For a successful future, the CDU must become younger, more diverse and more female. A quota for women is a correct and urgently needed step, writes Friedrich Merz.

Dear FOCUS Online readers,

For more than two years we have been discussing how we can get more young people and, above all, more women to work in the CDU. A structure and statute commission set up by the federal executive board of the CDU worked hard and long to come up with proposals that could not previously be decided at a federal party conference, because changes to the statutes previously required the approval of a party conference in attendance.

Party work is an indispensable part of the political order in a democracy; without a functioning democracy in the parties, there is no democracy with the parties. That’s why we took the time this week to carefully discuss the proposals for modernizing our work, especially for making full use of digital formats. The federal executive committee’s proposals will now be put to the vote at our next federal party conference in Hanover at the beginning of September.

These proposals also include the introduction of a women’s quota for the party executives from the county level and for the future lists of the party for upcoming general elections. The quota will gradually be raised from a third to 40 percent to 50 percent, which will then apply to all party structures from mid-2025. I will ask the party congress in Hanover for approval and at the same time propose a time limit until the end of 2029.

I have often repeated it: a quota is and remains the second-best solution. The best solution would be the appropriate participation of women without binding regulations on this in our statutes. The Lower Saxony CDU has done this for the upcoming state elections: Every second place on the state list is occupied by a woman, in half of the constituencies women are candidates.

But unfortunately this is not practiced everywhere. And that’s why we need to put a little more commitment into our statutes now, because one thing is clear: we will only win the next elections if we become younger, more diverse and more female. We are making progress on this path, and we get approval for our course in the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia. But we must consistently continue on this path of renewal, which is why I have also decided to approve the proposed quota.

And if we do it well and correctly, then in a few years the appropriate participation of women in our executive committees and parliamentary groups will be so self-evident that we can remove the obligation from our statutes again.

I wish you a nice weekend!

Yours Friedrich Merz

Friedrich Merz is a lawyer and politician (CDU). From 1989 to 1994 he was a member of the European Parliament and from 1994 to 2009 of the German Bundestag. There he was chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group from 2000 to 2002. In 2018, Merz ran unsuccessfully for the presidency of the CDU, just like in 2021. Only at the third attempt was he elected party leader at the CDU party conference on January 22, 2022. Now Merz is again a member of parliament and chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

In his “Mail von Merz” the CDU politician analyzes and comments on current political developments in Germany and beyond for the readers of FOCUS Online.