Cdu rejects push for referendums

Cdu rejects push for referendums

"We will not agree to the proposal. Consequently, the next coalition will not introduce this either," said CDU/CSU parliamentary group vice chairman gunter krings (CDU) to the german press agency in berlin on tuesday.

The discussion was triggered by a paper prepared by the responsible chief negotiators of the CDU/CSU and the SPD for the first round of coalition negotiations on wednesday. In view of the heated debate, union negotiator and current federal interior minister hans-peter friedrich (CSU) made it clear: "there is no agreement whatsoever on this."The paper was not intended for the public, he told dpa.

On wednesday, the rough round of negotiations will discuss topics such as internal affairs and justice. In the working group on domestic policy, the CDU/CSU and SPD were unable to reach agreement on the issue of direct democracy. Friedrich and his co-negotiator from the SPD, fraktionsgeschaftsfuhrer thomas oppermann, then worked out a compromise proposal.

In the paper, they propose to allow referendums at the federal level in certain cases: for example, the people should be asked directly about important european issues such as further EU membership or financial aid. This is what the CSU had advocated during the election campaign.

The paper also includes the SPD’s demand for referendums on passed laws. The citizens could, for example, call for a vote on a particular law as soon as it had passed the bundestag. Prerequisite: one million signatures had to be collected within six months of the law’s passage.

The paper made high waves. In parts of the public discussion, the proposals were already seen as an agreement between the union and the SPD. The left and the association more democracy buried the advance and spoke of an invasive step.

The CDU, on the other hand, was caught off guard and clearly rejected the proposal. "Referendums were detrimental to parliament," said krings. He was particularly critical of the idea of supplementary referendums on planned legislation. "This would be poison for the legal security of our state."

CDU european politician gunther krichbaum told dpa that the proposed rules delayed decisions in european politics and paralyzed any progress in the eu.

SPD secretary general andrea nahles, on the other hand, reiterated that stronger citizen participation was a key demand for her party. Oppermann spoke of a "unique window" of opportunity in a grand coalition to modernize democracy. The SPD, however, emphasized that so far there have only been compromise signals from the CSU, but not a finished agreement.

Friedrich also strove to smooth the waters. Oppermann and he had only written down the views of their parties again – "as an internal paper for further discussion", the CSU politician told the news agency dpa. "We know that the CDU does not agree with either proposal."

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