The conservative party of Germany, CDU, and her sister from Bavaria, CSU, finally spread out their program for the upcomming elections. After some taff weeks, with Annalena Baerbock from the Green Party beeing in favor for many people, they are now back again in the position that suit them best, in their own view. On the way to the next win as the biggest party in the german parliament, the Bundestag.
After 16 years of Merkel beeing chancelor, the party is faced with a serious dilemma. On the one hand, she wants to be the chancellors-party ones again, and to do so, she has to point towards the continuity she can provide in this area. On the other hand, as the party, the country and basically the whole world is turning upside-down, she has to provide the necessary will to change her politics. Only if they´re able to handle this conflict, they might be able to win. But is their program any help in this regard?
In terms of the rhetoric, they try to get over this problem simply by declaring that there´s going to be a Modernisierungsjahrzehnt, a decade of modernisation. Why the party that actually held power for 16 years should be the right one for this task is rather unclear, showing that their act of balance will be a difficult thing to do.
The party sees the world in an era of fundamental changes, forced by the dynamic of the Asian continent and the rise of China, as well as by the upcoming clash of systems between liberal democracies and authoritarian states. For this, the party wants to build deeper connections with likeminded partners in the Indo-Pacific and Latinamerica.
Next to the usual referings of the United States and NATO beeing the backbone of Germany´s security, there are some surprising views on other parts of the world. Like the new insight that the situation in the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East has an direct impact on Germany´s well being. Or the insight that the relations towards the democracies of the Asia-Pacific might be crucial in the 21th century. While Taiwan sadly isn´t even mentioned, the People´s Republic of China is seen as the main competitor for the next decades and even after. Africa is mentioned as well, descriped as a continent full of potencial, something rarely seen so far.
Like other parties in the parliament, the CDU wants the EU to have more authority. For this, the French-German axis should be stronger than by now, again something the party hasn´t dealt with particularly good during the last couple of years. There are some changes in the view of the neighboring regions of the European Union, as the party doesn´t want a country to „weak the European Union“. This far-stretching formulation might turn out to be a stop-sign for some countries interested in beeing part of the union. Turkey isn´t viewed as a potencial candidate anymore, but as an important ally in strategic and economic terms.
The key problem for the party is the fact that, despide being the major party in Germany for over a decade now, they have to to gain the trust of the people that they will be the ones able to implement these changes. It really takes an upheavel in the party to provide this confidence again.