Can it lead the CDU into the future?

ANDAt the CDU, the name Friedrich Merz has long been associated with a longing to return to the glorified times before Angela Merkel. However, a party that wants to survive in a rapidly changing world, when confronted with new challenges, cannot want to go back in time. For the CDU there is no going back to the times of Helmut Kohl or even Konrad Adenauer, just as the CSU can no longer recreate Bavaria by Franz Josef Strauss.

This applies in particular to economic and financial policy. The social market economy remains the only promising economic model in the long run, but specific tasks have changed. The age structure of the population and its impact on economic growth potential and social security finances have changed dramatically since the days of Adenauer. In Kohl’s time, Europe was still associated with the idea of ​​a new beginning, while today, in the face of weak competitiveness and tense public finances in many countries, the question arises as to how long monetary policy will be able to ensure the coherence of the monetary union. Ultimately, the far-reaching transformation of the German economy in the name of climate policy will have a completely different dimension than the industrial modernization of Bavaria under Strauss – which was certainly caused by borrowings from French state capitalism.

Unless traffic lights completely ruin the start of their tenure in the federal government, the CDU faces tough times as they are at much higher stakes in the upcoming state elections than for the SPD. As the FDP has shown from the outset that government action does not have to go hand in hand with adherence to financial policy rules, the CDU would have the opportunity to distinguish itself with a clear profile as an alternative. Of course, the party must not lose itself in nostalgia, but it must look to the future. Merz will be judged to see if he can lead the CDU into the future.

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