Markus Pieper travels a lot in his day-to-day work, between Brussels, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Münster. The 58-year-old is active at the European level as well as in federal, state and local politics. This can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to his favorite topic, energy policy: “The pan-European view of energy policy is different from the German one, and it’s again different from the North Rhine-Westphalian and Muenster ones,” emphasizes the father of three, who lives in the municipality of Lotte near Osnabrueck and is the Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU/CSU Group in the EU Parliament in Brussels.
Last November, the CDU politician spoke about the Renewable Energies Directive in an interview with Europe.Table. At that time, no one would have believed that Putin would attack Ukraine and that the European Union would respond by accelerating its energy transition.
Europe wants to become independent of Russian gas, while Germany is in the process of phasing out nuclear power and coal, energy-intensive companies in North Rhine-Westphalia require cost-compatible solutions, and the Muenster region is strongly committed to the expansion of renewable energies. “For me, in my day-to-day work, the trick is to bring the various expectations together and provide the appropriate answers at each level,” Markus Pieper explains.
Market-based solutions for climate protection
Clear guidelines help him to achieve this: These include a clear commitment to Europe as a community of peace and values and a commitment to free-market solutions, also and especially in climate protection, he emphasizes. On the subject of understanding values: “I joined the CDU because my eldest daughter’s kindergarten was not allowed to celebrate a Christian Christmas – and that in a small village with 1,200 people, where the nativity play was banned, like everything else related to religion,” recalls Markus Pieper, whose eldest daughter is now 27 years old.
To him, it is the Christian history that culturally shapes our society – and in the CDU, which sees itself as a people’s party, he still feels in good hands today. The party successfully combines social, liberal and value-oriented positions in the interests of society as a whole.
For fifteen years, Markus Pieper himself worked in business, for example as IHK Managing Director, before a happy coincidence led him into politics more than two decades ago. “In Muensterland, a candidate had dropped out at short notice. I was brought into the picture by Karl-Josef Laumann, the CDU district chairman, because of my experience with small and medium-sized businesses, and was then able to prevail against six other candidates,” he recounts.
As a politician, he says, he benefits from the fact that he knows the perspectives of the companies and the chambers of industry and commerce and can always combine this with environmental and employee concerns, as is the case now with the shortage of skilled workers in the wake of the expansion of renewable energies. This makes Markus Pieper a border crosser who has to wear many different glasses and who is always able to reconcile different perspectives. Janna Degener-Storr