With its new chairman Johannes Winkel, the Junge Union wants to go into the future. At the Germany Day of the CDU and CSU youth organization yesterday evening, the 31-year-old previous chairman of the North Rhine-Westphalian Junge Union received an approval rating of 86.96 percent.
Winkel succeeds Tilman Kuban (35), who, after almost four years at the head of JU, no longer stood for election due to age. "Let's go full throttle together," said Winkel after the election, in which he had no opponents. Kuban had previously been dismissed with standing applause.
Criticism of Klimaktivsten
In his speech, Winkel warned against de-industrialization in Germany. "Let's fight with all our might to preserve industry, production and innovation in Germany," he said. The Union should be the first party to make Germany a climate-neutral industrial country. At the same time, Winkel attacked the activists of the "last generation" who would have damaged the social acceptance of climate protection.
His predecessor Kuban hoped that the three-day meeting of young party leaders would give the Union a boost. "The CDU must learn to walk again," said Kuban. "At the last Germany Day in Münster last year, we made it very clear what we expect from this party: that we don't want to be the ones who see the CDU going into decline, but that we want to be the ones who make the Union fit. " Now it is important to make this clear with key content, emphasized Kuban.
He also addressed Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine last night. Young people in Ukraine have to stand at the front every night instead of going to university or work during the day, Kuban said. The political focus should be kept on those who are fighting for freedom in Europe, for peace and democracy in Ukraine.
Visiting Ukrainian Ambassador
As a guest at the event, the Ambassador of Ukraine, Oleksii Makeiev, thanked Germany for the support and solidarity. He feels that the hearts in Germany are also beating blue and yellow. A lot had been done by the German government since the beginning of the war. He referred to the arms deliveries. Despite the anti-aircraft defenses supplied by Germany, many Russian missiles would reach their targets, resulting in civilian casualties and a failure of critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Cities and villages sometimes had no electricity, no water and no heating for days.
Makeiev emphasized: "Every goal makes life more difficult for us, but every goal confirms our will to win." The aim is to rebuild Ukraine, to modernize it and to be part of the European family as a member of the EU and NATO, the ambassador explained and indirectly appealed for further arms deliveries from Germany.
Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko made a similar statement: "We see our future as part of the European family," said Klitschko in a video greeting recorded at the event, declaring: "This is not a war, this is genocide." Russia is trying to cut off water and electricity supplies to the Ukrainian population. More than one and a half million residents in Kyiv and more than ten million people across the country are already without electricity. "Putin wants a Ukraine without Ukrainians." The situation becomes particularly critical when winter comes with temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius.
Wüst rejects allegations of citizen money
In the dispute over citizen income, the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister and CDU chairman Hendrik Wüst rejected "fake news" allegations by traffic light politicians. "Anyone who tries to silence the opposition in the center risks damaging public discourse and democracy," Wüst said at Germany Day. He accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of being too hesitant in his policies, not only when it came to aid for Ukraine. This crisis "needs clarity, not hesitation and procrastination. This crisis also needs cohesion." But there is always a fight at the traffic light.
Kuban named Iran policy as a further focus of the JU meeting. He demanded that the federal government should send stronger signals of support for the freedom movement in the Islamic Republic.
Merz and Spahn are scheduled to speak today
For today, CDU leader Friedrich Merz and Union parliamentary group leader Jens Spahn are expected as guests at the Germany Day. In addition, the delegates want to discuss a key motion on foreign and security policy. The aim is to make it clear that the Bundeswehr belongs in the middle of society and that soldiers need much more appreciation, said Kuban.
With a view to the next federal election, he explained that the youth organization of the CDU and CSU wanted to campaign together for an orderly process to determine the next Union candidate for chancellor. He hopes that his successor will continue to push this issue, because "such chaos as last time" shouldn't happen again in the next federal election.