Germany's strongest political party, currently headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, has been in power for most of the time since the end of the Second World War.
The CDU was founded after World War II. Five of the eight chancellors since 1949 came from the CDU. It has 470,000 members and a voter base of Christian and conservative, often elderly, citizens as well as small and medium sized entrepreneurs. In the 2013 general elections, the CDU and its Bavarian CSU sister party won 311 of the 631 available seats. Nevertheless, Merkel was forced to forge a "Grand Coalition" with the party's main rivals, the center-left Social Democrats. All our most recent content pertaining to Merkel and her party is collated below.
Last weekend Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Party scored a big win in a key state election. In North Rhine Westphalia, the CDU seized power from the Social Democrats whose chief, Martin Schulz is Merkel's main challenger in the September federal elections. Berlin correspondent is Daniel Pelz explains how significant the state election victory was for the Chancellor.
After its defeat in the North Rhine-Westphalia state election, the center-left SPD has rejected a coalition with Angela Merkel's CDU. The news might be a boon to the resurgent business-friendly FDP - also nationally.
The election result in North Rhine-Westphalia has confirmed the trend on the federal level: Chancellor Angela Merkel is a big step closer to a fourth term. Her SPD opponent Martin Schulz has been considerably weakened.
Winning Germany's most populous state - the last to vote before September's general election - could provide key momentum. And there are many other reasons why parties want a strong showing in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Germany is at it again: The never-ending debate on what makes the country typically German is a hot topic once more. Other countries, however, are also in search of their cultural identities, like Denmark and Australia.