a party conference in Wildbad Kreuth. This decision was reversed shortly thereafter when the CDU threatened to run candidates against the CSU in Bavaria.

The relationship of CDU to the CSU has historic parallels to previous Christian democratic
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 parties in Germany, with the Catholic Centre Party
Centre Party (Germany)
The German Centre Party was a Catholic political party in Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. Formed in 1870, it battled the Kulturkampf which the Prussian government launched to reduce the power of the Catholic Church...

 having served as a national Catholic party throughout the Kaiserreich
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

and the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
The Weimar Republic is the name given by historians to the parliamentary republic established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government...

 with the Bavarian People's Party
Bavarian People's Party
The Bavarian People's Party was the Bavarian branch of the Centre Party, which broke off from the rest of the party in 1919 to pursue a more conservative, more Catholic, more Bavarian particularist course...

 functioning as the Bavarian variant.

Konrad Adenauer Foundation



The Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Konrad Adenauer Foundation
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is a German political party foundation associated with the centre-right Christian Democratic Union . The foundation's headquarters are located in Saint Augustine and Berlin. Globally, the KAS has 78 offices and runs programs in over 100 countries...

 is the think-tank of the CDU. It is named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and first president of the CDU. The foundation offers political education, conducts scientific fact-finding research for political projects, grants scholarships to gifted individuals, researches the history of Christian democracy
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

, and supports and encourages European unification
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

, international understanding, and development-policy cooperation. Its annual budget amounts to around 120 million Euro.

Special organizations


Notable suborganisations of the CDU are:
  • Junge Union
    Junge Union
    The Junge Union Deutschlands or JU is the jointyouth organisation of the two conservative German political parties CDU and CSU...

     (JU), the common youth organisation of the CDU and the CSU
  • Christian Democratic Employees' Association
    Christian Democratic Employees' Association
    The Christian Democratic Employees' Association is an association connected with the Christian Democratic Union with the substantive focus on "social policy"...

     (CDA), a traditionally leftist association representing Christian Democratic wage-earners
  • Evangelical Working Group of the CDU/CSU
    Evangelical Working Group of the CDU/CSU
    The Evangelical Working Group of the CDU/CSU is a specialized agency of the CDU and CSU. It represents the Protestant members of the party and facilitates dialogue with the Protestant churches within Germany....

     (EAK, together with the CSU), representing the Protestant minority in the party
  • Association of Christian Democratic Students
    Association of Christian Democratic Students
    The Association of Christian Democratic Students is a German student organisation founded in 1951.The organisation stands politically near the Christian Democratic Union, a conservative German political party.- Famous chairman :...

     (RCDS), the student organisation of the party

Chairmen/Chairwomen of the CDU, 1950-present

ChairpersonPeriod
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

1950-1966
Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1963 until 1966. He is notable for his leading role in German postwar economic reform and economic recovery , particularly in his role as Minister of Economics under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer...

1966-1967
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1 December 1966 until 21 October 1969.-Early career and wartime activities:...

1967-1971
Rainer Barzel
Rainer Barzel
Rainer Candidus Barzel was a German politician of the CDU.Born in Braunsberg, East Prussia , Barzel served as Chairman of the CDU from 1971 and 1973 and ran as the CDU's candidate for Chancellor of Germany in the 1972 federal elections, losing to Willy Brandt's SPD.The 1972 election is commonly...

1971-1973
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

1973-1998
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as the Federal Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

1998-2000
Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

2000-Present

Parliamentary chairmen/chairwomen of the CDU/CSU group in the national parliament

Chairperson of the CDU/CSU groupPeriod
Heinrich von Brentano di Tremezzo 1949–1955
Heinrich Krone
Heinrich Krone
Heinrich Krone was a German Christian-Democratic politician.Shortly after beginning his Theology study in 1914, Krone was drafted into service in World War I. After the war Krone continued his study, joining the Catholic Center Party in 1923...

1955–1961
Heinrich von Brentano di Tremezzo 1961–1964
Rainer Barzel
Rainer Barzel
Rainer Candidus Barzel was a German politician of the CDU.Born in Braunsberg, East Prussia , Barzel served as Chairman of the CDU from 1971 and 1973 and ran as the CDU's candidate for Chancellor of Germany in the 1972 federal elections, losing to Willy Brandt's SPD.The 1972 election is commonly...

1964–1973
Karl Carstens
Karl Carstens
Karl Carstens was a German politician. He served as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1979 to 1984.-Biography:...

1973–1976
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

1976–1982
Alfred Dregger
Alfred Dregger
Alfred Dregger was a German politician and a leader of the Christian Democratic Union .Dregger was born in Münster. After graduating from a school in Werl, he entered the German Wehrmacht in 1939...

1982–1991
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble
Wolfgang Schäuble is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union , currently serving as the Federal Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet Merkel....

1991–2000
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz is a German politician, former chairman of the major centre-right party CDU and currently a member of the German parliament, the Bundestag...

2000–2002
Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

2002–2005
Volker Kauder
Volker Kauder
Volker Kauder is a German CDU politician. Since 21 November 2005 he has been Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag after a short term as Secretary General of the CDU. He has been a member of parliament since 1990.-External links:...

2005-Present

German Chancellors from CDU

Chancellor of Germany
Chancellor of Germany
The Chancellor of Germany is, under the German 1949 constitution, the head of government of Germany...

Time in office
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Adenauer
Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman. He was the chancellor of the West Germany from 1949 to 1963. He is widely recognised as a person who led his country from the ruins of World War II to a powerful and prosperous nation that had forged close relations with old enemies France,...

1949–1963
Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Erhard
Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1963 until 1966. He is notable for his leading role in German postwar economic reform and economic recovery , particularly in his role as Minister of Economics under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer...

1963–1966
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician affiliated with the CDU and Chancellor of West Germany from 1 December 1966 until 21 October 1969.-Early career and wartime activities:...

1966–1969
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

1982–1998
Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

2005-Present

See also

  • Christian democracy
    Christian Democracy
    Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

  • Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU)
  • Christian Democratic Union (East Germany)
    Christian Democratic Union (East Germany)
    The Christian Democratic Union of Germany ) was an East German political party founded in 1945. It was part of the National Front with the Socialist Unity Party of Germany until 1989....

  • Party finance in Germany
    Party finance in Germany
    Party finance in Germany became an issue of political discourse, when in 1949 the concept of transparency was discussed in the constitional convention in connection with a new article to be entered into the constitution...

  • Politics of Germany
    Politics of Germany
    The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, based on representative democracy. The Chancellor is the head of government, while the President of Germany is the head of state, which is a ceremonial role but with substantial reserve powers.Executive power is vested in the...

  • List of political parties in Germany
  • Bundestag
    Bundestag
    The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

    (Federal Assembly of Germany)
  • Christian Democratic Parties
    Christian Democratic Party
    Christian democratic parties are those political parties that seek to apply Christian principles to public policy. The underlying Christian democracy movement emerged in 19th-century Europe, largely under the influence of Catholic social teaching, and it continues to be influential in Europe and...


Further reading

  • Hans-Otto Kleinmann Geschichte der CDU: 1945–1982. Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-421-06541-1

External links