It was more by chance that he joined the Young Union of Germany in 1986, says David McAllister. Due to his childhood in West Berlin, he developed an early interest in politics. After moving to Bad Bederkesa in Lower Saxony in the early 1980s, this interest turned into a political commitment to a party.
McAllister has been a member of the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg since 2014. When he comes home at the weekend, he still first reads “the stack of my local newspapers” to find out what’s going on in regional politics.
Brexit: ‘a historic mistake’
From Bad Bederkesa, he is elected to the Lower Saxony state parliament in 1998 and later as chairman of the CDU parliamentary group. In 2010, he succeeds Christian Wulff as Minister-President of Lower Saxony – the first with dual citizenship. McAllister holds both a British passport and a German one.
The change of government to Red-Green in 2013 was a turning point, not only for the CDU in Lower Saxony. “I seriously considered doing something completely different,” says McAllister. After some time to think it over, however, he does succeed Hans-Gert Poettering as the CDU’s top candidate for the European Parliament.
“I am a convinced European,” McAllister describes himself. Even though Germany is his home country, he is aware of his British character. However, he stays out of the domestic political debates in the United Kingdom. For him, Brexit is a “historic mistake”.
McAllister is the contact person in the European Parliament for all questions concerning the relationship with the UK. This also includes “trying to make the best of the situation wherever possible”, he says.
‘EU is a process of finding consensus and compromise’
David McAllister is also Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. It deals, among other things, with the strengthening of political relations with third countries and the negotiations on accession to the EU.
McAllister places a focus on common foreign and security policy. Economically, Europe is very well-developed, but not yet in terms of foreign policy. To be able to speak on an equal footing with powers such as the US or Russia, the member states not to work more together, he says. “The EU always ends up being a unique process of finding consensus and compromise.”
As one of three CDU members from Lower Saxony in the EU Parliament, he also represents the interests of his home state in Brussels and Strasbourg. “I am responsible for the Elbe-Weser region plus the area around Hanover,” he explains.
On weekends, he is usually at home. Also, to keep the connection to northern Germany. To relax, he then plays tennis with his daughters. Right after the stack of local newspapers tells him what happened between the Elbe and the Weser the last week. Mirja Mader