The Bundestag should be more family-friendly – a Merz for kids! – Domestic policy

The everyday life of our politicians should become more family-friendly …

And of all things, CDU chief Friedrich Merz (66) will now campaign for it. Next Tuesday, there will be a Union round table on the topic “Compatibility between family and work”.

Motto: A Merz for kids!

At a first meeting, about 25 MPs made ten proposals (“10-point demands”, BILD has received) for how politicians’ lives can be better implemented with children.

Meetings of the German Bundestag (especially within the parliamentary group) should always be offered in hybrid form (ie also via digital connection). There should be more childcare options (eg babysitting pools for evening events) and more child-friendly options (eg children’s menus in restaurants and canteens).

Double session week should be reduced to an “absolute minimum”, arrival in a double session week should be possible on a Tuesday. Sunday appointments should be avoided. Voting and meeting times should be designed to be more family-friendly (eg no long night meetings, if possible).

Overlapping parliamentary weeks and holidays should also be avoided. In addition, a regular end to the meeting is required, especially on Fridays, to make it easier to schedule departures.

It is said that Merz reacted very openly and immediately signaled willingness to participate in the round table. Co-initiator and CDU MP Anne König (37) welcomes the fact that he is already at the second meeting: “His quick commitment shows that the subject is really important to Merz.”

The initiators of the event include Anne König, CDU’s Deputy Secretary General Christina Stumpp (34) and ex-Secretary General Paul Ziemiak (36).

Merz, who was often perceived by critics as quite old-fashioned, reactionary and macho, now surprises with his liberal and woman-friendly and family-friendly attitude. His credo: family and party office must go together.

President Silvia Breher (48) to BILD: “I do not think it is a strategy to give the CDU a modern image and sell the party better to the outside world, but for inner conviction.”

He not only recites this new CDU work-life balance matrix as a mantra, but also makes it his reference point for party work. Merz recently moved meetings at the top (presidium / board) from Mondays to Wednesdays, so the party leadership does not have to travel to Berlin on Sundays (as before). The party congress in the autumn does not end on Sunday this time, but on Saturday.

Hybrid meetings are now held regularly under the Merz presidency. This means: If a member is prevented from attending because the child is ill, you are not forced to attend internal meetings in person, but can sign up for them digitally.

With the election of Mario Czaja (46) and Christina Stumpp, both parents of young children, as Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General, he sent a clear signal. “You did not expect him to do that,” say former critics.

“It must also be made easier for parents in the Union to get involved and get involved politically, to unite mandate and family. Your perspective is fundamentally important to us as a People’s Party at all levels. Friedrich Merz also acknowledged this, “said Franziska Hoppermann, a Member of Parliament who is not known as a staunch supporter of Merz. The proposed measures must “of course also help to get more women interested in working in politics.”

Deputy Karin Prien also appreciates Merz’s progress. She told BILD: “Merz recognized from the beginning that it is important to make it easier for young families to reconcile work and politics with privacy. This aspect plays a role when it comes to finding dates for meetings and events.”

A few weeks ago, Merz also surprised with a consensus proposal on the quota for women: He wants 50 percent of board positions to be filled by women by 2025. Limited to five years. Meanwhile, there are already whispers as to whether Merz is not already confusing his hard-boiled fans in his own ranks with so much liberal politics…

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