Von der Leyen and the CDU: a complex relationship

When Ursula von der Leyen joins the leadership of the CDU on Monday, it will be a meeting between a politician and a party leader who actually know each other very well and yet have remained quite strangers. They have put up with each other for almost two decades, benefited from, and yet rarely really warmed up to each other. On the one hand, there is von der Leyen, who is brisk, self-confident, and often independent to the point of disloyalty; on the other, there is the CDU, for whom some of von der Leyen’s policies have happened too quickly, and too idiosyncratically.

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