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How CDU and CSU are reforming the electoral program

How CDU and CSU are reforming the electoral program

Cdu-Csu programmatic movements in view of the electoral program after the victory in Saxony-Anhalt. The in-depth study by Pierluigi Mennitti from Berlin

Excited by the result in Saxony-Anhalt, Armin Laschet's new CDU is working on the electoral program, from which it hopes to get a further boost for a campaign that is now being viewed with greater optimism. It is the program that will then be the basis for the negotiations of the next government, with the partners of the future alliance. Because of one thing Laschet and his people are now convinced: the race for the first place will still be long, but no government will ever be possible without the CDU.

The engine of this theoretical-strategic elaboration, which also intends to design the post-Merkel party, are the parliamentary groups of the Union, the grouping that unites the two conservative formations to the Bundestag, the Christian-Democrats of the CDU and the Bavarian Christian-Social Csu. The deputies have prepared a working draft (Positionpapier) which contains 40 measures to be incorporated in the program that the party is preparing to launch in the coming days and which will accompany the Laschet candidate in the race to the chancellery. The intent is to reposition the rudder towards more traditional routes compared to the season of Merkel governments, especially as regards economic issues.

The strategy makes sense: if it is true that the competition for the first place will be with the Greens on the terrain of the fight against climate change, to try to get closer to percentages in keeping with the last large mass party left on the German scene it will be necessary to keep to watch out for the return of the liberals, at one time preferred partners but also insidious competitors.

The first polls carried out after the Magdeburg vote (Istituto Forsa and the Politbaroimeter of the Zdf) give CDU / Csu an advantage of 5-6 points (27-28 to 22) over the Greens, which only a couple of weeks ago were given in first position, and assigns to the liberal FDP percentages between 10 and 14. The Forsa poll, the most optimistic about the FDP, sees it competing for third place with the SPD (also at 14). The liberals would be Laschet's preferred partner to form a politically organic government, an old-fashioned liberal-conservative center-right: but the possibility that this scenario will be realized in the polls on September 26th is currently extremely difficult, despite the virtual exploit of the Fdp. Better therefore a strategy of containment, returning to embrace issues close to the free market and the modernization of the public administration.

The first point targeted by the parliamentarians of the Union is the enormous legislative production of the Bundestag itself. The laws are too many, say the deputies, and propose to introduce a sort of "necessity check-up". Whenever parliament is about to pass legislation, it will be mandatory to assess whether it is really necessary or whether it can be merged with other laws. Every legislation is just and worthwhile in itself, the Union's deputies admit, but the sum of those produced in each legislature is excessive and overloads the state.

It is actually a self-criticism, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung observes, since the last Merkel government has so far produced over 400 new laws at the rate of 10 per month: it may also be that the presence of the Social Democrats (real lawmakers) played an important role, but the Union was still the driving force of the Merkel executive.

Now the CDU and the CSU promise to change and to imagine a lighter and leaner state. This kind of verification of necessity (perhaps even preventive) will help to simplify the work of ministries and parliamentarians, who will thus be able to focus on the essential aspects, avoiding flooding citizens with unnecessary and redundant rules.

The proposal to contain legislative production is the most bizarre of a package of initiatives among which some measures aimed at modernizing the administrative apparatus are distinguished. A need that the difficulties encountered in the harsh months of the pandemic make today even more urgent. Thus the ideas of creating an app-store for the administration, an unspecified digital ministry or a digital system for homologation certifications, or even the proposal to create within the bureaucratic apparatuses modernization teams that introduce systems arose. of innovation.

The package was being studied even before the pandemic, but the (negative) experience gained in the management of the Covid emergency has provided more precise and concrete ideas: the health offices communicated the data of the infections by analogue and in some cases even via fax, making the Koch Institut's collection and evaluation work complex; later, in the vaccination centers piles of paper documents instead of digitized documents, making everything slower and more cumbersome.

Now MEPs are calling for part of these measures to be integrated into the electoral program, as a sign of a change of gear that the Union promises to its voters for the post-Merkel period. Measures that should concretize the aspiration for a “simpler, more agile, more digital and above all better equipped state to face contemporary crises”. A more modern and efficient administration is a necessary condition for economic growth, because it simplifies the bureaucratic life of citizens but also of companies.

It is a line on which Armin Laschet will not struggle to converge, since his electoral campaign should be based precisely on a modernization agenda for the new decade. Administrative streamlining is one of the keys, the massive use of digitization should also produce the loss of many state apparatuses, including ministries: some skills could more easily be merged, the departments of the next government could immediately decrease. He knows a lot about optimization applied to the public sphere. Waiting to know the details better (and to see what kind of resistance it will encounter in the apparatuses), just talking about it puts the Union back on the path of competition from the liberals. Compared to the last years of the "social democratic" merkel, it is already fresh air.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/come-cdu-csu-stanno-riformando-il-programma-elettorale/ on Fri, 11 Jun 2021 06:37:02 +0000.