The consolidation of Europe seventy years ago was, above all, a promise of security for its citizens. After the experience of terrible wars with millions of deaths and millionfold suffering, the conviction prevailed: Let us settle our interests negotiating and not waging war on the battlefield. Peace and Security – that is the promise of Europe. And it is what CDU Germany feels committed to ever since Europe’s foundation. This is what the exemplary statesmanship of Konrad Adenauer, our first Chairman and Chancellor of Germany, stands for.
Europe’s promise of security was also the driving force during the Cold War. The completion of German Reunification could only be achieved in a secure and free Europe. Helmut Kohl and the CDU were aware of this. Without the persistent advocacy for the security of a free Europe, the end of the Cold War in peace and freedom would not have been possible.
Still today, Europe is faced by the issue of how to fulfil the promise of security towards its citizens. There is concern that Europe will not be able to live up to its challenges – terrorism, climate change, digital transformation, and global trade. Many people are worried not to be able to cope with them.
We have to respond to these worries with a real, comprehensive solution, not pseudo-solutions. Such a real solution could solely be a convincing European answer. Yes, we need a European effort so that the European Union will have significant weight in the global order and keep its comprehensive security promise.
Therefore, a Europe of Security will only be able to exist if Europe is ready to find its role in a changing world. If Europe wants to be a global actor it has to literally act like one. CDU is THE European Party and we stand ready to contribute to this. We want to further Europe; we want Europe to be stronger, more successful, more secure, more dynamic and more effective. To this end, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has presented concrete suggestions:
Security on the Basis of Common Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy
Non-permanent seats of EU Members in the UN Security Council should be transferred into a joint seat of the EU.
We create a European Security Council coordinating a coherent appearance of the EU.
With an EU-White Paper the EU defines its interests in terms of security policy.
A common defence policy should be supplemented by the development of common weapon systems; the EU needs a joint interventions military force, common standards for defence exports should be developed.
We want to strengthen the coordination of the intelligence services and anti-terrorism authorities and create a common data platform for the battle against terrorism, organised crime and illegal migration.
Security on the Basis of Common Development, Migration, Asylum Policies
The EU needs both a common asylum system and common asylum authorities which ideally deal with asylum procedures at the EU external borders.
The EU secures its borders with a strong European border protection police.
On the principle of a flexible solidarity EU member states contribute their respective share according to their particular capabilities – be it within the field of humanitarian help, the protection of borders, the dealing with asylum procedures, the participation in repatriation, or in prevention of root causes of migration/flight.
The EU combats the root causes of migration/flight jointly and contributes to the security of Europe through growth impulses in Africa.
The interconnected approach in international crisis brings defence, security, and development policies together to prevent migration flows.
Security on the Basis of a Common Science, Economic and Monetary Union
We want to develop the tax system in a way that internet enterprises are to pay taxes, too.
The EU sets the aim of every member state increasing their expenses on science and research up to 3 percent of the national GDP at least.
Research institutions of excellence should integrate more within the EU.
The EU develops a common strategy on research, development, and application of artificial intelligence.
The Economic and Monetary Union will be further developed – with a budget for investment in the Euro Zone, a European Monetary Fund, and also with the support for bi- and multilateral trade agreements.
Security on the Basis of a Common Union of Education, Cultural Diversity, and Integrity of Creation
Based on the model of the Franco-German Youth Office, a European Youth Office should be built.
Exchange Programs should be advanced – comprising high school students, trainees, and university students as well as young professionals, young entrepreneurs, and adults within advanced education programs.
We want common professional qualifications within the EU, also in the field of dual education.
With an “Interrailticket” free of charge for youth at the age of 18 years we want to encourage encounters in Europe.
We want a structured cooperation within the EU in the dialogue with Christian Churches; and at the same time we need cooperation in the field of integration of immigrants especially those of Muslim faith; a common European Imam Qualification would be an important contribution.
We want a common EU approach against xenophobia and antisemitism.
The EU considers itself a pioneer in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement.
Security on the Basis of a Union with a Strengthened Capability
The EU-Commission needs to be reduced according to efficiency.
According to their particular strengths the member states should be proceeding as lead states in important future fields, for example the Baltic States in the field of digitalisation.
The work of the European Parliament should be concentrated on Brussels; Strasburg as Parliamentary seat and Luxemburg as administrative seat have to be abandoned.
We want to permanently establish the principle of the nomination of top candidates („Spitzenkandidaten“) of the European Parties and additionally organise the election of a part of the members of the European Parliament by transnational lists.
Our plan for a Europe of Security requires both the need for strong common European institutions as well as cooperation of the national governments. A Europe of Security demands on the one hand the national states to be ready to transfer competences to common institutions where necessary. On the other hand, it does not work without the national states: They are the foundation of the democratic legitimation as well as they are the foundation of the identification of the people. It is the national states who formulate the respective particular interests and bring them together at the European level. This is the European founding of Adenauer and Schuman; we as Christian Democrats are committed to this idea for the future.
With this plan at hand, we want to strengthen Europe. We want Europe to be capable of acting in the interests of its citizens and keeping the promise of security in the 21st century. Europe can guarantee freedom, democracy and the rule of law only by resolute and brave acting. If Europe stands idle, it will be worn down by the global forces. We cannot and will not let this happen. Therefore, we stand up for a Europe of Security.