The right populist formation was founded in winter 2013 to establish discussion on German European policy and generally on the future of common Union currency. Although the party profile aimed to be a conservative one; the election campaign showed that party got a lot of support as a protest movement. The election manifesto as well as public activities displayed the movement more as a single issue party than a serious conservative opposition to Merkel. However, the party did not pass the 5 % threshold, with a vote of 4.9 % the AfD can be seen as a real challenger to Merkel’s European policy.
Election manifesto 2013
The manifesto stresses the role of the Euro in German and European policy; the party rejects the current design of supranational integration. AfD proposes using the Europe of nations model based on economic integration while respecting national interests. The EU competences should not include national sovereignty issues such as the national economy. There must be a possibility to gain the competences from the EU level back to the national one. Speaking about the common currency, the party proposes to start a serious debate on bringing back the former German national currency, the Deutschmark. Germany is strong enough to use its own currency without any significant complications. Immigration should be based on preference and only allowed to qualified workers. However the party does not refuse any immigration: in this case the party position is close to that of the CDU 15 years ago. Interestingly, the manifesto has a very cold attitude to the banking system. According to the party, national governments should not produce recovery funds for banks; they should use their own resources for that.
Although the party stresses national interests to sustain nation-based prosperity, the emphasis on German unity is less strong than in some CDU’s manifestos. The movement includes some populist elements but it is oriented towards internal German society and not broader European or world discourses.