“The Union of Values is like a dead horse from which you have to get off”
The arch-conservative values union does not come to rest. Now several state boards resigned almost as one. The reason is an “approach to folk and nationalist issues” – embodied in particular by the new federal chairman.
Dhe state boards of the conservative values union in several federal states have resigned. After the state executive in Baden-Württemberg had announced its withdrawal almost completely in protest against the election of the economist Max Otte as the new federal chairman, a corresponding announcement from Rhineland-Palatinate followed on Saturday evening. Also on Saturday, the Bavarian Union of Values had already left the federal association.
Eleven out of twelve board members had announced their withdrawal to the federal board next Friday, said the deputy head of Baden-Württemberg, Oliver Kämpf, on Saturday of the German press agency.
In the letter to the federal executive it says: “The goals of the values union will no longer be achieved with the current federal executive.” The background is an “approach to ethnic and nationalistic issues”. This runs counter to the conservative and economically liberal course of the state board members.
In the Rhineland-Palatinate Union of Values, the board resigned from office on Saturday evening with immediate effect. The reason is Ottes “toxic” effect on the perception and acceptance of the Union of Values, explained the previous chairman Peter Scholze.
“Our resignations from the WertUnion eV association will follow soon,” announced Scholze. After Otte’s election, a further increasing “bunker mentality” and radicalization are to be feared. “A target-oriented political work in the sense of our founding idea has become impossible from our point of view under these circumstances”, it says in the declaration of Scholzes, his two deputies and three assessors.
“The name is destroyed”
The Values Union sees itself as a representative of the conservative current in the Union, but is not an official party division. At the end of May, Otte succeeded Alexander Mitsch from Heidelberg, who had previously announced his retirement, in the position of chairman of the Values Union. Within the Union of Values, the narrow election of Otte as the new chairman sparked a major controversy. According to Kämpf, the Union of Values is slowly dissolving, especially in southern Germany there have been numerous withdrawals and resignations. “The Union of Values is like a dead horse that you have to dismount from.”
He went on to say that the Union of Values founded by Mitsch practically no longer exists. “The name has been destroyed.” It is unacceptable that the value union opens up to other groups or parties. In the state association in the south-west there are “a lot of loyal CDU members” who wanted to influence the course of the party, but this is no longer possible via the Union of Values. If Otte claims that the CDU is no longer democratic, that is not acceptable. According to media reports, the fund manager Otte was chairman of the board of trustees of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation until January 2021.
The two state chairmen Fabian Bail and Jörn Döring resigned – only the board member Marc Ehret did not sign the letter, explained Kämpf. The regional association has about 600 members, nationwide there are about 3700.
In Bavaria, too, the union of values is falling apart
In Bavaria, the Association of Values Union resigned from the federal association of their organization on Saturday. It now wants to appear again as an independent association. At a general meeting in Pöttmes (Aichach-Friedberg district), 38-year-old Juliane Ried was elected chairwoman. The group calls itself – as when it was founded in 2014 – “Conservative departure for values and freedom,” said Ried. According to her information, the association had merged with the values union in 2019.
“We want to concentrate on the CSU again,” Ried explained to the German press agency for this step. However, they continued to pursue common political goals with the Union of Values. However: The policy of the CSU leadership is “currently even more problematic than that of the CDU, so that one has to concentrate on Bavaria and the basis of the CSU with all his might”, as Ried writes on the club’s Facebook page. It is important to counter a “left turn” by the CSU.