union of values

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Union of Values ​​e. V.
(Union of Values)
Purpose: Strengthening of "free-conservative" positions in society
Chair: Max Otte
Founding date: March 25, 2017
number of members: about 4,000
Seat : plank town
site: valuesunion.de

The value union (proper spelling: value union ) is a registered association that claims to represent a "conservative core brand" of the CDU and CSU , but is not a recognized party organization of the CDU or CSU. According to the Union of Values, most of its members belong to the Union parties and their front organizations . The association, based in Plankstadt , was founded under the name Freedom-Conservative Awakening (abbreviation: FKA), which is still used today as an additional designation.

The union of values ​​is controversial in the Union (CDU/CSU) because leading Union politicians and Union associations consider their attitude to the AfD and their positions to be problematic or incompatible with membership in the Union.

The current national chairman since May 2021 is the economist Max Otte , who two years earlier was to be expelled from the association on the initiative of the then chairman Alexander Mitsch because of trivializing statements regarding the right-wing extremist-motivated murder of Walter Lübcke .


The association “Freifreilich -Konservativer Aufbruch”, which later renamed itself “Werteunion eV” (own spelling: “WerteUnion”), was founded on March 25, 2017 by members of the CDU and CSU in Schwetzingen . A number of well-known Union politicians spoke at group events, such as the former Prime Minister of Saxony Georg Milbradt on March 16, 2018 in Dresden under the title "The euro crisis - what does it mean for us?"

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn sent a welcoming address to the federal meeting in early April 2018 in Schwetzingen . The general secretary of the CDU Baden-Württemberg , Manuel Hagel , attended the meeting. A “Conservative Manifesto” was adopted there, which the association published on April 7, 2018. It called for a change of direction by the CDU/CSU.

In August 2018, the presidium and executive board of the CDU agreed not to recognize new party groups such as the Union of Values ​​and the newly founded Union of the Center in order to prevent the party from fragmenting and to strengthen internal party cohesion.

On June 15, 2019, the second federal congress of the Union of Values ​​took place in the FILharmonie Filderstadt . The announced speaker, CDU Vice Thomas Strobl , had canceled shortly before, as it was said, because the CDU party leadership was attacked from the union of values.

The number of members of the Union of Values ​​rose from around 2000 (as of June 2019) to around 4400 members in mid-February 2020, which corresponded to around 0.8% of all CDU/CSU members. According to their own statements, hundreds of new members had already joined the union of values during the discussion about the possible party expulsion of Hans-Georg Maassen from the CDU (in August 2019).

On February 16, 2019, Maaßen made his first public appearance since being placed on temporary retirement; he gave a speech to members of the Union of Values ​​in Cologne. The federal chairman of the value union, Alexander Mitsch, then explained: “It is significant how the SPD attacked Mr. Maaßen, it was about getting rid of a top executive in order to make a name for yourself. We have to lament a scandal that the chancellor gave in to, we don't want to live with it. The CDU must give upstanding people like Mr. Maaßen more say, and we are committed to that.” On February 21, 2019, Mitsch announced that Maaßen had joined the group.

In mid-August 2020, the state chairman of the Thuringia Union of Values, Christian Sitter, resigned from his position and left the Union of Values. Sitter justified this by saying that the movement was dominated by "rioters who didn't leave a good hair on the CDU": "It's no longer about achieving substantive changes there." Sitter's deputy, Angela Wanner, also served as an assessor on the federal board of the Union of Values, also resigned. The inclusion of Vera Lengsfeld (see also: Vera Lengsfeld's relationship with the AfD ) and a rapprochement with the AfD were also given as reasons. The previous Thuringia Vice-Chairman Wanner saw this as “a visible external sign of a course that has been going on for months and that we can no longer support.” At the same time, the state chairman of the Baden-Württemberg Union of Values, Holger Kappel, also left the Union of Values. He said they had "radicalized". There had been “a shift to the right”, there was “chatting with the AfD behind closed doors” and the “Friends of the AfD” had “gained the upper hand”. As examples of radicalization, Kappel cited in particular the position on climate change and the Corona crisis as well as the work of Federal Chairman Alexander Mitsch and the former head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen . Stefan Koch, former press spokesman and founding member of the value union, then also left the organization.

In mid-September 2020, the deputy federal chairman, Hinrich Rohbohm, resigned from his position and left the union of values. Rohbohm was also state chairman of the Lower Saxony Union of Values ​​and provisional state chairman of the state associations Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Simon Beckmann, state chairman of the Bremen Union of Values, also resigned and resigned his membership. The state executives of the state associations of Lower Saxony and Bremen then resigned as a whole. Rohbohm's justification was quoted as follows: "Some circles pursued aggressive fundamental criticism of the CDU and CSU. Attempts are being made to initiate questionable cooperation with parties that are in competition with the Union or even to found a new party. ” According to t-online there are currently many members leaving and the number of members is said to be only 4100.

Within the union of values ​​in Thuringia, a power struggle took place in 2020 over its chairmanship, orientation and relationship with the AfD.


On July 3, 2021, the Bavarian Union of Values ​​withdrew from the federal association and has since been operating under its original name Conservative Awakening for Values ​​and Freedom . In Baden-Württemberg, the state board of directors almost unanimously announced their resignation in protest against the election of Max Otte as the new federal chairman. According to a letter from the state executives in Baden-Württemberg to the federal executive, the background to the resignations is an "approach to völkisch and nationalistic issues". This runs "contrary to the value-conservative and economically liberal course of the state executive board members". Ex-chairman Mitsch also left the union of values ​​and justified this with Otte's behavior. The Rhineland-Palatinate state board also resigned and announced that it would be leaving as a whole.

On July 9, 2021, Bernd Pfeiffer announced his resignation as Berlin state chairman and as a member of the federal executive board. He also left the Value Union.

partner organizations

As partner organizations, which according to their own statements also advocate a more conservative profile for the CDU, the association describes the Stopping the Left Trend campaign , the Christian Democrats for Life and the Konrads Erben group, an association of conservative old Konrad-Adenauer scholarship holders founded by Alexander Mitsch , the founder of the Union of Values -Foundation .

political positions


The Union of Values ​​takes its name from the reference to a Christian, liberal and patriotic "foundation of values". Among other things, it is committed to the Western community of values ​​and advocates a “strong German constitutional state ”. “ Assimilation instead of integration ” and orientation “to a European-German dominant culture ” are required of immigrants . The Union of Values ​​advocates “immigration based on the needs of the labor market” and “controlled qualified immigration” as well as a more restrictive asylum policy and calls for better protection of the borders in the event of increased immigration. Immigration into the social systems is no longer reasonable for Germany. It is also demanded that "migrants apprehended in the Mediterranean Sea be returned to the coast from which they came".

climate policy

The Bavarian Union of Values ​​supports the klimafragen.org project , which campaigns against more climate protection in Germany. The project is supported by the EIKE association, whose chairman is Holger Thuß (CDU) and vice-president Michael Limburg ( AfD ). Along with Vera Lengsfeld , who now belongs to the Union of Values, Limburg is one of the first to sign the project. The climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf analyzed the project and came to the conclusion that it was a "propaganda campaign" and a "deception maneuver". According to Spiegel , this demonstrates “an informal alliance between the New Right and climate change deniers ”. The federal office of the CDU declined to comment on the project.

Furthermore, the Climate Manifesto 2020 was published, in which the scientifically undisputed connection between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming is denied and described as "garbage science". According to Münchner Merkur , the core of the position paper is the thesis that less than one percent of climate change is man-made. Already in the coming decade "the beginning of a cooling can be expected" and this is independent of human activities. According to Merkur, the Bavarian Union of Values ​​represents theses that are “more at home in the AfD”. The climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf wrote that the manifesto contained no less than 16 long-disproved climate myths and was overall "a compendium of scientific nonsense that you can find on the websites of the self-proclaimed "climate sceptics" - from EIKE to Kalte Sonne to Tichy's insight and the Axis of Good ”.

According to Spiegel Online , Mitsch, chairman of the Union of Values, argues “similarly to climate change deniers in the USA or European right-wing populists ” with regard to climate policy . Mitsch and Maaßen gave EIKE a joint interview. Maassen told the Bild newspaper: "The Union should not deal with Greta , but with real problems."

On June 4, 2019, several media reported that the Union of Values ​​was calling for longer lifetimes for nuclear power plants . This met with no interest from the nuclear power plant operators.

Attitude to the AfD

The Union of Values ​​​​rejected coalitions between the CDU and the AfD at federal and state level and initially called for a reassessment that the AfD separate from its right-wing extremist wing . At the regional and local political level, “the handling of the Union parties with the AfD below the federal level must be clarified by those responsible for the Union on site. They can assess the material and personnel-political conditions there better than the leadership of the federal party from afar," says Mitsch. On February 12, 2020, Mitsch admitted to press inquiries that he had donated two small amounts of money to the AfD in 2014 and 2016 . On February 14, 2020, Die Zeit published that leading members of the Value Union were formerly AfD members, including Deputy Federal Chairman Hinrich Rohbohm for a few months in 2013, and Klaus-Dieter Kurt, member of the Federal Executive Board, until 2015. In November 2019 Christian Sitter, as a member of the state board of the Thuringia SME and Economic Union, signed an appeal with sixteen other CDU members from Thuringia, according to which a discussion process should be started with all parties in the state parliament, including the AfD. He ruled out a coalition, but one could talk about individual projects: "Why refuse dialogue when we have better arguments?" Hans-Georg Maassen praised the letter as a "very good initiative". According to Deutschlandfunk , Sitter admits that his views and those of those who signed the appeal overlap with those of the AfD: " Family is for us - despite all the diversity that is important, you always have to say that nowadays - man, woman and child. Where are they in the media for all the diversity and the lesbian , gay , gay and so on community? I think that's bad!" According to Deutschlandfunk, a "central approach of Heym, Sitter and some other supporters in the current call" is "to protect the AfD voters from the AfD".

After the prime minister election in Thuringia on February 5, 2020, the union of values ​​​​was criticized because it had welcomed the election of the FDP politician Thomas Kemmerich with AfD votes. The deputy chairman of the employee wing of the Christian Democrats, Christian Bäumler, explained: "Anyone who does not share the values ​​of the CDU has no place in the CDU. We don't need an AfD auxiliary force in our ranks . " The Union of Values ​​aimed to vote Thuringia's Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow out of office "with the help of the fascist AfD" and is celebrating the result. The grouping is now on the verge of destroying the Christian Democrats as a “party within the party”. Dennis Radtke (Member of the European Parliament and chairman of the social wing CDA in NRW) said, representing the CDA in NRW, "the proximity of the union of values ​​to the AfD is unbearable": A membership in the CDU and at the same time the union of values ​​is incompatible. Mitsch disagreed and described this as a "demand from a few". Tilman Kuban , federal chairman of the Junge Union , expressed a similar sentiment . With regard to Mitsch's donations to the AfD, he spoke of behavior that was intolerable and questioned his place in the CDU.

Ralf Höcker , spokesman for the Union of Values ​​at the time, commented on Chancellor Angela Merkel 's reaction to Kemmerich's election with the sarcastic proposal for a new paragraph for the Basic Law, which should state: "An election must take place if the election result is unforgivable. The Chancellor decides at her own discretion whether this is the case.” On February 13, 2020, Höcker resigned from all political offices.

In February 2020, after a meeting of the national executive committee of the union of values, Mitsch, chairman of the union of values, announced their decision: “The union of values ​​firmly rejects cooperation with the AfD and the Left Party and has never called for cooperation. She fully supports the relevant decisions of the CDU federal party conference.” In August 2020, however, several officials and chairmen of the Union of Values ​​resigned from their offices and left the association. Among other things, they stated that they could no longer support the closeness to and the "chatting behind closed doors" with the AfD.

In mid-September 2020, the author of the "Frankfurt Declaration", Hinrich Rohbohm, left the Union of Values ​​and previously resigned from his posts as Deputy Federal Chairman and State Chairman, e.g. in Schleswig-Holstein. Rohbohm explained to t-online: "If this explanation is undermined or put into perspective, in my view it cannot remain without consequences". He addressed the continued rapprochement with the AfD.

party politics

The Union of Values ​​supported Friedrich Merz in the 2018 election for the new CDU Federal Chairman . At the federal party conference in December , members of the Union of Values ​​submitted six motions with the required quorum of over 500 signatures. In it they demanded, for example, a special party conference on “Asylum and Immigration”, an intensive discussion and consultation of the UN Migration Pact , a restriction on dual citizenship and more CDU member participation. The application for more direct-democratic elements in the party was referred to the federal executive board. In a modified version of the double passport application, the CDU reiterated "their rejection of general dual citizenship expressed in the joint government program of the CDU and CSU." The other applications were rejected by the application committee and the party congress.

In May 2018, a confidential conversation took place between the CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Mitsch in the Konrad-Adenauer-Haus . When the dispute over refugee policy and in particular the position of Bavaria and the CSU intensified in the summer of 2018, parts of the union of values ​​advocated a nationwide expansion of the CSU . At the beginning of July 2018, representatives of the Union of Values ​​met with the chairman of the CSU state group Alexander Dobrindt at an event in Berlin, who had spoken out in favor of a “ conservative revolution ” at the beginning of 2018 . It was also about the "limit of Germany's ability to integrate", which from Dobrindt's point of view had already been reached, as well as the "beginning of the transition to a more restrictive refugee policy".

In May 2019, according to press reports, the Union of Values ​​called for a ministerial post for Kramp-Karrenbauer. In the course of the debate about the CDU chancellor candidate in the next federal election , she called for a primary election in June 2019 to determine the next top candidate in the Union. With a light projection on the CDU party headquarters, the Union of Values ​​again called for Laschet's resignation on September 28, 2021.


positions on extremism

The Union of Values ​​is in favor of uncompromisingly combating political extremism from the right and left and religiously motivated extremism. In particular, however, she resolutely rejects "Marxism, socialism and communism" and opposes "playing down communist atrocities" and "accepting and promoting left-wing extremism".

relation to right-wing extremism

After the right-wing extremist-motivated murder of CDU member Walter Lübcke , Max Otte complained, among other things, about "incitement against the right-wing scene" taking place in the media and described the perpetrator Stephan E., who was already known as a right-wing extremist before the crime, as a "less well-off individual offender". Union of Values ​​Chairman Mitsch then demanded that Ottes be expelled from the party.

According to research by t-online, Udo Kellmann, Federal Treasurer of the Union of Values, the Youtube video, which Lübcke showed in a citizens' meeting and was made known by the AfD in the media and commented negatively, in the social networks - next to the AfD MEP Christine Anderson – have spread first. The YouTube channel on which the video was uploaded was completely unknown until then. The voice that can be heard on the video as an interjection belongs to Stephan E., as the Süddeutsche Zeitung later reported.

After the suspected right-wing extremist attack in Hanau , the Union of Values ​​called for “a clear edge against right-wing extremist violence”.

In the board elections at the end of May 2021, in which Max Otte was elected as the new chairman, Klaus Dageförde, among others, was elected as his deputy. According to Dageförde, he was a member of the right-wing extremist scene for “two or three years” in the 1980s. In 1990, Dageförde was indicted by the Stuttgart public prosecutor. He was accused of being the "ringleader" of a banned organization, the Bamberg offshoot of the Action Front National Socialists/National Activists (ANS/NA) founded by Michael Kühnen , which saw itself as a continuation of the NSDAP and SA. The trial began in February 1991 and ended in May 1994 after 124 days of negotiations. The proceedings against Dageförde were discontinued according to his information. He denied having been a comradeship leader and after the trial he broke off all contact with right-wing organizations. In 2001, however, Dageförde appeared again in police files. A report from the Hanover police names Dageförde as the contact person of the comradeship and friend of the comradeship leader of the “Hanover-Celle comradeship” Jörg R.

According to Otte, Dageförde addressed his neo-Nazi past at the association's meeting, but assured that he "has been clean for 30 years and has nothing to do with the right-wing scene and right-wing extremist ideas". "That's enough for me," said Otte in the taz .

Since April 2021, Dageförde has also been a member of the board of the civil-freedom awakening, a liberal-conservative collection movement. He resigned from his position there as deputy chairman on June 4, 2021.


The union of values ​​is considered economically liberal and business-friendly. She herself describes the " social market economy in the sense of Ludwig Erhard" as her model, but rejects an expansion of social benefits . In her Conservative Manifesto she advocates "debt reduction, relief for the working population from tax and social security contributions" and a "fundamental reform of our social security systems". According to the Union of Values, the minimum wage should be abolished. She wants to reduce state regulations for companies. As the then chairman of the Union of Values, Alexander Mitsch described Germany in 2020 as an "overflowing welfare state that cheerfully redistributes money".


The association sees marriage and family - under the motto "father, mother, children" - as the "most important foundations of our society" and rejects state funding for gender research and gender mainstreaming .

In order to ensure a "significantly improved operational capability [of the ...] Bundeswehr", the Union of Values ​​supports the NATO target of investing two percent of gross domestic product in national defense and wants to examine the reintroduction of conscription.


Board of Directors

The current federal board, led by Max Otte, was elected during the federal assembly on May 29, 2021 in Fulda . Otte succeeded the founder of the Union of Values, Alexander Mitsch, who did not run again.

government office Surname
chairman Max Otte
vice-chairman Simone Baum, Klaus Dageförde, Klaus-Peter Juercke, and Hans-Otto Pistner
treasurer Udo Kelman
press secretary Ralph Gassner
assessor Tonio Aschoff, Julian Auell, Daniel Bornholdt, Marc Ehrlich

Elke Hirt-Neumann, Michael Kuhr , Martin Lohmann ,

Markus Wednesday, Dietmar Pedersen, Karl Rocker, Milo Rose,

Christian Steidl, Michael Sting, and Christoph Wald

Federal Managing Director NN

state associations

  • Baden-Württemberg: Marc Ehrlich
  • Bavaria: Bernd Fleischmann
  • Berlin: NN
  • Brandenburg: Ernst Manno
  • Bremen: NN
  • Hamburg: NN
  • Hesse: Julian Auell
  • Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Isabell Stoltenberg
  • Lower Saxony: Milo Rose, Wolfgang Bergter
  • North Rhine-Westphalia: Simone Baum
  • Rhineland-Palatinate: Elke Hirt-Neumann
  • Saarland: Sven Hufschmidt
  • Saxony: Ulrich Link
  • Saxony-Anhalt: Ingo Gondro
  • Schleswig-Holstein: NN
  • Thuringia: Hans Pistner

Federal President

members and supporters

former members

  • Hans-Georg Maaßen , former President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (decrees have suspended membership in the Union of Values ​​since May 31, 2021, which is not planned)

position within the Union

The union of values ​​is considered controversial within the Union parties CDU and CSU. She is accused, among other things, of being close to the AfD . The partner network of the Union of Values ​​within the Union parties was the Berliner Kreis for a long time , with which there was also a lot of personal overlapping. Since Max Otte was elected chairman, the Berliner Kreis has officially distanced itself from the union of values.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer does not consider it necessary to emphasize values ​​in the union of values, since every CDU member already stands for values.

In an interview with Deutschlandfunk , Wolfgang Schäuble described the union of values as a “marginal group”. What is represented there does not correspond to the "opinion of the vast majority in the CDU".

Friedrich Merz described the union of values ​​in 2019 as a “call for help from below to the party leadership to deal more intensively with certain topics again”. He diagnosed a lack of discussion culture and no offer for conservatives in his party. Value conservatives currently feel "abandoned" by the CDU.

In November 2019, Peter Tauber saw no place for the union of values ​​within the Union: "But there is no place in the CDU for a group that already assumes with its name that it is the sole keeper of the seal of values."

Elmar Brok described the union of values ​​as a “cancer”. "You have to fight something like this with all ruthlessness from the start so that such a cancer can't creep into the party," he said in February 2020.

Saarland Prime Minister Tobias Hans declared in February 2020 that the CDU was conducting politics on the foundations of its values. In this respect, a “commitment to the union of values ​​[…] is an insult to all CDU members”. You don't need a union of values.

Annette Widmann-Mauz , Chairwoman of the Women's Union , criticized the lack of differentiation from the AfD in the Union of Values.

The Christian Democratic Workers' Association (CDA) said that the demand for the lifting of the ban on cooperation with the AfD, which raises the union of values, does not correspond to the values ​​of the CDU and that it is therefore "not part of the union". In 2020, the CDA federal executive board called on the CDU federal executive board to pass a resolution on incompatibility under the heading "Membership in Union values ​​and the CDU is incompatible."

Wolfgang Bosbach stated that the Union of Values ​​represents positions "that ten or 15 years ago were a matter of course for the Union's range of opinions."

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said in his greeting to the union of values ​​that one could “make the AfD superfluous” if one showed a clearly recognizable middle-class attitude.

The chairman of the SME and Economic Union , Carsten Linnemann , demanded that the demands of the value union be taken seriously.

CDU federal board member Karl-Josef Laumann said that the union of values ​​​​does not fit the CDU and has nothing to do with it.


The union of values ​​is classified as right-wing conservative by the media and observers . The party researcher Uwe Jun ( Trier University ) sees no violations of boundaries in the statements made by representatives of the union of values. A Christian Democratic people 's party must appeal to as many groups of voters as possible and therefore endure it if not all opinions agree with the majority opinion of the party.

Michael Wehner, Head of the Baden-Württemberg State Agency for Civic Education in Freiburg, said in the run-up to the Schwetzingen 2018 conference that "the modernization course in Germany is now too popular or accepted by a majority". From a strategic election perspective, it is therefore questionable “whether such a course would pay off overall”. In addition, "slogans that are too exaggerated could not lead to a re-integration of AfD voters, but rather have the opposite effect."

The political scientist Ursula Birsl ( University of Marburg ) also stated that "society has become significantly liberalized in recent decades". Marginalized groups would thus become “louder”. However, the union of values ​​​​catches up “a need for communication” within the party.

The political scientist Martin Florack , on the other hand, found that the union of values ​​was "a far overestimated factor"; it is "rather [to] the mid-forties in the party who are pursuing clear career goals and are also surfing the waves".

web links


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