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Germany: CDU goes multicultural

Credits: @picture-alliance/dpa | Deutsche Welle

Credits: @picture-alliance/dpa | Deutsche Welle

Germany’s Christian Democrats want more diversity and believe more Muslims in their party will make the Union more open. A Deutsche Welle columnist believes that “the CDU should strive for openness as Germany’s biggest political party“. He observes that “the Greens have a chairman called Özdemir, the Social Democrats a general secretary called Fahimi – now the Christian Democrats want to open up as well. From now on, multiculturalism will no longer be something that has been imposed upon them by the political left. The CDU wants to present itself as ethnically mixed, too. This is a cultural revolution – or a mini-revolution, at the very least“.

MPG’s Diversity Assessment Tool, developed in the framework of the project Diversity in Political Parties’ Programmes, Organisation and Representation (DivPol) is designed to assess to what extent political parties adopt measures to integrate people with an immigrant background into the life of the party. Parties are organisations that are to a greater or lesser extent professional organisations operating at local, regional, national and European levels. In order to achieve their overall goals, parties aim to:

  • seek the support of voters
  • recruit members
  • select candidates for representative office
  • select leaders
  • employ staff
  • purchase goods and services.

As part of a broader strategy to achieve these goals, parties can adopt and implement equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and diversity principles. This would make parties more representative and effective to mobilise the population. The tool is primarily meant for the national level where general rules are set for the party as a whole. However, the tool can also be used for party operations at sub-national level and by party affiliated organisations such as training institutes.

For the design of the tool we made use of a compendium of benchmarks and indicators on diversity in political parties.