Franz Josef Strauß once aptly formulated "Bavaria is our homeland, Germany our fatherland, Europe our future". When I travel the world, I feel like a European. When I travel in Europe, I feel like a German. And when I travel in Germany, as a Lower Bavarian. In Lower Bavaria I am at home, rooted and connected.
While just a few decades ago, the region of Lower Bavaria was at the bottom of Bavarian unemployment statistics, today we need not to shy away from any comparison. We Lower Bavarians live in an up-and-coming region and we want it to stay that way. Nonetheless, anyone setting out on a journey must know where they want to go. In the present, we are responsible for what will happen in the future.
As a member of parliament and deputy chairman of the CSU party, I travel a lot in Bavaria, Germany and Europe, listening and talking to people. The achievements of European unification - above all peace, security and economic prosperity - have become a matter many people take for granted. For Europe's success story to continue, Europe must continue to stand for opportunity. Europe needs convinced Europeans to make the EU better.
Politics needs a compass. I let myself be guided by my basic Christian convictions in the challenges of the present and future. The liberal, secularized state requires conditions that it cannot guarantee itself. This is how the philosopher Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde put it. Politics is not made in a vacuum. Christian values are firm guidelines for political action.
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