Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union on Sunday (23 June) adopted its political programme ahead of the September elections, vowing to oppose any debt mutualisation in Europe.
The main message of the 128-page long manifesto is that Germans should vote for the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party (CSU) as they got Germany and Europe out of the crisis.
“Before the last elections in 2009, there were big concerns about the future. Germany and Europe were in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. Today Germany is again a strong and successful country, one of the strongest worldwide. This shows: our efforts have paid off. Europe and the euro are advancing,” the manifesto reads.
Merkel’s party promises to hold a steady course on economic policies, meaning no euro-bailouts without strict conditions, pushing through reforms and cutting back public deficit and debt.
Eurobonds – an idea promoted by the opposition about a year ago but meanwhile abandoned – remain a no-go area.
“This would lead to a European debt union, where the German taxpayer would need to take over almost all the debt of other countries. We reject that,” the party programme reads.
The Christian Democrats want the German “dual education model” to be adopted all over Europe in order to boost youth employment, but they insist countries should not spend more or take on more debt to restart their economies.
“For many in Europe and around the world, Germany is a role model today when it comes to good policies for a sustainable development,” the party paper says.
Being a Christian party that sought to get Europe’s “Christian roots” into the EU treaty, Merkel’s party mentions its commitment to “Christian-Western roots and the ideas of enlightenment.”
No to Turkey
The Christian Democrats have also not changed their mind on Turkey’s EU membership.
“We reject full membership because Turkey does not meet the conditions for joining the EU. Also, given the size of the country and its economic structure, the European Union would be overwhelmed,” the text says.
Instead, the manifesto promotes the idea of strengthening ties between the EU and Turkey, even though Merkel on Sunday admitted that Berlin’s idea of a “privileged partnership” has been dismissed by Ankara.
“You know, if you think you had a good idea but the other side keeps rejecting it, then you reach a point where you don’t bring it up again. We have now realised that Turkey doesn’t want it,” she said.
Both countries on Saturday summoned each other’s ambassadors after Germany opposed the opening of an EU negotiation chapter with Turkey, due to the strong-handed reaction of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to quell anti-government protests.