In an intensive process, the CDU wants to reposition itself after the disaster in the 2021 federal election. For three days, the responsible committee goes into seclusion. There are first concrete proposals.
In addition to the statutory pension insurance, the CDU wants to introduce mandatory funded old-age provision for everyone. “Anyone who has worked their whole life must have more as a pensioner than those who have not worked,” said deputy party leader and head of the CDU program commission, Carsten Linnemann, of the German Press Agency in Berlin. The statutory pension insurance has proven itself. But Linnemann added: “Every employee should benefit from the capital market.”
The CDU also wants to create incentives for working longer, said Linnemann. “With the active pension, people who have reached the statutory retirement age have the opportunity to earn additional income tax-free.” He wasn’t more specific.
Retreat in Adenauer’s former summer residence
The basic program commission of the CDU withdrew from Thursday to Saturday to a closed conference in the conference center of the party-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Cadenabbia on Lake Como, Italy. Konrad Adenauer (CDU), the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, had his summer residence there.
CDU leader Friedrich Merz and Linnemann discussed the contents of the future basic program in Cadenabbia with the eleven chairmen of the specialist commissions, ten deputies and the deputy heads of the commission, Serap Güler and Mario Voigt. Secretary General Mario Czaja and his deputy Christina Stumpp were also present. The current proposals are not yet final decisions – they have to be made by delegates at an official party conference.
Idea paper for pensions caused a stir
In April, an idea paper by the Social Security Commission with recommendations for a later retirement age caused a stir. It provided for the retirement age to be linked to increasing life expectancy from 2030 – if life expectancy continues to rise as expected by then.
From 2031, the standard retirement age should increase by four months for every year of life gained. At that time it was underlined that this was only a first draft of an idea – it was actually agreed not to publish any texts.
Stricter rules for welfare recipients
The CDU also wants to link social benefits more closely to the willingness to work. This applies to both the unemployed and asylum seekers, reported the “Bild” newspaper. “Anyone who receives social benefits also has an obligation to accept offered work,” she quoted from the program committee’s paper. “It shows solidarity with those who make the social benefits possible with their work. Help for the weakest, solidarity and fairness keep our society together.”
Compulsory language tests at the age of four
After the exam, Linnemann emphasized that the CDU was expressly committed to strengthening early childhood education in order to better prepare children for school. “Language is the key to our society. That’s why we have to start with the little ones.”
Every child should therefore take a uniform and mandatory language test at the age of four, regardless of their origin. “Anyone who does not pass this test must go to preschool or daycare to acquire sufficient German language skills,” said the CDU politician.
climate protection and energy
On the subject of climate protection, Linnemann said that “renewables, efficiency, hydrogen and CO2 cycles must be consistently promoted” as pillars of his party’s strategy for climate-neutral energy and industry. He added: “As a bridge, we need hydrogen-capable gas-fired power plants. We are also focusing on innovations through research and development.”
“Data protection no longer up to date”
Linnemann described the rules on data protection in Germany as no longer up to date. The CDU wants to make data protection “simpler, more uniform and more innovation-friendly”. “We are concerned with data sovereignty and data security,” said the CDU deputy.
The CDU had initiated the process of a new basic program after losing power in the 2021 federal election. It is to be decided at a party conference that will take place from May 6th to 8th, 2024 in Berlin. The current basic program dates from 2007.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.