|Preceded by Philipp Rosler|
Name Christian Lindner
Succeeded by Patrick Doring
Party Free Democratic Party
|Political party FDP|
Education University of Bonn
Preceded by Dirk Niebel
Role German Politician
|Constituency North Rhine-Westphalia List|
Born January 7, 1979 (age 37) Wuppertal, West Germany (1979-01-07)
Spouse Dagmar Rosenfeld-Lindner (m. 2011)
Residence Dusseldorf, Germany, Wermelskirchen, Germany
Similar People Philipp Rosler, Katja Suding, Dagmar Rosenfeld‑Lindner, Guido Westerwelle, Rainer Bruderle
Germany: FDP only 'responsible' choice for third place - Christian Lindner
Christian Wolfgang Lindner (born January 7, 1979 in Wuppertal, Germany) is a German politician, member of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia and leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP).
- Germany: FDP only 'responsible' choice for third place Christian Lindner
- Early life and education
- Early political career
- FDP Chairman
- Other activities
- Political positions
Early life and education
Christian Lindner was born in Wuppertal, Germany. His father Wolfgang Lindner is a teacher of mathematics and computer science at the Städtisches Gymnasium in Wermelskirchen. After graduating from Gymnasium in 1998 and a alternative civilian service he studied political science at the University of Bonn from 1999 to 2006.
After eleven semesters he acquired the academic degree of Master of Arts (MA). In his master's thesis at the Institute of Political Science, he dealt with the topic: "tax competition and revenue sharing. Can the financial constitution be reformed?". In 2006, he began writing his dissertation under supervision from political science professor Frank Decker, which he has so far not completed due to his political activities.
While studying Lindner undertook his National Service obligations as a reserve officer in the Air Force. In 2002, he was promoted to First lieutenant (Oberleutnant) in the Reserve. In 2008 he was a liaison officer to the Air Force Land Command in Düsseldorf and since September 2011 he has held the rank of Captain (Hauptmann) in the Reserve.
Early political career
Lindner joined the FDP in 1995. He has been a member of the Executive Board of the FDP in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 1998 and became Secretary General in 2004 (until February 2010). At the May 2000 election for the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, the 21-year old Lindner was elected, becoming the youngest MP in the history of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia. Lindner was from 2000 initially 'spokesman for Intergenerational Affairs, Family and Integration' and then from 2005 to 2009 was also vice chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the parliament and spokesman for Innovation, Science and Technology. In 2007 he also became a member of the Executive Board of the FDP on federal level.
From 2009 Lindner served as a member of the German Bundestag. In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2009 federal elections, he was part of the FDP delegation in the working group on families, integration of immigrants and culture, led by Maria Böhmer and Hans-Joachim Otto.
From December 2009 until his surprise resignation in December 2011, Lindner was also Secretary General of the FDP on federal level, under the leadership of party chairman Philipp Rösler. His resignation was caused by an internal party vote which had been forced by a group centered around the Eurosceptic FDP parliamentarian Frank Schäffler to determine the FDP's future course on questions pertaining to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
Lindner was later chosen to serve as Chairman of the NRW FDP in the 2012 state election of North Rhine-Westphalia, succeeding Daniel Bahr. In the election, the FDP received 8.6% of the vote, surpassing all expectations at the time. Following the party's victory at that election he was elected Parliamentary leader of the FDP in the NRW Landtag, succeeding Gerhard Papke on 15 May 2012. In March 2013, he was elected one of Rösler’s deputies, alongside Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Holger Zastrow.
Linder was elected the new chairman of the FDP following the resignation of Chairman Philipp Rösler after the 2013 German federal elections in which the FDP failed to clear the 5% hurdle to enter the Bundestag for the first time since 1949.
Ahead of the 2014 European elections, Lindner and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte served as ‘mediators’ between Olli Rehn and Guy Verhofstadt, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe’s candidates for the presidency of the European Commission; eventually, the candidates agreed to jointly lead the ALDE’s campaign for elections, with Verhofstadt running to succeed José Manuel Barroso. At the time, Linder was widely regarded to support Rehn.
Lindner was a FDP delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2017, where he endorsed the government's candidate Frank-Walter Steinmeier. That same year, he led his party's successful campaign for the 2017 state elections of North Rhine-Westphalia, which resulted in the FDP joining the state government of incoming Minister-President Armin Laschet. Linder himself decided not to take a position in the new government.
In early 2015, an impassioned response to heckling by Lindner, defending entrepreneurs and startup culture made it onto newspaper front pages and became one of the most watched political speeches in months. Lindner was speaking before the state legislature in North Rhine-Westphalia about the importance of entrepreneurship and how failed entrepreneurs deserve a second chance when a Social Democratic member in the audience heckled: “That [ = failure] is something you have experience in.” That was a reference to an Internet company co-founded by Lindner that failed after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s. Lindner responded with a finger-wagging, 2½-minute tirade. “If one succeeds, one ends up in the sights of the Social Democratic redistribution machinery and, if one fails, one can be sure of derision and mockery,” he responded, also pointing out that this particular member preferred to have a secure job in public service for his entire life, rather than daring to found a company, and how the message of that heckling attempt was the total opposite of what had been announced just minutes earlier by the president of the state legislature (who happened to be an SPD member, just like the heckler).
Bild, the highest-circulation daily newspaper in Germany, praised Lindner on its front page. The Berlin daily Tagesspiegel said the rant offered a welcome contrast to the “persistent fog of alternative-less Merkelism” that characterized debate in the Bundestag.