Welcome to the Protestant Working Group of the CDU/CSU
Foto: Tobias Koch
The Protestant Working Group of the CDU/CSU (Evangelischer Arbeitskreis der CDU/CSU– EAK) is a specialized agency of the party, who represents all Protestant members of the CDU and CSU. Currently, the EAK counts 203 000 members.
The EAK was established in 1952 by the former President of the Bundestag, Dr. Hermann Ehlers. Ehlers main aim was to unite and strengthen the Protestant voice in the party.
"The idea of the founding fathers and mothers of the EAK was that our party needed a continuous Christian, yes Protestant, accompaniment to its politics.”
Thomas Rachel, MP, and Chairman of the Evangelischer Arbeitskreis der CDU/CSU
To this day the EAK aims to bring Protestant thought and Protestant beliefs in the party and to encourage Protestant Christians’ political commitment.
It is especially important for the EAK to win for its working people who are in church and politics at home.
About us: What is the EAK?
The Protestant Working Group of the CDU/CSU (EAK) is the union of all Protestant party members who wish to contribute and achieve their political responsibility before God and men. The work of the EAK is not only for union members, its purpose is to be a bridge between the party, the Church and the society. The EAK encourages the political engagement of Protestant Christians.
The EAK was established in 1952 by the former President of the Bundestag, Dr. Hermann Ehlers. Dr. Ehlers and other members considered that the party needed a substantial strengthening of the protestant voice.
Hermann Ehlers, the first National Chairman of the EAK, formulated the still current statement:
"In German Protestantism we have had, for too long, the idea that we can criticize very easily Mayors, Members of Parliament, State Secretaries, Ministers and Federal Ministers but we have the privilege from the employees side to enter into the same responsibility thoroughly to be able to judge it in neutrality and objectivity.“
After his sudden death in the fall of 1954 he was followed as National Chairman of the EAK by: Dr. Robert Tillmanns (1954-55), Dr. Gerhard Schröder (1955-78), Prof. Dr. Roman Herzog (1978-84), Albrecht Martin (1984-90), Peter Hintze (1990-92), Dr. Angela Merkel (1992-93), Jochen Borchert (1993-2003).
Since 2003, Parl. Secretary Thomas Rachel is the Federal Chairman.
The EAK National Manager is Pastor Christian Meißner
Since its establishment, the EAK has had the endeavor to bring Protestant thinking and beliefs in the party to provide a forum at the interface between the Church and politics and to be an interlocutor for the churches at all levels.
The EAK was granted the right to apply political decisions of the party immediately. Through its contact with members of the party its voice is heard at the Parliament.
What do we want?
The goal and mission of the EAK is to engage Protestant citizens to get involve in the CDU/CSU to represent the Protestant concerns in the party to create stronger links with all the Protestant churches to continue the constructive cooperation among the CDU/CSU.
The EAK wants to reflect the basis of the protestant responsibility and the mandatory orientation of the sacred scriptures for always strengthening and renewing politics.
The EAK understands the human being as the image of God and based on the Christian image of humanity it wants to encourage the use of freedom with responsibility and commitment to promote the strengthening of mandatory values, human rights and human dignity.
The EAK calls for respect of the Ten Commandments on a social consensus, this protects the basic principles for living as a community, such as life, health, marriage, property, personal honor and integrity. The EAK would like to introduce the Christian Commandment of Charity as an active political approach for more justice in our country, but also towards other people and countries.
The EAK is open for new developments and challenges. It works in an ecumenic spirit in respect of "reconciled diversity". The EAK asks Protestant Christians to increase social engagement.
How do we work?
The EAK is represented at the federal level by the Federal Executive. It establishes the policies for a successful dialogue between the churches and the party.
Through lectures and discussion forums as well as, contributions and suggestions, the EAK tries to promote a good knowledge of the political and religious problems of our time.
The EAK invites politicians of opposition parties and representatives of the Protestant churches as speakers. Members of other parties and representatives of ecumenism, and professionals of all disciplines are always welcomed guests at the EAK.
60 years of EAK
On March 17 2012, the Evangelical Working Group of the CDU/CSU (EAK) celebrated its 60th anniversary.
More than 1,000 guests gathered for the EAK anniversary celebration in the Siegerlandhalle. The Federal Chairman Thomas Rachel, welcomed prominent guests from church and politics, among them, the President of the Council of the EKD, Präses Nikolaus Schneider and Bishop Emeritus Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Huber.
Dr. Bernhard Felmberg, representative of the EKD Council to the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union, and Dr. Karl Jüsten the Commissariat of German Bishops, the former EAK national chairman and CDU party chairman, Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, Hermann Gröhe MP CDU General Secretary, Federal Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, CDU regional chairman and Federal Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen, EAK state chairman in NRW and district chairman, Volkmar Klein MP and former EAK National Chairman, former German President Prof. Dr. Roman Herzog, Federal Minister D. Jochen Borchert and State Secretary Peter Hintze MdB.
In 1952 the leading Protestant Christians of the Party met under the motto „Our political responsibility in a divided Germany“ Hermann Ehlers, founder of the EAK and former Bundestag President, knew that he could only bring together all political sources and represent all Protestants by merging the Protestant forces.
The EAK should serve as a bridge to promote dialogue and encounter between Church and Politics. The EAK should also influence the party in order to give room to the Protestant positions and beliefs. This objective is met today by the EAK with success.
The clear signal of the EAK in favour of the Protestant Cristianity in Germany came across over its existence decades ago. The 60 years victory celebration of the EAK in 2012 is reflected in a contemporary document that shows the significance of the EAK for politics.