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|Christian Social Union of Bavaria
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern
Nymphenburger Str. 64
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Official colours||Blue (campaign colour)|
|Landtag of Bavaria|
|Prime ministers of states|
|Politics of Germany
The Christian Social Union of Bavaria ( CSU – Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern (help·info)) is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its larger sister party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), operates in the other 15 states of Germany. The CSU has 45 seats in the Bundestag, making it the smallest of the six parties represented.
The CSU was founded as a continuation of the Weimar-era Catholic Bavarian People's Party. At the federal level, it forms a common 'CDU/CSU' faction in the Bundestag with the CDU, which is frequently referred to as the Union Faction (die Unionsfraktion). The CSU currently governs at the federal level with the CDU and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). In the state of Bavaria, the CSU governs as the major party in a coalition government with the FDP.
The CSU is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and its MEPs sit in the EPP Group. The CSU currently has three ministers in the cabinet of Germany of the federal government in Berlin, while party leader Horst Seehofer serves as Minister-President of Bavaria: a position that CSU representatives have held since 1957.
Franz Josef Strauss (1915–1988) had left behind the strongest legacy as a leader of the party, having led the party from 1961 until his death in 1988. His political career in the federal cabinet was unique in that he had served four ministerial posts in the years between 1953 and 1969. From 1978 until his death in 1988 he served as the minister-president of Bavaria. He was the first leader of the CSU to be a candidate for the German chancellery, in 1980. In the 1980 elections he ran against the incumbent Helmut Schmidt of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), but lost thereafter, as the SPD and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) managed to secure an absolute majority together, forming a Social-liberal coalition.
The CSU has led the Bavarian state government since it came into existence in 1946, save from 1950 to 1953 when the Bavaria Party formed a state government in coalition with the German Branches of the SPD and FDP. The CSU currently governs with the FDP. Before the 2008 elections in Bavaria, the CSU perennially achieved absolute majorities at the state level by itself. This level of dominance is unique among Germany's 16 states. Edmund Stoiber took over the CSU leadership in 1999. He ran for Federal Chancellor in 2002, but his preferred CDU/CSU and FDP coalition lost against the SPD candidate Gerhard Schröder's SPD-Green alliance. In 2003, the CSU was re-elected as the Bavarian government with a majority (60.7% and 124 of 180 seats in the state parliament). On 18 January 2007, Stoiber announced his decision to step down from the posts of Minister-President and CSU chairman by 30 September of that year.
On 28 September 2008, the CSU failed to gain an absolute majority, attaining 43%, of the vote in the Bavaria state election for the first time since 1966 on a percentage basis and was forced into a coalition with the FDP. Even after the 2009 general election, the CDU/CSU emerged as the largest party in Germany, yet both lost votes predominantly to the FDP. The CSU received only 42.5% of the vote in Bavaria in the 2009 election, which constitutes its weakest showing in the party's history. They have three ministers in Berlin: Hans-Peter Friedrich (Federal Ministry of the Interior), Peter Ramsauer (Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs) and Ilse Aigner (Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection).
The CSU is the sister party of the Christian Democratic Union. Together, they are called 'The Union'. The CSU operates only within Bavaria, and the CDU operates in all other states, but not Bavaria. While virtually independent, at the federal level, the parties form a common CDU/CSU fraction. No Chancellor has ever come from the CSU, although Franz Josef Strauss and Edmund Stoiber were CDU/CSU candidates for Chancellor in the 1980 election and the 2002 election, respectively, which were both won by the SPD. Below the federal level, the parties are entirely independent.
|1st||Josef Müller||17 December 1945||28 May 1949|
|2nd||Hans Ehard||28 May 1949||22 January 1955|
|3rd||Hanns Seidel||22 January 1955||16 February 1961|
|4th||Franz Josef Strauss||18 March 1961||3 October 1988|
|5th||Theodor Waigel||16 November 1988||16 January 1999|
|6th||Edmund Stoiber||16 January 1999||29 September 2007|
|7th||Erwin Huber||29 September 2007||25 October 2008|
|8th||Horst Seehofer||25 October 2008||Present day|
|Fritz Schäffer||28 May 1945||28 September 1945|
|Hans Ehard (1st time)||21 December 1946||14 December 1954|
|Hanns Seidel||16 October 1957||22 January 1960|
|Hans Ehard (2nd time)||26 January 1960||11 December 1962|
|Alfons Goppel||11 December 1962||6 November 1978|
|Franz Josef Strauss||6 November 1978||3 October 1988|
|Max Streibl||19 October 1988||27 May 1993|
|Edmund Stoiber||28 May 1993||30 September 2007|
|Günther Beckstein||9 October 2007||27 October 2008|
|Horst Seehofer||27 October 2008||Present day|
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