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These are the various parties’ positions

Business, migration, foreign policy – these are the positions the parties represent in the four policy areas.

Which party stands for what? A short overview.
Which party stands for what? A short overview. © dpa

Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)

In Konrad Adenauer, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) provided the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic. As a catch-all party, the CDU has, since it was founded in 1945, had a major influence on political life in Germany. Together with its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria, the CDU traditionally forms a joint parliamentary group in the Bundestag. The incumbent Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel is a member of the CDU.

CDU/CSU positions in the 2017 German general election

The motto of the electoral campaign is: “For a Germany, in which we live well and gladly”. Focuses are business, work, and family.

  • Work: Full employment by 2025, more flexible working hours, strengthen the dual vocational training system, create incentives for further education, promote self-employment.
  • EU: Strengthen the EU single market and the eurozone, establish a European Defence Union for the protection of the EU external borders, reform the European asylum system, increase the exchange of information between security authorities.
  • Foreign policy: Conclude international trade agreements and combat isolation.
  • Migration and integration: Conclude refugee agreements with African countries. Support and challenge migrants in Germany; deportation in the event of lack of willingness to integrate. Regulate immigration by skilled professionals by means of a new law.


Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

The history of the German labour movement and as such of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) dates back to the popular democratic revolution of 1848; the SPD was given its current name in 1890. It is one of the two big German catch-all parties, and champions the vision of a free, just and caring society.

SPD positions in the 2017 German general election:

The electoral campaign “It’s time for more justice” focuses on work and social justice and makes European policy a major issue.

  • Work: Unlimited employment contracts with collective agreement pay, strengthen workers’ rights, right of return from part-time to full-time work, equal pay between men and women for equal work, start-ups, strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises and craft trades, invest in infrastructure and digitisation, modernise vocational schools.
  • Migration and integration: Combat the reasons for people fleeing in their countries of origin, secure Europe’s external borders, distribute refugees justly across the EU, integrate recognised refuges better and deport more quickly those whose asylum application failed. Regulate the immigration of skilled professionals by means of a points system and specify an immigration quota annually, retain dual citizenship.
  • EU: Extend the authority of the European Parliament, establish an economic government for the eurozone, invest in transport infrastructure, fast Internet, and education, tax companies in the place they generate earnings, establish a European Civil Peace Corps, found a European Defence Union.
  • Foreign Policy: Strengthen civil crisis and conflict prevention, curtail arms exports.



Since 1980 in the West, since 1990 in the East, since 1992 united: The party ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS came into being through West German nature conservation lists and dissident groups in an East Germany that was breaking up. Since the 2013 general election, it has been a member of the opposition.

The Greens’ positions in the 2017 German general election

The Greens are campaigning with a ten-point plan, in which environmental and climate protection, sustainability, societal diversity and social justice are key issues.

  • Climate protection: Exit coal energy, by 2030 only generate electricity from renewable energies, from 2030 only allow emission-free cars.
  • Work: Equal pay between men and women for equal work, right of return from part-time to full-time work, 50 percent women’s quota for executive positions, flexible work time models.
  • EU: Invest in jobs and environmental protection, curb nationalism and populism.
  • Foreign policy: Stop arms exports and armament, invest more money in humanitarian aid instead of increasing the defence budget.
  • Migration and integration: No upper limit for right of asylum, speed up the asylum procedure, do not deport failed asylum seekers to crisis regions, allow families of recognised refugees to join them, promote integration, German citizenship for all children born in the country.



THE LEFT PARTY came into being on 16 June 2007 as the successor to the former East German State party and the party “Electoral Alternative for Work and Social Justice” (WASG). It stands for “democratic socialism”.

The Left Party’s positions in the 2017 German general election

The motto of the Left Party’s electoral campaign is “Social. Just. Peace. For everyone”. Social justice and fighting poverty are key issues.

  • Work: Increase the statutory minimum wage to EUR 12 per hour, reduce working week to 30 hours, abolish temporary agency work, guarantee equal pay for work of equal value, strengthen collective bargaining agreements and trade unions.
  • EU: Debt relief for Greece, stop free trade agreements such as TTIP, TISA and CETA.
  • Migration and integration: Create safe routes for refugees, combat the reasons for people fleeing with more development aid and fair global trade, assure refugees a right to stay.
  • Foreign policy: No missions abroad for German soldiers, ban arms exports, lower military spending.


Free Democratic Party (FDP)

The FDP came into being in 1948 as the result of the merger of parties committed to liberalism. It was represented without interruption in the German Bundestag from 1949 until 2013 and was several times the junior collation partner in the Federal government. The FDP locates itself in the middle of the political spectrum. It represents a liberal, social market economy.

FDP positions in the 2017 German general election

“A new approach” is the motto of the electoral campaign which the FDP is intending will get it re-elected to the Bundestag. Education, digitisation, and the tax system are key issues.

  • Work: Reduce state regulation of the economy, keep the labour market flexible through temporary agency work, limited contracts work time models, maximum working week can be increased to 48 hours, Sunday opening for shops, achieve equal opportunities with regard to executive positions without a women’s quota, no age limit for pension start date.
  • EU: Appoint a joint foreign minister and establish EU border protection and an EU army, improve cohesion through reforms and transparency.
  • Foreign policy: Greater German involvement in international politics.
  • Migration and integration: Regulate immigration of skilled professionals by means of a points system, retain dual citizenship.


Alternative for Germany (AfD)

The AfD was founded in 2013 as a right-wing liberal party that was sceptical of Europe. In 2015 the party’s liberal economic wing broke away, since when it has been associated with the right-wing populist spectrum.

AfD positions in the 2017 German general election

  • Politics: Introduce referendums based on the Swiss model, direct elections for the office of Federal President, limit the Federal Chancellor’s mandate to two legislative periods.
  • Work: Keep the minimum wage and restrict temporary agency work by means of a statutory upper limit.
  • EU: Leave the euro currency union and reintroduce the deutschmark, strengthen national sovereignty in the EU or leave the EU, no foreign missions for the Bundeswehr (Germany army), stop trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA.
  • Foreign policy: Gear development policy to German security and trade interests.
  • Migration and integration: Close national borders, only allow selected, qualified migrants to immigrate instead of granting the right to asylum to anybody persecuted, send recognised asylum seekers back to their home country if the crisis in their country of origin is over, no reuniting of families, abolish dual citizenship.