North Rhine-Westphalian CDU leader and Minister President Hendrik Wüst. | Raimond Spekking


The North Rhine-Westphalian CDU leader and Minister President Hendrik Wüst is campaigning for more dialogue between East and West Germany. “It’s time for a Unification Treaty 2.0 that brings people together better in addition to formal unity - for greater trust and cohesion between East and West,” he said in the wake of the EU election results which was a wave of hard-right gains in East Germany.

His aim is to agree on a series of projects - for example, to bring young people from East and West closer together. “After all, dialogue creates trust and opens up prospects for greater mutual understanding.” The CDU politician said, for example, that it was about an exchange of the kind familiar from European town twinning programmes.

He had the impression that many people from North Rhine-Westphalia had never been to the - no longer so - new countries. “Some people know their way around Mallorca better than Saxony or Thuringia. So it’s all the more worth trying to bring people closer together again.” Surveys have repeatedly found that the majority of people across Germany believe that East and West have grown together less or not at all since 1990. One of the key factors is that the differences in wages between East and West Germany remains large, even more than 33 years after reunification.

Related news

German voters' dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition has hit a record high, a poll published by national broadcaster ZDF showed on today, after all the coalition parties showed weak results during the European election last week. Among 1,334 participants of the survey held on June 10-12, 71% said they were dissatisfied with the government's work, up from 66% in May.

About 51% of the polled spoke out in favour of an early election, while 66% still believe that the coalition will last until the end of its tenure next year. All three parties in Germany's ruling coalition suffered losses in EU parliamentary elections, an early indicator for the national vote, while the far-right Alternative for Germany made solid gains.

The results for traditional parties such as Chancellor Olaf Scholz's social-democrat SPD show Germans' discontent with falling living standards in Europe's largest economy, as the government deals with the energy crisis sparked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. An even weaker result in the EU vote prompted French President Emmanuel Macron to call a snap election after being outpaced by the far right.