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The Free State of Bavaria: The end of the CSU’s sovereign duchy? OSW Studies Number 77, April 2019

Frymark, Kamil (2019) The Free State of Bavaria: The end of the CSU’s sovereign duchy? OSW Studies Number 77, April 2019. UNSPECIFIED.

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    The Christian Social Union (CSU) has ruled Bavaria continuously for sixty years. The CSU’s domination of the state’s political scene, together with its influence on federal policies through its partnership with the CDU in the Bundestag, has made the party one of the most effective groups in Europe. This was confirmed in the election to Bavaria’s Landtag in October 2018, which the CSU has won once again. At the same time, the party is being confronted by other conservative groupings, mainly Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which has a similar profile to the CSU in several aspects. This, combined with the outflow of similarly sized groups of voters to the AfD and to the Greens, as well as to Freie Wähler, means the CSU is facing a new challenge that involves creating a comprehensive political agenda without losing the party’s conservative identity. The purpose of this report in to present the place the CSU occupies on the political map of Germany and the importance of this grouping for Bavaria. It discusses the changes happening both within the CSU and in Bavaria itself and the possible scenarios for the development of the party and of the state. To study these processes, the author has mainly used the methodology of observing political developments and analysing documents published by the German government, as well as Bavaria’s laws and documents compiled by the CSU. This has been complemented by interviews with German experts. The text is divided into four parts. The first part contains an analysis of the relations between the CSU and the CDU and of the significance of the two parties’ joint parliamentary group, alongside the possible consequences of the group’s unity being broken. The second part discusses the main elements of the CSU’s political programme and the changes happening within the party itself and among its voters, including in the context of the 2018 election to the Landtag. The third part presents Bavaria’s foreign policy and the CSU’s impact on how it is shaped. The final part discusses the main socio-economic challenges Bavaria is currently facing and the CSU’s concepts of how to maintain the present pace of the state’s development. This report is not intended to present the situation of Bavaria and the CSU as a whole, but rather aims to shed light on what the author considers the most significant phenomena, processes and trends.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Germany
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > political parties
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Studies
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2019 14:14
    Number of Pages: 41
    Last Modified: 24 Oct 2019 14:14

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