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The Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific had the privilege of hosting a virtual roundtable with the CDU’s International Secretary Bertil Wenger and political party representatives from Australia’s Liberal Party and New Zealand’s National Party.
Germany, Australia and New Zealand have highly respected parliamentary systems based on a strong democratic tradition. This places them in an excellent position to work together to better address challenges, identify avenues for action and drive meaningful change.
Mr Wenger’s impulse statement focused on three key issues: the recent federal party convention of the CDU and how the hurdles associated with having to conduct it purely digitally were overcome; the new chairman of the CDU, Armin Laschet, and what he stands for - especially with regards to the CDU’s international relations; and Germany in its ‘super election year’, with 6 regional elections and the federal election to take place on September 26.
There were many parallels between the challenges outlined by Mr Wenger and those faced by the centre-right parties of Australia and New Zealand, and the event reinforced the value of coming together, even if only in virtual format at the moment, to learn from each other: international cooperation and multilateral engagement, based on shared principles and common goals, begin with dialogue.
A big thank you to Mr Wenger for sharing his insights. We very much appreciate the participation and engagement of all our guests, with particular mention of the Hon Judith Collins, Leader of New Zealand’s National Party and its President Peter Goodfellow, the Liberal Party of Australia’s Federal Vice President Allan Pidgeon and Federal Director Andrew Hirst, both parties’ International Secretaries, Greg Hamilton and Bruce Edwards, as well as the Deputy Head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Main Department European and International Cooperation, Frank Priess.
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