Hans-Georg Maaßen’s right-wing “Union of Values” is likely to have a difficult time in the new party landscape. For the CDU, however, the split could still prove to be a nightmare.
In the end everything happened quite quickly. The members only discussed for a few hours, then it became clear that the so-called “Union of Values” would soon become a party. “We are the CDU 1.0,” exclaimed the former President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maaßen, to his people in Erfurt on Saturday. The party is to be formally founded in February in order to be able to run in its first elections this year.
Well, finally, shout some in the CDU. The party leadership has been trying for a long time to get rid of former top official Maaßen, who had slipped into the conspiracy milieu. Now he’s going himself. In For the CDU, the Maaßen chapter will soon be over. For the CDU does not.
It’s clear: the Maaßen troops will have a difficult time in the new party landscape. Others have long since come up with the idea of becoming an advocate for the supposedly forgotten. Neither the AfD nor the Wagenknecht party should really tremble before Maaßen. They have more money, more professional structures, better-known staff. Beyond Maaßen, you have to look long and hard to find someone in the “Union of Values” who has serious political experience. Apparently there isn’t even anyone there who is capable of writing a sensible press release, as this Saturday showed. In short: There is much to suggest that the “union of values” remains a marginal phenomenon.
Are we the “union of values” becoming a destructive force in Thuringia?
In the east, especially in Thuringia, it could still develop destructive power. The CDU needs every voter there in order to come anywhere close to being on a par with the AfD or at least not to become a marginal phenomenon itself. The “union of values” will make this project even more difficult than it already is.
Anyone who has always wanted to turn away from the CDU but has so far been afraid to vote for the AfD can now vote for Maaßen. In other words: With his party he makes it easier for people to say goodbye to the CDU. This is Maaßen’s revenge.
His mantra of not putting on chains when dealing with the AfD is also likely to be aimed at his old party. Because the CDU has so far declared both the Left Party and the AfD to be taboo, it lacks any narrative as to who it actually wants to form a majority with. With his flexibility to the right, Maaßen wants to show the CDU its strategic dilemma – and should thereby strengthen all those Christian Democrats who see a salvation in opening up to the AfD. It has been known since 2020 that there are some of these in Thuringia. And back then the conditions were different.
It’s just Thuringia, one could object. That’s correct. But the political situation there is so confusing that the Erfurt state parliament could become a large experimental field, just a year before the next federal election. And anyone who wants to know what impact a Thuringian election can have should just look at the fate of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
Their failed attempt to keep their own regional association under control shocked Christian Democrats as a whole. For Hans-Georg Maaßen, the memory is the best proof of how easy it can be to unsettle the federal leadership of his old party via the state parliament in Erfurt. Friedrich Merz should be warned.
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.