In the CDU, the name Friedrich Merz has been associated for years with the longing to return to a later glorified time before Angela Merkel.

But a party that wants to survive in a rapidly changing world that is confronted with new challenges must not want to move into the past.

For the CDU, there is no way back to the time of Helmut Kohl or even Konrad Adenauer, just as the CSU can no longer reproduce Franz Josef Strauss's Bavaria.

This is particularly true of economic and financial policy. The social market economy remains the only promising economic policy model in the long term, but the specific tasks have changed. The age structure of the population with its effects on the economic growth potential and the finances of the social security has changed dramatically compared to Adenauer's time. In Kohl's time, there was still an idea of ​​a new departure associated with Europe, while today, in view of weak competitiveness and strained public finances in not a few countries, the question arises as to how long monetary policy will be able to secure the cohesion of the monetary union.After all, the far-reaching transformation of the German economy under the sign of climate policy will have a completely different dimension than the industrial modernization of Bavaria under Strauss, which was brought about by borrowing from French state capitalism.

Unless the traffic lights completely ruin the beginning of their federal government, the CDU will face difficult times, because in the upcoming state elections there is far more at stake for them than for the SPD.

Since the FDP has shown from the start that government action does not have to go hand in hand with the preservation of financial principles, the CDU would have the chance to distinguish itself as an alternative with a clear profile.

For this, of course, the party must not lose itself in nostalgia, but must look ahead.

Merz will be measured by whether he can lead the CDU into the future.