“Church must be present”

At the end of the year, the CDU once again dealt with fundamental ies: At the party conference in Hanover, the Christian Democrats adopted their new basic program. Prelate Karl Justen, head of the Catholic Office in Berlin, was present on behalf of the Catholic Church. In the this site interview he speaks about the role of the churches in politics.

After catching up with the Catholic Church, the CDU is committing less and less to its positions. In the draft of the new party manifesto, the party does stand by its Christian faith, said the head of the Catholic Office in Berlin, Prelate Karl Justen, on Monday to this site in Cologne. Overall, however, he said, "if you compare the party programs, you will see that the commitment to the church has decreased."Justen regretted the CDU's decision on the stem cell law. The party congress failed to adopt a clear position based on the Christian view of humanity.The prelate also sees differences in the CDU's understanding of the family. The party uses the term family, for example, wherever there are children and people take responsibility for them, said Justen. "For us, however, family is that which is based on marriage."On the other hand, the church's concerns are well represented in questions of end-of-life care. The vast majority of politicians are against active euthanasia, they say. On the subject of life protection and the abortion ie, however, the head of the Catholic Office would like to see even clearer statements from the CDU.

Not only performance counts In its new basic program, which the CDU adopted at its party convention in Hanover on Monday, social security takes a higher priority than it did in the first half of the legislative period and especially in the 2005 federal election campaign. The Christian Democrats are thus reacting to a development that they themselves name in the draft program: Many people have "lost confidence in the social market economy". The "opportunity society" from the 2003 reform party conference in Leipzig is to be padded out more warmly: "Social market economy means participation even for those who cannot earn it through their own efforts."In its new platform, the CDU is committed to the "indispensable" welfare state and also addresses the uncertainty caused by the consequences of globalization and years of high unemployment: "In times when many things are in flux, people need to have confidence in a life of security."In the labor market, the CDU wants to support older and less qualified workers. Those who work should have more than those who do not.The CDU rejects a statutory minimum wage, as sought by the SPD. The CDU wants to have low incomes topped up by the state. Unethical wages should remain prohibited. Like the SPD, the CDU is not giving up on the goal of full employment: "The social market economy wants full employment."Work is crucial for social participation, "no one should be excluded.

Social insurance On the subject of social insurance, the CDU wants to supplement contributions from earned income with premium models along the lines of private insurance and replace them in the long term. The socially disadvantaged should receive state subsidies, and child insurance should be financed by taxes. The coalition in Berlin has already decided on the latter with the health reform. The CDU's goal is to decouple social security more strongly from wage costs.Old-age pensions should continue to be based on income and reflect life's achievements. The program states that the statutory pension would lose its legitimacy if it fell to the level of basic social security. Additional company and private pension provision to be promoted.

Family policy Controversial within the party was the new tone in family policy: "Family is wherever parents bear long-term responsibility for children and children for parents," it says under the heading: "Creating freedom of choice for families". Genuine freedom of choice means that parents can decide whether and how to reconcile their children and their careers.The classic division of roles is no longer the conservative ideal: In the future, "both parents will often take care of both the economic basis and the emotional quality of the family.". Non-marital and same-sex partnerships are accepted, but are not to be put on an equal footing with marriage. Homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt children. The CDU wants to bundle family support in a family fund.

Childcare allowance Marital splitting is to be maintained without a cap. In addition, parents with children are to receive higher tax benefits through family splitting. Unmarried couples with children would also benefit from this. The expansion of childcare is also in the basic program. Kindergarten places to be offered free of charge in the medium term.Finally, the childcare allowance demanded by the CSU, which Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) originally rejected, as did many Union women, is now to be included in the basic program: "In the medium term, we want to create a childcare allowance for parents who want to raise their children from 1. to 3. 'Care for children at home until the age of 18 and do not claim a place in a daycare center,' is the recommendation of the motions committee. The "C" will not be shaken – In the new basic program of the CDU, the Christian image of man has a prominent place.

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Christina Cherry
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