I.In the value union of conservative CDU and CSU members, there is a tendency to split. The Bavarian Values Union left the federal association on Saturday, as the newly elected state chairwoman Juliane Ried said at a general meeting in Pöttmes.
In Baden-Württemberg, the state board announced its resignation almost completely in protest against the election of the economist Max Otte as the new federal chairman, as the deputy state chief Oliver Kämpf told the German press agency. In a letter to the federal executive it says: “The goals of the values union will no longer be achieved with the current federal executive.” The background is an “approach to ethnic and nationalistic issues”. This runs counter to the conservative and economically liberal course of the state board members.
“Toxic” effect of Otte
In the Rhineland-Palatinate Union of Values, the state board resigned from office on Saturday evening with immediate effect. “Our resignations from the WertUnion eV association will follow soon,” announced the previous chairman Peter Scholze. The reason is the “toxic” effect Otte has on the perception and acceptance of the Union of Values. There is also a risk of a rampant “bunker mentality” and radicalization. “A target-oriented political work in the sense of our founding idea has become impossible from our point of view under these circumstances”, it says in the declaration of Scholzes, his two deputies and three assessors.
The Values Union sees itself as a representative of the conservative current in the Union, but is not an official party division. At the end of May, Otte succeeded Alexander Mitsch from Heidelberg in the office of chairman, who had previously announced his retirement. Within the Union of Values, Otte’s tight election sparked a great dispute. The fund manager was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation until January 2021.
“The Union of Values is like a dead horse”
According to Kämpf, the Union of Values is slowly dissolving, especially in southern Germany there have been numerous withdrawals and resignations. “The Union of Values is like a dead horse that you have to dismount from,” he said.
In Bavaria it is now called – as when it was founded in 2014 – “Conservative departure for values and freedom”, as Ried said. According to her information, the association had merged with the values union in 2019. “We want to concentrate on the CSU again,” said 38-year-old Ried of the dpa to justify the exit. However, they continued to pursue common goals with the values union. However: The policy of the CSU leadership is “currently more problematic than that of the CDU, so that one has to concentrate with all their might on Bavaria and the basis of the CSU”, wrote Ried on the Facebook page of the association. It is a “left turn”
to oppose the CSU.
Baden-Württemberg’s deputy head of state, Kämpf, said that the Union of Values founded by Mitsch practically no longer exists. “The name has been destroyed.” It is unacceptable that the value union opens up to other groups or parties. In the state association in the south-west there are “a lot of loyal CDU members” who wanted to influence the course of the party, but this is no longer possible via the Union of Values.
According to Kämpf’s information, the organization has around 3700 members nationwide. The CDU has a total of around 400,000 members, the CSU around 140,000.