Christian Democratic Union of Germany
|Christian Democratic Union of Germany|
|Party leader||Armin Laschet|
|Secretary General||Paul Ziemiak|
|Federal Managing Director||Stefan Hennewig|
|Federal Treasurer||Philipp Murmann|
Jakob Kaiser (†)
Konrad Adenauer (†)
Ludwig Erhard (†)
Kurt Georg Kiesinger (†)
Helmut Kohl (†)
(waiver on January 17, 2000)
|founding||June 26, 1945 or
October 20 to 22, 1950
(1st Federal Party Congress)
|Place of foundation||Berlin and Rhineland or Goslar|
|Youth organization||Young Union|
|Party-affiliated foundation||Konrad Adenauer Foundation|
red (party logo )
black ( union color )
|Seats in state parliaments|
|Government grants||53,726,367.31 euros (2020)|
|Number of members||399.110 (as of end of December 2020)|
|Minimum age||16 years|
|Average age||60 years
(as of 2018)
|Proportion of women||26.3 percent
(as of December 31, 2018)
Christian Democratic International (CDI-IDC) and
International Democratic Union (IDU)
|European party||European People's Party (EPP)|
|EP Group||European People's Party (EPP)|
In association with its sister party , the Christian Social Union (CSU), the second largest German party in terms of members is also known as the Union . The CDU runs for elections in all federal states with the exception of Bavaria , the CSU again only there. Both parties form a parliamentary group in the Bundestag , the CDU / CSU parliamentary group .
The CDU was after the Second World War , unlike the Catholic embossed Center Party as interdenominational founded Christian Party. Its ideological roots are Catholic social teaching , conservatism and ordoliberalism .
At the federal level, the Union has been in government responsibility longer than any other German party since the Federal Republic was founded . The longest time, the CDU formed a coalition next to the CSU with the FDP in black-yellow coalition . In 1969–1982 and 1998–2005, the Union parties led the parliamentary opposition . Since 2005, the CDU has once again provided Chancellor Angela Merkel . In the 2017 federal election , the CDU became the strongest political force for the third time in a row. It is involved in the grand coalition with the CSU and SPD and thus supports the federal government ( Merkel IV cabinet ).
The CDU is also represented in the state parliament in all federal states in which it competes . It currently participates in the respective state government in nine countries and is the prime minister in six .
Alongside the SPD on the left , the conservative CDU is considered to be one of the two major popular parties in post-war history. In the increasingly fragmented party landscape of the Berlin Republic , this position is sometimes called into question.
Since it was founded, the CDU has been open to people of all Christian denominations and also to non-Christians. The fact that the CDU expressly describes itself as Christian is based on the party's decision to expressly declare that it is committed to the Christian image of man. When the party was founded in 1945, overcoming the political antagonism between Catholics and Protestants was a main motive for including the adjective “Christian” in the party name. The CDU is often named as a successor to the Catholic Center Party . It sees itself as a party of the center with an offer for the entire population.
“According to the Christian understanding, man, nature and the environment are God's creation,” says the CDU's policy program from 2007 . God created man in his image , from which the dignity of man as a good worth protecting is derived. The natural environment is viewed as a creation that man is not allowed to freely dispose of, but has been entrusted to him by God for preservation.
The CDU advocates anchoring the reference to God in the Charter of the European Union, the preservation of Christian symbols in public space and the retention of Christian holidays.
Political statements by the two large churches reveal similarities (for example with regard to social policy based on Christian social doctrine or the rejection of euthanasia ) as well as differences to them, for example in their attitude towards biotechnology , especially genome research, or in questions of asylum law .
The following basic programs have been adopted by the CDU in the past:
- Neheim-Hüstener Program (1946), shows the conflict over a “Christian socialism”
- Düsseldorfer Leitätze (1949), adopted on the occasion of the federal election in 1949 , advocates a social market economy
- Hamburg Program (1953)
- Berlin Program (1968 (first version), 1971 (second version))
- Ludwigshafen Program (1978)
- Freedom in Responsibility (1994)
- Freedom and security. Principles for Germany (2007): Under the motto “New Justice through More Freedom”, the CDU initiated a debate on a new basic program in 2006. In the 69-member basic program commission, which met for the first time on April 25, 2006 under the chairmanship of the then CDU general secretary Ronald Pofalla , all state associations and associations of the CDU were represented. The draft that was developed was decided by the CDU federal executive committee at the beginning of July 2007 and finally adopted on December 3, 2007 at the federal party conference in Hanover.
Since autumn 2018, the CDU has been working on a new basic program.
Since its foundation, the CDU has relied on a Christian image of man . According to the Neheim-Hüstener program of 1946, the "high conception of Christianity of human dignity, of the value of every individual as the basis and guideline (...) in political, economic and cultural life" should apply, which is reflected, among other things, in the "right to political and religious freedom ”, in“ legal security for everyone ”, in the free activity of women and in the protection of minorities. Also according to the preamble of the basic program of 2007 , the CDU orients itself “on the Christian image of the human being and his inviolable dignity and based on this on the basic values of freedom, solidarity and justice”.
The CDU is committed to the social market economy and sees this as a guarantee for freedom, prosperity and security in the future. In the course of globalization, it strives for an international expansion of the social market economy, whereby the economic freedom gained should serve the people. Overall, the CDU is concerned with an “economically sensible and socially just” policy.
Furthermore, the CDU sees the social market economy at the same time as a model of society that is directly linked to a “free democracy”. According to their principle, freedom and responsibility as well as competition and solidarity formed a unit that made the economic and social model social and ensured social justice . The strength of the social market economy is based on "more freedom and competition". The CDU trusts in the "positive creative power of free markets and fair competition".
The aim of economic policy is full employment of the population, steady and appropriate economic growth and a solid budget. Furthermore, the CDU is striving to privatize all businesses that are currently still receiving state participation. In labor policy, the CDU relies on "making the labor market more flexible" and on collective bargaining . Unemployment should be counteracted.
The debt of public budgets must be returned determined according CDU, where "debt [...] taxes of tomorrow today" are. Public investments should only be “financed through loans that create values or assets”.
The CDU has introduced childcare allowance or parental allowance to support families. Furthermore, a legal right to a daycare place since 1996 and to a daycare place since 2013 has been introduced under the respective CDU governments. The government intends to further strengthen the expansion of kindergarten places by 2021. No particular family model is prescribed for families.
During the 18th Bundestag, same-sex marriage was decided with around a third of the votes of the CDU / CSU , after Chancellor Merkel described the vote as a question of conscience without any parliamentary party obligation. The vote was then scheduled at short notice in the last week of the parliamentary session by the other parliamentary groups against the will of the Union parliamentary group. In previous years, the majority of the party did not proactively promote the equality of homosexual partnerships, for example in terms of tax law; Progressive laws usually came about through compromises with coalition partners who were more liberal in this regard or under pressure, in some cases, from highest court judgments.
The CDU stuck to the tripartite school system longer than other parties . She only said goodbye to it openly in 2011.
From 2008 to 2013, tuition fees were advocated.
In the 2017 election campaign, the CDU campaigned for more police officers and stronger security of the EU's external borders. According to the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, it should be possible for the Bundeswehr to be deployed domestically in "a particularly serious terrorist situation [...] under the leadership of the police".
In the area of network policy , the CDU advocates stronger regulation and monitoring of the Internet and advocates data retention , which it has been calling the “minimum retention period” since July 2013. She also advocates blocking of Internet content and online searches .
As part of the parliamentary group of the European People's Party (EPP), the CDU played a key role in drafting EU Directive 2019/790 on the reform of copyright law in the digital single market.
The CDU expects immigrants to make greater efforts to achieve greater integration with regard to foreigner policy, advocates the promotion of the German language among immigrants and advocates a controlled immigration policy . A holistic immigration law with a point system is a frequent topic of discussion for the party. The Dual citizenship is approved only in exceptional cases. In 1998/1999, the CDU and the CSU organized a signature campaign against dual citizenship . The Union supports the expulsion of criminal aliens.
In terms of foreign policy, she strives above all to maintain an intact relationship with the USA . In the context of the Iraq war, for example, she often accused the then red-green federal government of anti-Americanism . According to former Chancellor candidate Edmund Stoiber (CSU), an "ominous axis" Paris-Berlin-Moscow-Beijing could never replace integration into the western alliance. Rather, Germany needs the USA as a guarantor of peace and freedom in the world. In addition, the CDU / CSU parliamentary group declared that it would always stand in solidarity with Israel .
The CDU sees itself as “the” European party. This claim is justified with the European policy of Konrad Adenauer and subsequent chancellors of the party, as well as a tradition that programmatically aimed at a European federal state and the unification of the Christian West . However, with the introduction of internal market regulation and German reunification, the federal state idea has increasingly faded into the background.
Former Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl still plays a special role in the European political orientation of the CDU . In the party (but also across party and national borders) he is described as a convinced European, as European integration was promoted in his chancellorship, for example through the conclusion of treaties on the euro , the internal market or Schengen .
In the course of the euro crisis , the CDU is repositioning itself towards European integration, but less critically than its Bavarian sister party, the CSU. MEPs of the party advocate the further development of the European Union into a European confederation. From 2009, the CDU-led federal government under Angela Merkel relied more on intergovernmental regulations, for example within the framework of the Euro Plus Pact or the emphasis on a “ Union method ”. At its Leipzig party conference in 2011 in Berlin, however, the CDU decided on a position that propagated the community method and called for a political union based on federal principles.
An EU -Vollmitgliedschaft of Turkey considers them wrong. Instead, the party advocates a privileged partnership . Above all, she argues that Turkey frequently violates human rights and that the Turkish government still denies the Armenian genocide of 1915 today. Furthermore, Turkey must recognize Cyprus as a sovereign state, since it is a basic requirement that the members of the EU recognize each other. The CDU complains that the question of whether Turkey joins the EU could become automatic if Turkey were offered EU accession negotiations at this point in time.
Climate and environmental policy
The CDU's Bundestag election program states that greenhouse gas neutrality is to be implemented in a binding manner by 2045. Specific CO 2 prices are not mentioned.
So far, the preferred coalition partner at federal level has usually been the FDP , as the CDU sees most in common with it, especially in economic and tax policy. There are different views, especially on the question of civil rights ; Particular mention should be made of the expansion of video surveillance advocated by the CDU but vehemently rejected by the FDP, as well as the long-term storage of connection data. If the possibility of a black-yellow coalition failed, a black-red coalition with the SPD was usually formed for the respective legislative period.
At the state level , in addition to the SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen are currently the most frequent coalition partner of the CDU - in six countries each. For the first time, a black-green coalition ruled from May 2008 to November 2010 in Hamburg . Since January 2014 Hesse has been governed jointly by the CDU and the Greens, while the CDU in Baden-Württemberg has been the Greens' junior partner since 2016. A so-called Jamaica coalition , together with the Greens and the FDP, existed for the first time in Saarland from November 2009 to January 2012 , and has existed in Schleswig-Holstein since 2017 . A so-called Kenya coalition , with the SPD and the Greens, governs under the leadership of the CDU in Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony , under the leadership of the SPD in Brandenburg . At the state level there are also two red-black coalitions ( Lower Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ), one black-red coalition (Saarland) and one black-yellow coalition ( North Rhine-Westphalia ). At the municipal level, there are coalitions with the Greens , especially in large cities such as Cologne , Frankfurt am Main , Kiel and Saarbrücken .
Relationship to the CSU
The CDU and CSU emerged after the Second World War as collection movements based on the model of the Christian image of man. At first, groups joined together in a decentralized manner - the focus was on Cologne, Berlin and Munich -; hence the term “union” and not “party”. It was not until 1950, after the election of Konrad Adenauer as the first Federal Chancellor, that the CDU met for its first federal party conference. The Union in Bavaria left it with its commitment at the state level, but made it clear early on that the CSU wanted to be a party with federal political relevance and wanted to form a unit with the CDU at the federal level. The two Union parties form a joint parliamentary group .
The relationship between the CDU and CSU was not always unproblematic. In the past there were sometimes violent disputes, which culminated in the Kreuther decision to break up , which was ultimately not carried out .
Sometimes there are strong differences of opinion between the two parties and rarely also hostility, most recently in the context of the political dispute with the refugee crisis in Germany from 2015 , where the CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel coined the phrase "We can do it " and the CSU chairman Horst Instead, Seehofer asked the CDU to approve an upper limit for refugees. For the first time in years, Angela Merkel did not take part in the CSU party congress in 2016 as a speaker in her role as CDU chairwoman.
Quota for women
On July 8, 2020, the structure and statutes commission of the CDU agreed on a proposal for a women's quota for party offices and candidates for mandate. This quota model will gradually stipulate a minimum proportion of women in executive committees from the district level onwards. Initially, a 30 percent quota should apply, 40 percent from 2023 and 50 percent from 2025. On October 5, the CDU federal executive committee will discuss the results of the commission.
Outlines and parliamentary groups
The CDU in Germany is divided into 17 regional associations, 27 district associations, 327 district associations and over 10,000 local associations. It is organized in regional associations in all German states with the exception of Bavaria . For historical reasons, Lower Saxony has three regional associations: Hanover, Braunschweig and Oldenburg; together they form the CDU regional association in Lower Saxony .
The CDU is represented by parliamentary groups in all of the state parliaments for which it is running . It currently provides six out of sixteen prime ministers , and Bavaria is governed by the sister party CSU . Furthermore, the CDU participates in Baden-Württemberg as a smaller coalition partner of Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Lower Saxony as a junior partner of the SPD in other state governments.
(as of January 17, 2021)
(as of December 31, 2018)
|Members per inhabitant aged 16 and over (as of December 31, 2017)||Result of the 2017 federal election||Last election result state parliament||CDU head of government|
|Baden-Wuerttemberg||Thomas Strobl||61,470||0.68%||34.4%||24.1% ( 2021 )||no|
|Berlin||Kai Wegner||12,239||0.40%||22.7%||17.6% ( 2016 )||no|
|Brandenburg||Michael Stübgen||5,806||0.27%||26.7%||15.6% ( 2019 )||no|
(as of 2014)
(as of 2011)
|(compare Hanover)||(compare Hanover)||(compare Hanover)|
|Bremen||Carsten Meyer-Heder||2,170||0.38%||25.0%||26.7% ( 2019 )||no|
|Hamburg||Christoph Ploß||6,666||0.44%||27.2%||11.2% ( 2020 )||no|
(as of 2014)
(as of 2011)
(all of Lower Saxony)
|33.6% ( 2017 )
(all of Lower Saxony)
|Hesse||Volker Bouffier||37,000||0.71%||30.9%||27.0% ( 2018 )||Volker Bouffier ( Bouffier III cabinet ), since 2010|
|Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania||Michael Sack||5.105||0.37%||33.1%||19.0% ( 2016 )||no|
|North Rhine-Westphalia||Armin Laschet||124,567||0.84%||32.6%||33.0% ( 2017 )||Armin Laschet ( Laschet cabinet ), since 2017|
(as of 2014)
(as of 2011)
|(compare Hanover)||(compare Hanover)||(compare Hanover)|
|Rhineland-Palatinate||Julia Kloeckner||38,977||1.14%||35.9%||27.7% ( 2021 )||no|
|Saarland||Tobias Hans||16,236||1.91%||32.4%||40.7% ( 2017 )||Tobias Hans ( Cabinet Hans ), since 2018|
|Saxony||Michael Kretschmer||10,444||0.30%||26.9%||32.1% ( 2019 )||Michael Kretschmer ( Cabinet Kretschmer II ), since 2017|
|Saxony-Anhalt||Sven Schulze||6,585||0.35%||30.3%||37.1% ( 2021 )||Reiner Haseloff ( Haseloff II cabinet ), since 2011|
|Schleswig-Holstein||Daniel Günther||19,494||0.79%||34.0%||32.0% ( 2017 )||Daniel Günther ( Günther cabinet ), since 2017|
|Thuringia||Christian shepherd||9,481||0.52%||28.8%||21.7% ( 2019 )||no|
In the German Bundestag , CDU and CSU are working in a joint parliamentary group together, the CDU / CSU - faction . Political groups are not part of parties (but rather the principle of political structure for the work of parliament), but they also have a "correlative function" with regard to them.
The CDU / CSU parliamentary group currently comprises 246 members, 200 of them from the CDU. This makes it the largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag and the CDU the most strongly represented party. The parliamentary group chairman is Ralph Brinkhaus , who, like all of his predecessors in office, is a CDU member. In return, the CSU regional group enjoys individual special rights.
In the current, 19th legislative period , the CDU / CSU parliamentary group supports, together with the parties supporting them and next to the SPD and its fraction, the Federal Government , the Cabinet Merkel IV . She has committed herself to this with the coalition agreement. The parties and parliamentary groups involved send representatives to the coalition committee to coordinate coalition policy .
- the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy , Peter Altmaier ,
- the Federal Minister of Health , Jens Spahn ,
- the Federal Minister for Education and Research , Anja Karliczek ,
- the Federal Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Federal Chancellery , Helge Braun ,
- the Federal Minister of Defense , Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (no member of the Bundestag),
- the Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture , Julia Klöckner (not a member of the Bundestag).
The first party congress, which at that time was still called the federal party congress and was elected federal chairman at Konrad Adenauer, took place in Goslar from October 20 to 22, 1950 . The 31st party conference took place on December 7th and 8th, 2018 in Hamburg and elected Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as the new chairwoman.
The federal committee is the second highest body and deals with all political and organizational matters that are not expressly reserved for the federal party congress. For this reason it is often called a small party congress .
Federal Executive Board and Presidium
The CDU federal executive heads the federal party. It implements the resolutions of the federal party congress and the federal committee and convenes the federal party congress. The CDU Presidium is responsible for executing the resolutions of the federal executive committee and handling current and urgent business. It consists of the leading members of the federal executive committee and is not an organ of the CDU in Germany.
In December 2017, Germany's CDU had 427,173 members. The average age of the CDU members is 59 years. The average age of the female members is 61 years and that of the males 59 years. 25.8 percent of the members (118,865) are female and 74.2 percent (342,678) are male (see CDU proportions of women from 1991 ). The proportion of women among new entrants is 30.8 percent.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the CDU reached the highest level in its history with around 750,000 members, after which the number fell continuously. At the end of June 2008 it was 530,755, the CDU thus had more members than the SPD for the first time and was the German party with the largest number of members. In May 2011, the number of CDU members fell below the 500,000 mark for the first time at 499,646, but was still ahead of the SPD. At the end of June 2012, the number of members of the CDU was 482,951, so it fell slightly behind the SPD. Internal party calculations assume that the number of members in the east will halve by 2019 compared to 2007, and that in the west by 2024. In 2013 the CDU recorded a decline of 1.95 percent. The decline in membership continued to weaken in 2014 compared to the previous year and was 1.18 percent up to September 2014. In 2016 the membership decrease was 2.9 percent.
The minimum age required for membership is reached at the age of 16.
The minimum fee for CDU membership is graded according to gross income and starts at six euros per month in the lower income groups.
According to a 2005 study by the Free University of Berlin, 51 percent of CDU members are currently Catholic, 33.3 percent state an evangelical denomination and 15.7 percent do not feel they belong to any church.
The strongholds of the party concentrate primarily on rural and / or Catholic regions such as the Eifel , the Sauerland , the Paderborn district , the Münsterland , the Oldenburger Münsterland ( Cloppenburg - Vechta ), the Emsland , the northern Saarland , the Thuringian Eichsfeld , district and the city of Fulda , the Upper Swabian districts of Biberach , Ravensburg and Sigmaringen , various southern Baden districts and areas of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony . The party has comparatively little popularity in the cities of the Ruhr area , in Bremen , in East Friesland , Brandenburg and in the eastern districts of Berlin . In 2013 it was discussed that the CDU had clearly lost popularity in the big cities in previous years, so that it appointed fewer and fewer mayors there , which led to debates in the party on how future urban milieus could be won over as voters.
In the recent past, however, a "melting" of strongholds has been observed to an increasing extent. For example, the CDU (excluding the CSU) achieved a first-time vote of over 60 percent in the 1983 federal election in 27 constituencies; The front runner was Biberach with 75.1 percent. In the 2005 Bundestag election, however, the CDU only got over 60 percent of the first votes in one constituency: in Cloppenburg-Vechta with 64.4 percent.
Associations and specialized agencies
In addition to the regional associations, the apron organizations in the CDU play an important role within the party. The associations are anchored in the statutes of the CDU. They have two main tasks: On the one hand, they should spread the party's politics within their respective spheres of activity. On the other hand, they should also allow the concerns of the groups they represent to flow into the CDU's policy. In relation to other parties, the associations enjoy extensive independence from the party as a whole. In addition to the right to have its own statutes, this is expressed above all in the fact that its members do not necessarily have to be members of the party as a whole. In addition, they have the express right to make their own political statements if these do not contradict the principles of the party.
The CDU currently has seven associations. Most of its origins go back to the party's early days in the 1950s. Their inner-party weight varies. In addition to the Junge Union , the SME and business association is generally seen as particularly influential. The importance of the Christian-Democratic workforce (CDA or social committees) , which was an important internal party power factor until the 1970s, has since declined sharply. The Senior Citizens' Union , founded in 1988, advocates intergenerational equity and actively helping to shape demographic change and, according to its own statements, is the second largest group within the CDU. There is also the Women's Union , the East and Central German Association and the Local Political Association of the CDU and CSU .
Special organizations and other groups
In addition to the associations anchored in the statutes, the CDU also has other preliminary organizations with different statuses. In the literature they are sometimes placed on a par with the associations. The special organizations include associations of CDU members or CDU sympathizers that achieve a lower degree of formalization than the associations. The Evangelical Working Group (EAK) and the Ring of Christian Democratic Students (RCDS) have been recognized nationwide since 1952 . Both also include Bavarian regional associations, the EAK of the CSU and the RCDS Bavaria.
In addition, the following other groups exist and still existed in the CDU:
- Economic Council of the CDU , founded in 1963 (status as a special organization revoked in 2018)
- Working Group of Christian Democratic Teachers (ACDL)
- Federal Working Group of Christian Democratic Jurists (BACDJ), founded in 1968
- Student Union of Germany (SU), founded in 1972
- Christian Democrats for Life (CDL), founded in 1985 (status as a special organization revoked in 2018)
- Christian Conservative Germany Forum (CKDF) 1992–2003
- German-Turkish Forum (DTF) since 1996, partially merged intothe CDU's Integration Network . In 2014, the North Rhine-Westphalian forum was part of the cross-national "Union of Diversity - State Network Integration of the CDU NRW".
- Lesbians and Gays in the Union (LSU), founded in 1998
- Andean Pact (CDU) , founded in 2003
- Xantener Kreis , made famous in 2006
- Einstein Connection , founded in 2007
- Working group of committed Catholics in the CDU , founded in 2009
- Stop the left trend action , founded in 2010
- Berliner Kreis in the Union , publicly active since 2012
- Konrads Erben , an association of former Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung scholarship holders, the nucleus of the WertUnion (WU)foundedin 2017 in cooperation with the Linktrend Stoppen campaign and the Berliner Kreis in der Union . The initiator of Konrad's heirs is Alexander Mitsch , who was also Chairman of the Values Union before he was replaced in this position by Max Otte .
- Union der Mitte ,initiatedby Karin Prien in 2018, first meeting in early April 2019
- Climate Union , founded in 2021
The CDU's affiliated foundation is the Konrad Adenauer Foundation .
The total income of the CDU in 2017 was 156,700,798.32 euros. The most important sources of income for the CDU include state funds, party donations and membership fees.
|Income of the CDU in 2017||EUR||portion|
|Mandate holder contributions and similar regular contributions||20,094,742.17||12.82%|
|Donations from natural persons||22,576,258.92||14.41%|
|Donations from legal entities||12,629,911.08||8.06%|
|Income from business activities and investments||0.00||-|
|Income from other property||2,002,577.55||1.29%|
|Events, distribution of pamphlets and publications and other income-related activities||12,782,222.14||8.16%|
Between 25 and 40 percent of donations from legal entities are made up of large donations of more than 20,000 euros per donation. The following companies and associations are among the largest donors (legal entities, total donation sums from 2000 to 2008, from 2007 only donations of 50,000 euros or more):
- € 2,244,096 Deutsche Bank AG
- € 1,639,034 Südwestmetall
- € 1,461,652 Daimler AG
- € 1,452,678 Altana AG
- 1,036,816 € Chemical Industry Association e. V.
- € 740,000 Association of the Bavarian Metal and Electrical Industry
- € 665,031 BMW AG
- € 663,957 Allianz AG
- 625,516 € Association of the Metal and Electrical Industry North Rhine-Westphalia e. V.
- 456,150 € Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG DVAG
From January to July 2017, the CDU received 15 large donations (each over € 50,000) with a total value of € 1,901,537.00.
In the chaos of the collapse of the National Socialist dictatorship, immediately after the end of the war in 1945, everywhere in Germany - including Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hanover, Stuttgart, Würzburg, Munich - the Christian Democrats (sic! ) and the Christian-Social Union. Your idea arose in the resistance circles and Gestapo prisons in the awareness of common fates, political convictions and models regardless of denomination.
Immediately after the American troops marched in on March 6, 1945, concrete plans began in Cologne for a new “Christian Democratic Party”. The "Cologne Guidelines" developed after June 17, 1945 formed the basis for the programs of the new party in Rhineland and Westphalia from September 1945. Almost simultaneously, the Christian Democratic Union (sic!) Entered Berlin on June 26, 1945 with its Call for founding “German People!” To the public.
Most of the founding appeals were signed by victims of Nazi persecution, concentration camp prisoners or emigrants. The first chairman of the CDU, Andreas Hermes , had been sentenced to death for involvement in the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt and was awaiting execution on Plötzensee death row before he was released in April 1945. In his opinion, the new Christian, interdenominational party should compensate for the shortcomings of the Catholic-dominated Center Party in the Weimar Republic in the future German state.
The CDU organized itself at different speeds in the German states and occupation zones between 1945 and 1949. A first overarching merger took place in the joint zone committee of the eight state associations of the CDU in the British zone, which was constituted on January 22, 1946 in Herford , East Westphalia . Konrad Adenauer was elected chairman of the zone committee. A merger was prohibited in the French and American occupation zones. In 1947, the CDU therefore formed a working group in order to maintain the internal unity of the party despite the various progress made. The cooperation with the CDU in the Soviet occupation zone dwindled due to the imposed political orientation. On May 11, 1950, the CDU united at a federal level at a conference of state chairmen in Königswinter. On October 21 of the same year this was confirmed at the 1st federal party conference in Goslar. The political reality of two German states was thus reproduced in the organizational structure of the CDU. The federal party also had its own regional association of CDU members who had fled to the West until the early 1950s, the so -called CDU in exile .
A significant portion of the CDU membership (including Konrad Adenauer ) comes from the front of the Second World War, existing Catholic and south - / west German embossed Center Party . Leading members of the German National People's Party , the right-wing liberal German People's Party and the liberal DDP also joined the CDU, particularly in northern Germany . The founding of the Union as a secular and interdenominational party made it possible, in contrast to the former Center Party , to gain a foothold in Protestant circles far beyond the Catholic milieu.
The first strongly anti-materialist Neheim-Hüstener program from 1946 for the British zone was largely formulated by Adenauer. The Ahlen program from 1947 was largely shaped by the CDU in the British occupation zones and, in the spirit of “ Christian socialism ”, envisaged turning away from a capitalist social and economic order. In contrast, the “Düsseldorfer Leitätze” of 1949 advocated the capitalist economic order in the sense of a social market economy , which was put into practice by the first Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the Federal Minister of Economics Ludwig Erhard . In 1953 the party manifested this orientation in the "Hamburg Program".
1949–1963: The Adenauer era
In the first federal election in 1949 , the Union parties were the strongest parliamentary group in the Bundestag with 31.0 percent, just ahead of the SPD (29.2 percent) and formed together with the FDP (11.9 percent) and the German Party (DP; 4.0 percent) a coalition. The former Lord Mayor of Cologne and long-time center politician, Konrad Adenauer , was elected the first Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany with a majority of one vote on September 15, 1949 . In 1950 Adenauer was also elected the first federal chairman of the CDU when the CDU was formed at the federal level.
Adenauer's Rhenish Catholicism and its anchoring in Catholic social teaching had a lasting impact on German society in the 1950s. In particular, thanks to the successful policy of Federal Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard , which led to an economic upturn, the Union experienced two brilliant victories in the federal elections in 1953 and 1957 , with the election victory in 1957 even earning it and the CSU an absolute majority . Nevertheless, she continued to form a coalition with the right-wing conservative DP, which was still present in northern Germany in particular . In the second and third federal elections, the CDU also helped the DP to use the basic mandate clause to override the five percent hurdle by refraining from placing direct candidates in some of the distinct north German DP strongholds. Since she refused to “give the DP a helping hand” in the 1961 Bundestag election , half of the 17 DP Bundestag members switched to the CDU in 1960, including DP Federal Ministers Hans-Christoph Seebohm and Hans-Joachim von Merkatz . The CDU and CSU thus led a single government for a year, as the remaining DP MPs were no longer involved in the government. From the beginning of the 1960s, most of the electorate of the DP also switched to the CDU, so that the DP no longer played a role.
The 1950s were marked by the “ economic miracle ” and the debate about the West's ties to the West (including joining NATO in 1955 and based on the USA). The CDU rated the Soviet offer for a unified, neutral Germany as a camouflage maneuver. Adenauer formulated the so-called suction theory . According to this theory, a neutral Germany ran the risk of falling into the pull of the Soviet Union.
The CDU suffered significant losses in the 1961 federal election (CDU 35.8 percent, CSU 9.6 percent, SPD 36.2 percent, FDP 12.8 percent). Among other things, these losses were justified with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and Adenauer's allegedly too hesitant reaction to it.
1963–1969: Erhard and Kiesinger governments
In 1963 Adenauer resigned in favor of Ludwig Erhard from the office of Federal Chancellor and in 1966 from the party chairmanship. Erhard was able to secure government responsibility for the CDU in the 1965 federal elections , but a year later, due to quarrels over economic and financial issues and the first economic crisis of the post-war period, he broke with his coalition partner FDP. The previous Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg , Kurt Georg Kiesinger , then formed the first grand coalition at federal level with the SPD .
1969–1982: In the opposition for the first time
The 1969 Bundestag election brought a deep break in the history of the Federal Republic and the history of the CDU: For the first time, the CDU had to join the parliamentary opposition because the SPD and FDP formed a coalition under Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt (SPD). When the federal party chairman was elected in 1971, Rainer Barzel , who had been the CDU / CSU parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag since 1963, prevailed against the Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Helmut Kohl .
Due to their rejection of the Eastern Treaty , several members of the government camp converted to the CDU / CSU opposition between 1970 and 1972, which brought them close to the majority in the Bundestag (see Members of the Sixth German Bundestag ). In the spring of 1972 Barzel's attempt to replace Brandt with a constructive vote of no confidence failed , although an arithmetical majority of the opposition seemed to exist before the vote. The exact circumstances of this vote have not yet been fully clarified, the only thing that is certain is that at least one vote from the ranks of the Union MPs was bought by the State Security of the GDR (see Steiner-Wienand affair ). There was a clear defeat in the 1972 Bundestag election : For the first time, the CDU and CSU were no longer the strongest parliamentary group. Barzel, CDU chairman since 1971, renounced a second election period in 1973 and took responsibility for the election defeat, which was viewed as a debacle within the party. His successor was Helmut Kohl , who was to lead the party until 1998.
In 1976 the CDU entered the election campaign with the slogans “For love of Germany: choose freedom” and “freedom instead of socialism”. Kohl's first candidacy for chancellor against Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in the 1976 federal election failed, although the CDU and CSU were able to achieve significant gains, thus becoming the strongest party again and only narrowly missing an absolute majority. In mid-November 1976, the CSU then announced the Kreuther separation decision by terminating the parliamentary group with the CDU in the Bundestag and striving for an expansion to the entire federal territory . She only backed down after the CDU had threatened to become active in Bavaria in the future. In the 1980 federal election, the CSU chairman, Franz Josef Strauss, was defeated by the incumbent Chancellor Helmut Schmidt as the joint candidate for chancellor of the two Union parties.
1982–1998: The Kohl government
In 1982 the social-liberal coalition broke up . Helmut Kohl was elected Helmut Schmidt's successor on October 1, 1982 by means of a constructive vote of no confidence . In the early parliamentary elections in 1983 , the CDU and CSU under Kohl increased their share of the vote with 48.8 percent and continued their coalition with the FDP that was formed with the change of power in October 1982. The Federal Constitutional Court rejected complaints against the premature dissolution of the Bundestag, but the constitution of the Bundestag election through a deliberately lost vote of confidence remained constitutionally controversial. In the 1987 Bundestag election , the CDU and CSU under the leadership of Kohl suffered a significant loss of votes, but remained the strongest parliamentary group in the Bundestag and continued the government with the FDP.
On November 9, 1989, the borders between the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany were opened . At the time, Kohl was in Warsaw and, like most observers, was completely surprised by the events. He immediately broke off his stay in order to go to Bonn and then to West Berlin . After initial hesitation and planning for a long-term unification process (ten-point plan), it became clear in the spring of 1990, due to the pressure in the population, that reunification had to be achieved quickly . Through intensive personal talks and negotiations, Kohl managed to get the approval of the Allies and the support of the European neighbors. The Chancellor, who had already fallen behind in the opinion polls, was able to win a clear victory in the first all-German federal election in 1990 - celebrated as the “Chancellor of Unity” .
In the course of reunification, parts of the GDR civil rights movement such as the Democratic Awakening , but also the previous GDR block parties, Democratic Peasant Party of Germany and the CDU (East), were absorbed into the CDU. Apart from a few leaders, the CDU (East), which shortly before had seen itself as a “party of socialism”, was fully integrated into the CDU of the Federal Republic without much consideration for the previous confessions of the members. (A separate article gives an overview of the whereabouts of the assets of the Eastern CDU and the Peasant Party after the merger.)
After the CDU narrowly managed to assert itself again in the 1994 federal election with Helmut Kohl as a leader, it lost the government majority in the 1998 federal election together with the CSU and, for the second time in the history of the Federal Republic, lost its position as the strongest parliamentary group. With 35.1 percent, it achieved the second worst result in federal elections in its history after 1949. Kohl's successor as Federal Chancellor was the previous Prime Minister of Lower Saxony , Gerhard Schröder (SPD).
The main causes of the disastrous defeat were the sluggish economic development with the accompanying rising unemployment; and the Germans had grown tired of Helmut Kohl's chancellorship after 16 years. The CDU was also in a deep crisis at the state level. In November 1998 it provided the head of government only in Baden-Württemberg , Berlin , Saxony and Thuringia , and in Berlin and Thuringia it formed a grand coalition with the SPD. In addition, she was junior partner of the SPD in another grand coalition in Bremen .
1998–2005: The CDU in the opposition
The new party chairman was Wolfgang Schäuble . In 1998/1999 the CDU / CSU initiated a signature campaign against the reform of German citizenship law , in which the right of descent should be supplemented by elements of the ius soli . The public campaign helped the Hessian top candidate Roland Koch to victory in the election and to the office of Hessian Prime Minister .
At the end of 1999 the CDU was shaken by a party donation scandal. The heart of the affair were monetary donations in the millions, the donors of which Helmut Kohl refused to name. Likewise, some black accounts were kept bypassing the tax authorities . The then CDU general secretary Angela Merkel forced Kohl to resign from the office of CDU honorary chairman. In connection with this scandal, Wolfgang Schäuble had to resign as chairman of the CDU and the CDU / CSU parliamentary group in early 2000 after contradicting statements on the matter. The successor as party leader was Angela Merkel , who became the first woman to head one of the German people's parties. Schäuble's successor as chairman of the parliamentary group was Friedrich Merz . In 2000 the party headquarters moved from Bonn to the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus in Berlin .
In the federal election in 2002 , the Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber (CSU) ran as candidate for chancellor. Despite considerable growth in south and south-west Germany, the CDU / CSU only remained the second largest parliamentary group. According to analysts, the main reason was that Bayer Stoiber was unable to address voters sufficiently, especially in northern Germany (as Strauss did in 1980) and eastern Germany.
The state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 2005 brought about the end of the term of office of Prime Minister Heide Simonis (SPD); the CDU then led a grand coalition with the SPD. On May 22, 2005, the CDU won in North Rhine-Westphalia , replacing the last reigning red-green state government in Germany at that time.
2005–2009: First Chancellor - Second Grand Coalition
After the early federal election on September 18, 2005, the parliamentary group consisting of CDU and CSU under Angela Merkel became the strongest parliamentary group for the first time since the 1994 election, but received fewer votes than in the previous election and than predicted in opinion polls . The Union received the third worst result in its party history. The declared electoral goal of a Bundestag majority in favor of a coalition with the FDP could not be achieved.
Although the CDU / CSU formed the strongest parliamentary group, the SPD initially claimed the office of Federal Chancellor for itself; However, since the latter excluded a coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party at the same time and the FDP was not ready for a traffic light coalition , it was not possible to form a government without the CDU. On November 11, 2005, the CDU, CSU and SPD agreed on a coalition agreement for a grand coalition under Angela Merkel as Chancellor. After the coalition agreement was signed on November 22, 2005, Angela Merkel was elected the first woman to hold the position of Federal Chancellor with 397 of 614 votes in the German Bundestag. Angela Merkel received more votes in the election for Chancellor than any of her predecessors, but the percentage of her election result, with 64.9 percent of the votes, was worse than Kurt Georg Kiesinger's . However, when he was elected Federal Chancellor on December 1, 1966, the grand coalition provided over 90.1 percent of the seats, while the grand coalition under Merkel provided just under 73 percent of the seats in the 16th German Bundestag. This was mainly due to the three other parties, which were represented much more strongly than before in the Bundestag.
2009–2013: New coalition partner in the Merkel II cabinet
In the 2009 Bundestag elections , the CDU again lost votes slightly, but thanks to overhanging mandates , it had more members in the Bundestag than in the previous legislative period . Since the FDP also achieved the best election result in its history, Angela Merkel was able to change government partner and be re-elected as head of government of the fourth Christian-liberal coalition with the votes of the Union and FDP . Before that, no Federal Chancellor in German history succeeded in changing coalition partners.
In January 2010, the CDU presented its future paper on the Berlin Declaration . Some observers perceived this as a sign of a left-wing trend on the part of the CDU. On the initiative of Friedrich-Wilhelm Siebeke , the action to stop the left trend was founded, which published its manifesto against the left trend in German daily newspapers one month after the Berlin declaration .
Since 2013: renewed grand coalition
After the 2013 federal election , in which the Union missed an absolute majority of the seats in the Bundestag by just five seats, it explored Alliance 90 / The Greens and the SPD. Since some functionaries of the Greens and the CSU rejected a black-green coalition, the CDU / CSU and the SPD negotiated again about the formation of a grand coalition. After the successful membership decision of the SPD , the coalition agreement was signed. On December 17, 2013, Angela Merkel was elected Chancellor for the third time by a large majority.
Since the FDP, which according to Merkel is and will remain a “natural coalition partner”, remained at around 3 percent in election polls in 2014 and a return to the Bundestag in 2017 seemed uncertain against this background, the CDU began to open up more towards the Greens.
In the 2017 federal election , the CDU lost a lot and, together with the CSU, only got 32.9 percent of the vote. After the SPD ruled out a re-launch of the grand coalition on the evening of the election, there were explorations for a Jamaica coalition made up of the Union, FDP and the Greens. This failed in November 2017. After successful exploratory and coalition negotiations with the SPD, Angela Merkel was re-elected for the third time on March 14, 2018 .
On August 27, 2018, the presidium and federal executive committee of the CDU revoked the Christian Democrats for Life , the economic council of the CDU and the values union of the status of special organizations of the party. New groups or associations of the CDU should no longer be officially recognized since then.
After the CSU initially suffered major losses in the state elections in Bavaria in October 2018 and the CDU also lost double digits in the state elections in Hesse two weeks later , Angela Merkel announced on October 29, 2018, the day after the state elections in Hesse, in a presidium meeting to no longer run for the office of CDU chairman at the upcoming party congress. She also announced that she would not run again for the next federal election. The CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer , the former Bundestag parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz and Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn ran for her successor as party chairman . For the first time since 1971 there was more than one candidate for this office and for the first time ever more than two. On December 7, 2018, the delegates of the 31st federal party congress of the CDU elected Kramp-Karrenbauer as the new party leader in the second ballot.
In the 2019 European elections , the Union achieved the worst result in a nationwide election with 28.9 percent. Although Manfred Weber from the CSU had run as the EPP's top candidate, the European Council then nominated Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as Commission President. She was elected by the EU Parliament on July 16 and is the first woman in this office as well as the first German and CDU politician since Walter Hallstein .
The CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced on 10 February 2020 directly during the government crisis in Thuringia by the choice of the FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich prime minister with votes from the CDU and AFD had been triggered, their renunciation of the chancellor candidacy in the federal election in 2021 as well as the withdrawal from the party chairmanship. Prime Minister Armin Laschet of North Rhine-Westphalia , again Friedrich Merz and foreign politician Norbert Röttgen, applied as successors . The election of the new party chairman was originally scheduled for the end of April 2020, but had to be postponed twice due to the corona pandemic . On January 16, 2021, a digital party congress elected Armin Laschet as the new CDU federal chairman in the second ballot. Since this was the first digital vote in German party history, formal confirmation by postal vote was necessary. Laschet therefore officially became chairman on January 22nd.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany in spring 2020, the CDU's popularity ratings rose sharply in surveys. This was regularly interpreted as the usual positive effect of external crises on the popularity ratings of the CDU as the leading ruling party. In March 2021, however, the popularity ratings fell again significantly and the CDU suffered defeats in two state elections (historically worst results in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate ). Above all, various alleged cases of corruption by Union politicians (including in the course of the mask affair and the Azerbaijan affair ) were made responsible for this . In addition, there was increasing dissatisfaction among the population with the fight against pandemics (“third wave” and vaccination progress perceived as sluggish).
|Chairman||Beginning of the term of office||Term expires||Honorary Chair|
|Andreas Hermes||July 1945||December 1945||no|
|Jakob Kaiser||1946||1947||since 1958|
Federal Chancellor 1949 to 1963
|March 1, 1946 (British Zone)
October 21, 1950 (nationwide)
|March 23, 1966||since 1966|
Federal Chancellor 1963 to 1966
|March 23, 1966||May 23, 1967||since 1967|
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Federal Chancellor 1966 to 1969
|May 23, 1967||5th October 1971||since 1971|
|Rainer Barzel||5th October 1971||June 12, 1973||no|
Federal Chancellor 1982 to 1998
Chairman of the European Council 1994
|June 12, 1973||November 7, 1998||since 1998;
on January 18, 2000, Helmut Kohl agreed to suspend the honorary chair due to the CDU donation affair
|German politican||November 7, 1998||February 16, 2000||no|
Federal Chancellor since 2005
Chairwoman of the European Council in 2007
|April 10, 2000||7th December 2018||no|
Federal Minister of Defense since 2019
|7th December 2018||January 16, 2021||no|
Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2017
|January 22, 2021
( elected digitally on January 16, 2021 )
|Surname||Beginning of the term of office||Term expires|
|Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer||February 2018||December 2018|
|Surname||Beginning of the term of office||Term expires|
|Konrad Adenauer||September 1, 1949||September 20, 1949|
|Heinrich von Brentano||September 30, 1949||June 7, 1955|
|Heinrich Krone||June 15, 1955||November 24, 1961|
|Heinrich von Brentano||November 24, 1961||November 14, 1964 (†)|
|Rainer Barzel||December 1, 1964||May 9, 1973|
|Karl Carstens||17th May 1973||1st December 1976|
|Helmut Kohl||December 13, 1976||4th October 1982|
|Alfred Dregger||4th October 1982||November 25, 1991|
|German politican||November 25, 1991||February 29, 2000|
|Friedrich Merz||February 29, 2000||September 24, 2002|
|Angela Merkel||September 24, 2002||November 21, 2005|
|Volker Kauder||November 21, 2005||25th September 2018|
|Ralph Brinkhaus||25th September 2018||officiating|
The following CDU politicians were elected Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Party membership is traditionally suspended during the presidency.
September 13, 1959 to
June 30, 1969
July 1, 1979 to
June 30, 1984
Richard von Weizsäcker
July 1, 1984 to
June 30, 1994
July 1, 1994 to
June 30, 1999
July 1, 2004 to
May 31, 2010
June 30, 2010 to
February 17, 2012
The following CDU politicians officiated as Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
September 15, 1949 to
October 16, 1963
October 16, 1963 to
December 1, 1966
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
December 1, 1966 to
October 21, 1969
October 1, 1982 to
October 27, 1998
since November 22, 2005
President of the German Bundestag
September 7, 1949 to
October 18, 1950
October 19, 1950 to
October 29, 1954 (†)
November 16, 1954 to
January 31, 1969
Kai-Uwe von Hassel
February 5, 1969 to
December 13, 1972
December 14, 1976 to
May 31, 1979
March 29, 1983 to
October 25, 1984
November 5, 1984 to
November 11, 1988
November 25, 1988 to
October 26, 1998
October 18, 2005 to
October 24, 2017
since October 24, 2017
President of the Federal Constitutional Court
The following CDU politicians served as presidents of the Federal Constitutional Court .
January 8, 1959 to
December 8, 1971
December 8, 1971 to
December 20, 1983
November 16, 1987 to
June 30, 1994
since June 22, 2020
Presidents of EU institutions and EU commissioners
March 28, 1960 to
March 27, 1962
January 14, 1992 to
July 19, 1994
January 16, 2007 to
July 14, 2009
Results in nationwide elections
|Election year||Share of votes||Votes 1|
|Election year||Share of votes||voices|
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- Network integration
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