Last modified on June 1, 2021, at 16:18

Christian Social Union of Bavaria

Christian Social Union of Bavaria
Party leader Markus Söder
Parliamentary leader Ralph Brinkhaus
Founded 1948
Political ideology Christian democracy
Political position Center-right
International affiliation International Democrat Union and European People’s Party
Color(s) blue and black

The Christian Social Union in Bavaria (in German: Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern, or CSU) is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It only runs for elections in the state of Bavaria as part of a long-standing agreement with its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) (in turn, the CDU does not field candidates in Bavaria).


The CSU is considered to be more conservative than the CDU. However it is also more left than the CDU on social welfare issues.[1]

The CSU was highly critical on Angela Merkel's refugee policies during the European migrant crisis. The former party leader Horst Seehofer said in an interview that Germany had been "shaped by Christianity", and that the country should not give up its own traditions. Furthermore, he stated that Islam "does not belong in Germany".[2] However, some conservative critics have described the party's leader, Horst Seehofer as "a centre-right figure fundamentally unopposed to mass migration,"[3] and the party strongly opposes the conservative Alternative for Germany, the only German party that takes a tough stance on migration, falsely labeling it "extremist."[4] The CSU is not a consistently conservative party – it has explicitly refused to work with consistently conservative, nationalist parties like the FPÖ on the European level.[5]

In April 2018 the CSU ordered Christian Crosses to be Displayed on All Entrances to Government Buildings in Bavaria.[6]


Since its foundation shortly after World War II, the CSU has formed a tight partnership with its sister party, the CDU: the CDU does not field candidates in Bavaria and, in turn, the CSU does not field candidates outside it. Compared to the larger CDU, the CSU is considered more socially conservative and closer to the Catholic church. In 1980 and 2002, the CSU ran candidates for the German chancellorship on a joint ticket with the CDU (Franz Josef Strauss in 1980 and Edmund Stoiber in 2002). The CSU is the largest party in the state of Bavaria by a substantial margin, and has ruled the state since 1953, usually with an absolute majority. Its chairman is Markus Söder.

In the 2018 Bavarian elections, the CSU, allied with Merkel's liberal CDU, performed poorly, while the left-wing Green Party and the conservative Alternative for Germany performed well.[7]

Party leaders

External links


  1. Chase, Jefferson (June 13, 2017). Things to know about Bavaria's Christian Social Union. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  2. Huggler, Justin (March 16, 2018). German interior minister declares 'Islam does not belong' in the country. The Telegraph. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  3. Lane, Oliver JJ (July 2, 2018). Merkel Germany Coalition Limps on as Immigration Control Compromise Struck. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  4. Bavarian CSU takes tough migration stance but rejects far-right. Reuters. September 15, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  5. Bavarian, Austrian conservatives reject Orban's call to work with populists. Reuters. May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  7. Tomlinson, Chris (October 14, 2018). Bavarian Election Exit Poll: Merkel Allies See Huge Losses As Greens and Populists Surge. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 14, 2018.