BürgerUnion for South Tyrol

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BürgerUnion for South Tyrol
Logo BürgerUnion.png
Party chairman Andreas Poeder
Vice Party Chairman Dietmar Zwerger
Vice Party Leader Josefa Brugger
Secretary General Stefan Taber
Group leader Andreas Poeder
founding Fall 1989
Headquarters Bolzano
Landtag mandates
Chamber of Deputies
European parliamentarians
Alignment National conservatism
colour orange
Website civic union.st

The BürgerUnion für Südtirol ( Union for South Tyrol , UfS until May 2011 ) is a South Tyrolean party .


The Union for South Tyrol came into being in the autumn of 1989, when Alfons Benedikter , the long-time regional councilor and SVP functionary, resigned from the SVP in protest against his election as regional councilor and met with the two members of the regional parliament of the FPS Gerold Meraner and the South Tyrolean Heimatbund Eva Klotz and the movement for Federalism amalgamated. The party's official presentation took place on October 2, 1989.

The factual (albeit not statutory) turning away from the idea of self-determination by the SVP was cited as the reason for founding this party . At the time, the party saw itself as a political collective movement that offered the South Tyroleans as an alternative to the moderate autonomy policy of the SVP.

In September 1991 there was a generation change at the top of the Union for South Tyrol. Alfons Benedikter resigned as party chairman. In his place, the young Bolzano lawyer Martin Wenter was elected as the new party chairman. Karl Augsten then took over the chairmanship, but later gave it up and a five-person board was set up through the reform of the statutes.

In 1993 the UfS took part in the state elections for the first time and immediately achieved 14,777 votes and thus two mandates: Alfons Benedikter and Eva Klotz (Gerold Meraner had no longer stood for election).

In autumn 1994 the former parliamentary group secretary of the Union for South Tyrol, Andreas Pöder, was appointed state secretary and prepared the restructuring of the party. The chairman Karl Augsten resigned and was replaced by a five-person board.

In the municipal council elections in spring 1995, the Union for South Tyrol won 50 council seats in 40 municipalities. The UfS took part in the parliamentary elections in 1996 in order to “offer the South Tyroleans an alternative to the SVP's policies loyal to Rome”.

The Union for South Tyrol was able to inflict a serious defeat on the SVP in these elections. The top candidate of the UfS Eva Klotz received 49,760 votes, i.e. 19%.

In the state elections of 1998, the UfS was able to improve the result of 1993 by 2,000 votes and again achieved two seats, but now with Eva Klotz as the second member of parliament, Andreas Pöder, which was repeated in the state elections in 2003. However, in the state elections in 2003, the UfS was the first German-Ladin opposition party in South Tyrol to achieve more than 20,000 votes and missed the third mandate by only 150 votes.

In the local council elections in 2005, the party was able to improve its position and increase its seats from 34 to 67. Thus, it was able to confirm and expand its position as the second strongest force (behind the SVP ) at community level.

After eight members of the right-wing extremist group Südtiroler Kameradschaftsring were arrested in January 2006, Andreas Pöder and four other members of the Union for South Tyrol were also investigated for possible support of the group. The South Tyrolean local newspaper “ Neue Südtiroler Tageszeitung ” published a recording of a telephone conversation between Andreas Pöder and the leader of the group. In this conversation Pöder described the former President of the Central Council of Jews Michel Friedman as an “asshole” and a lecture by the right-wing radical group as “awesome”. Andreas Pöder justified the contacts with the radical right-wing comradeship ring as an attempt to "educate" this group.

After Andreas Pöder did not want to give up his party chairmanship in the wake of the Südtiroler Kameradschaftsring affair , the party split at a state assembly in May 2007. Eva Klotz and her family as well as half of their supporters left the Union and founded the new South Tyrolean Freedom Movement . After this split, some municipal councils of the Union also switched to South Tyrolean Freedom. A month later, the Union elected a new party leadership at a state assembly with results of over 90 percent.

In the subsequent state election in South Tyrol on October 26, 2008, the Union for South Tyrol only achieved a share of the vote of 2.3% and thus fell to a historic low. She received a remaining mandate, which Andreas Pöder took.

After the party increasingly set its priorities in family policy and in the social area, the end of 2011 at the state party congress decided to rename it to BürgerUnion (the full name of the party is BürgerUnion for South Tyrol , but generally only BürgerUnion is used). The re-elected party chairman Andreas Pöder and the newly elected state management presented the renewed party to the public in January 2012. Reference was made to the party's predominantly social and family policy orientation.

The central political demand of the BürgerUnion remained the separation of South Tyrol from Rome. She also advocated the establishment of a Free European Region Tyrol together with North and East Tyrol. The party rejected the formation of a Free State of South Tyrol and the return of South Tyrol to Austria as unrealistic. To pursue this goal, the “European Region Tyrol Working Group” was set up in the BürgerUnion and Dietmar Zwerger was elected its spokesman.

In the run-up to the state elections in October 2013, the Citizens Union entered into a list alliance with the Ladin party “ Ladins Dolomites ”. A short time later, the “ We South Tyroleans ” party also joined the alliance. In the state elections, the "BürgerUnion-Ladins Dolomites-Wir Südtiroler" alliance was able to unite 2.1% of the votes straight away, despite a very short preparation phase. Andreas Pöder was elected to the state parliament with 3,045 preferential votes for the list alliance. Due to differences in content, especially in national politics, but also due to the election recommendation of the Citizens Union to vote for the Northern League in the European elections, the Citizens Union-Ladins Dolomites-Wir Südtiroler alliance broke up in March 2014.

In January 2018 Andreas Pöder was confirmed as party chairman, and Josefa Brugger and Dietmar Zwerger were elected as his two deputies. Stefan Taber was entrusted with the function of Secretary General. In the state elections of the same year , the Citizens Union only received 1.3% of the vote, which meant that the party lost its only state parliament mandate.

After the election debacle in 2018, the citizens' union has barely shown itself politically, and in the 2020 municipal council elections the list will no longer appear anywhere in South Tyrol. The 3 existing municipal councils of the Union are running on lists of the Freedom Party , with the General Secretary of the Citizens' Union running for South Tyrolean Freedom in Lana . This seals the final end of the citizens' union.


The BürgerUnion für Südtirol can be assigned to the right-wing populist spectrum and sees itself as a "party of the common man", the fight against "nepotism" and "clientelism" in South Tyrolean politics is called for.

A central component of the party program is the demand for the right of self-determination of South Tyroleans - a reunification of South Tyrol with North and East Tyrol is called for. At the same time, the party is pursuing the goal of suppressing the influence of Italianization in South Tyrol - for example, it demands that the Italian place names and field names invented by Ettore Tolomei and still used today be abolished in favor of purely German and Ladin names and the victory monument from the time of fascism in the center to grind from Bozen .

Young Citizens Union

The Junge BürgerUnion is the youth organization of the BürgerUnion.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. https://derstandard.at/2289594/Suedtiroler-Union-befasst-Schiedsgericht-mit-Nazi-Vorwuerfen
  2. Pöder threatens to be kicked out - oesterreich.ORF.at. Retrieved January 27, 2018 .