Christian Democratic Union

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Christian Democratic Union

 

(CDU; Christlich-Demokratische Union), a major bourgeois political party in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The CDU was formed in 1950 from local organizations that had existed since 1945.

The party represents the interests of monopoly capital, and it draws support from various religious groups, particularly Catholic groups. The party membership includes mainly leading businessmen, high-ranking officials, well-to-do farmers, and craftsmen. It forms a united bloc in the Bundestag with the Christian Social Union, a Bavarian party. Christian Democrats headed the government of the FRG until 1969.

K. Adenauer, who served as chairman of the CDU from 1950 to 1966, long played a major role in the formulation of the party’s political course. The party sought to complete the division of Germany into two parts and to incorporate the FRG into the system of military and economic alliances of the Western powers. Proceeding on the basis of revanchistmilitarist aims, the CDU refused to normalize relations with the European socialist countries, to extend formal recognition to the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or to recognize the inviolability of European borders; it laid an unfounded claim to West Berlin and sought access for the FRG to nuclear weapons.

Since 1969 the CDU has been an opposition party and has constantly criticiżed the foreign and domestic policies of the government, which has been headed by the Social Democratic and Free Democratic parties. In particular, the CDU has opposed the FRG’s treaties with the USSR, the Polish People’s Republic, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, as well as the treaty that established the basis for relations between the FRG and the GDR.

As of 1978, the CDU had 672,000 members. The party chairman is H. Kohl.

References in periodicals archive ?
The 52-year-old is affiliated with the SPD, so it's hard to say how the CDU might react if Merkel put him forward.
CDU characteristics that may be helpful to those seeking to replicate this project are presented in Table 4.
Yet Mitchell emphasizes that as the CDU moved from theoretical discussions to policy formulations, conflicts became more pronounced, especially along confessional lines.
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Although Angela Merkel's CDU was the clear winner, German politics remain paralyzed as coalition talks with both the social democratic party (SPD) and the green party are expected to be difficult and to last until the end of the year.
But the distanced, presidential political style that has so far secured Merkel's position in a post-Schroder, post-charismatic era of German politics might now seriously weaken her power basis in the CDU.