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The sister parties

The sister parties CDU and CSU, known as the “Union” for short, form the traditionally strongest party in Germany, though they will have to cope with the departure of Angela Merkel.


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Ahead of the Bundestag elections on 21 September 2021, let us introduce you to the German political parties that are represented in the Bundestag. In Germany, parties only win seats in parliament if they obtain five percent or more of the votes.

The party:
Christian Democratic Union of Germany / Christian-Social Union

26 June 1945

CDU 405,816 / CSU 139,130 (12/2019)

MPs in the Bundestag in the period 2017–2021:
245 of 709 MPs in total

Chancellor Candidate in 2021:
Armin Laschet, Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia

Historic figures:              
Konrad Adenauer, first Federal Chancellor from 1949 to 1963
Ludwig Erhard, Federal Chancellor from 1963 to 1966
Kurt Georg Kiesinger, Federal Chancellor from 1966 to 1969
Helmut Kohl, Federal Chancellor from 1982 to 1998
Angela Merkel, first female Federal Chancellor from 2005 to 2021

Profile: The CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, were established as non-denominational Christian parties directly after the Second World War by members of the civilian resistance to National Socialism. Their core values are rooted in Catholic social doctrine, Conservativism, and commitment to a liberal (social) market economy that is provided with a regulatory framework of rules and laws by the state. The CDU/CSU regards itself as a “catch-all party” that expressly combines many different interests and therefore aims to speak and develop policies on behalf of a very large part of the population.

The CDU runs for election in all Germany’s states apart from Bavaria, where its place is taken by the CSU, which only stands in Bavaria. The two parties are often known colloquially as “the Union”. In the Bundestag they form the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. The “Union” is traditionally the strongest party in Germany and has governed the country the longest in various coalitions.


Links to portraits of other political parties:
SPD, Greens, FDP, Linke, AfD