Germany's Christian Democrats are a "brain dead" party, the leader of a new splinter group has said. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


Germany’s Christian Democrats ‘brain dead’, says splinter-group chief as he ‘unsaddles’


Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU) party is “brain dead”, the leader of a new splinter group has said.

Announcing his formal resignation from the party, Hans-Georg Maaßen declared that the CDU has been “straying” from its core values for some time.

Under the leadership of the party’s current head, Friedrich Merz, Maaßen said he views the party as “unsalvageable”.

“When a horse is dead, you have to unsaddle – and the CDU is not only dead at heart but now also brain dead,” he said.

“The CDU has abandoned its values and core beliefs in recent years,” he continued. “It only gives the impression of being a bourgeois alternative to ‘red-green’ but, in the end, it is just its variant.”

Maaßen said his focus would now be on the creation of a new party, the Union of Values, which he said would be able to fill the gaps created by the left-drifting CDU.

Merz’s CDU “can no longer be reformed”, he declared. “That’s why I will now concentrate on building the Union of Values as a new bourgeois party.”

Having started life in 2017 as a lobby group aimed at pulling Christian Democrat policy to the Right, the WerteUnion – in English, the Union of Values or Values Union – was quickly vilified by the party mainstream over its perceived dissident politics.

A similar attitude developed around Maaßen, the group’s chairman and a former head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Many in party viewed some of his statements as drifting a little too far Right.

Formal efforts to kick Maaßen out of the CDU began in 2023, with the Union of Values striking back by announcing this year it would mandate the formation of a political party that shared its name.

German media speculated this latest development has pleased many within the CDU. As the party forbids dual membership, it is hoped by members that many pro-Maaßen “troublemakers” will leave the party for the new group, which they see as little threat electorally speaking.

It is unclear whether the Union of Values intends to contest the European Parliament elections 2024 in June.