Andrea Nahles

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Andrea Nahles (2019)

Andrea Maria Nahles (born June 20, 1970 in Mendig ) is a former German politician ( SPD ) and current President of the Federal Agency for Posts and Telecommunications .

She was SPD party leader from April 2018 to June 2019 and leader of the SPD parliamentary group from September 2017 to June 2019 , in each case as the first woman in these functions. Previously, she was Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs from December 2013 to September 2017 and Secretary General of the SPD from November 2009 to December 2013 . From October 1998 to October 2002 and from October 2005 to October 2019 she was a member of the German Bundestag and from September 1995 to May 1999 she was Federal Chairwoman of the Jusos .

Origin, studies and private life

Andrea Nahles and her younger brother grew up as children of the master mason Alfred Nahles (1941-2014) and his wife Gertrud (née Gondert) in a middle -class Catholic family in Weiler (near Mayen) in the Vulkaneifel . Nahles attended elementary school in Weiler until 1980. From 1980 to 1986 she was a secondary school student in Mayen at what is now Albert-Schweitzer-Realschule plus. At the Megina-Gymnasium in Mayen , Nahles obtained her general university entrance qualification in 1989. In the school-leaving paper she stated that she wanted to become a housewife or federal chancellor .

Nahles graduated in 1999 with a degree in modern and older German studies and political science from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn , which he began in 1989 . She submitted her master's thesis entitled The Function of Catastrophes in Serial Romance to Jürgen Fohrmann . During her studies she worked for a member of the Bundestag. From 2002 to 2003 she headed the capital city office of IG Metall together with Michael Guggemos . In 2004, with a scholarship , she began a doctorate at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn on the subject of how identificatory reading works using the example of the historical novel. When she returned to the Bundestag in 2005, she stopped working on her doctorate.

Nahles lives on a farm in Weiler, where her great-grandparents lived. She is a practicing Catholic and cites her faith as a reason for her political involvement. Since her baptism in 1970, she has been a member of the parish of St. Kastor in Weiler, where she was one of the first acolytes when she was a child . In 2009 she published her biography entitled Woman, believing, left. What is important to me. She is severely handicapped because of a hip condition after a hip injury sustained in a long jump in 1986 ( GdB 50 ). From 1997 to 2007, Andrea Nahles was in a relationship with Horst Neumann , a trade union official and then a member of the board ( ThyssenKrupp Elevator , Audi and Volkswagen AG ) . On June 18, 2010, she married art historian Marcus Frings. In 2011, she gave birth to a daughter and returned to work eight weeks after the birth. On January 15, 2016, the Nahles/Frings couple announced their separation to the public.

Political career

Nahles joined the SPD in 1988 and was a co-founder of the Weiler local association in 1989. From 1997 to 2013 and from 2018 to 2019 she was a member of the SPD party executive and from 2003 to 2013 and from 2018 to 2019 she was a member of the SPD executive committee. In 2004 she headed the project group for citizens' insurance of the SPD party executive. In 2000 she became the founding chairwoman of the Forum Demokratische Linke 21 , which replaced the Frankfurter Kreis as a coalition of SPD leftists. She handed over the chair to Björn Böhning on February 15, 2008 . In July 2014, she resigned from the Forum Demokratische Linke 21 because of criticism of the exceptions to the minimum wage. During the discussions on Agenda 2010 , she was counted among the leading internal party critics of this policy by Gerhard Schröder .

Engagement with the Jusos (1988 to 1999)

From 1993 to 1995, Nahles was state chairman of the Jusos Rhineland-Palatinate. In 1995 she was elected as the successor to Thomas Westphal as national chairwoman of the Jusos and held the chair until 1999. "The new head of the Juso, who also likes to refer to her work on women's politics, attaches importance to the statement that she does not belong to either of the two large camps - Stamokap and reform socialists - within the Jusos. She was elected with the votes of the traditionalist left,” wrote the taz in 1995. The SPD chairman at the time, Oskar Lafontaine , called Nahles a “godsend to the SPD” during her time as federal chairman of the Jusos.

SPD district council member (1999 to 2009)

Between 1999 and 2009, Nahles chaired the Mayen-Koblenz district association of the SPD and was a member of the Mayen-Koblenz district council .

SPD Member of Parliament (1998 to 2002 and 2005 to 2019)

Nahles was a member of the German Bundestag for the first time from 1998 to 2002 and again from 2005 to 2019 . From 1998 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2007 she was deputy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group work and social order or work and social affairs and from 2007 to 2009 spokeswoman for them. From 2008 to 2009 she was also a member of the board of the SPD parliamentary group. Nahles always entered the Bundestag via the Rhineland-Palatinate state list . In the Ahrweiler constituency , she was always defeated by the CDU candidate. In 2006 Angela Marquardt became her employee. Her membership in the Parliamentary Left suspended from January 2018. She was also a member of the Denkfabrik working group in the SPD parliamentary group, which she co-founded in 2004, an association of mostly younger left-wing SPD MPs.

SPD General Secretary (2009 to 2013)

Nahles (2011)

On October 31, 2005, Nahles defeated Kajo Wasserhövel , who had been proposed by the party chairman at the time, Franz Müntefering , in a contested vote for the nomination as general secretary by a vote of 23 to 14 . That is why Müntefering no longer ran for party chairmanship. Nahles was heavily criticized by parts of the SPD; she finally gave up her candidacy for general secretary and also rejected the post of deputy party leader, for which Matthias Platzeck had proposed her.

In May 2007, Nahles, along with Peer Steinbrück and Frank-Walter Steinmeier , was nominated by the SPD party executive for the post of deputy party leader and was elected to this post on October 26, 2007 by 74.8% of the party congress delegates. On July 30, 2009, the SPD candidate for chancellor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, included Nahles in his shadow cabinet for the 2009 Bundestag elections and gave her the areas of responsibility for education and integration. After the SPD lost the Bundestag elections, she took over the post of SPD general secretary from Hubertus Heil . She was elected to this office on November 13, 2009 with 69.6% of the delegate votes. She was re-elected in 2011 with 73.2% of the vote and in 2013 with 67.2% of the vote. After Nahles was appointed Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs at the end of 2013, Yasmin Fahimi was elected her successor as General Secretary at a special party conference on January 26, 2014 with 88.5% of the votes.

Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs (2013 to 2017)

From December 17, 2013 to September 28, 2017, Nahles was Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in the Merkel III cabinet . Under her responsibility, the statutory minimum wage was introduced in Germany on January 1, 2015. In addition, a pension reform was passed under her responsibility in 2014, with higher benefits for mothers (“ mother’s pension ”), a pension after 45 years of contributions (“ pension at 63 ”) and an increase in the disability pension . The Collective Bargaining Act was also developed under her responsibility and passed in 2015. Contrary to the planned goal of pacifying collective bargaining conflicts, however, it intensified the strikes of minority unions, since they now have to aggressively recruit new members.

SPD faction leader (2017 to 2019)

According to party information, the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag elected Nahles as the new chair on September 27, 2017 with 137 of 152 votes cast. 14 MPs voted against Nahles, there was one abstention. This corresponds to an agreement of around 90%. During her last cabinet meeting, she said, referring to the federal government, "starting tomorrow you'll get your face in the face". She then repeated the sentence in the SPD parliamentary group meeting and to journalists. The statement was criticized in some media commentaries. Other commentators defended Nahles and, in particular, rejected an equation with the political style of AfD parliamentary group leader Alexander Gauland . Nahles said the following day that her statement was clearly a joke and regretted after two days that the statement annoyed no one more than herself.

SPD Chair (2018 to 2019)

Nahles at the federal party conference in 2018, which elected her SPD chairman

After Martin Schulz resigned from the SPD presidency on February 13, 2018, the SPD presidium proposed Nahles as his successor. The election took place on April 22, 2018 at an extraordinary federal party conference in Wiesbaden . Nahles was elected with 414 votes (66.35%), her opponent, the mayor of Flensburg , Simone Lange , accounted for 27.6% with 172 votes. Nahles thus received the second-worst result in the history of an SPD chairperson election, only Oskar Lafontaine achieved a worse result in the previously only election with several candidates in 1995 with 62.6% of the delegate votes. Nahles was the first woman to hold this office.

Retirement from Politics (2019)

After the increased pressure on her due to the historically poor result of the SPD in the 2019 European elections , Nahles announced on June 2, 2019 that she wanted to give up the party and parliamentary group leadership and her Bundestag mandate. She resigned as party leader the following day with immediate effect, and resigned as parliamentary group leader on June 4. On October 14, 2019, she announced that she would also be resigning from the Bundestag on November 1. Joe Weingarten replaced them .

Further employment (from 2020)

In June 2020, she was elected President of the Federal Post and Telecommunications Agency . She took office on August 1, 2020. In July 2020, Nahles became Advisor to the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion ( Nicolas Schmit ) of the von der Leyen Commission . In this capacity she prepared a report on strengthening social dialogue in the EU .

On January 25, 2022, the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) proposed Nahles to succeed Detlef Scheeles (SPD) as the new CEO of the Federal Employment Agency .

social offices

Nahles (2017) at re:publica 17

From 2000 to 2004, Nahles was a member of the ZDF television council as a representative of the SPD . She is co-editor of the Spw – Journal for Socialist Politics and Economics , and after her election as party leader also of the Neue Gesellschaft/Frankfurter Hefte . Since 2004, Nahles has chaired the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem support association and chaired the advisory board of the party school in the Willy Brandt House . She is also a member of Attac , Eurosolar , IG Metall , the German Catholic Women's Community and the Central Committee of German Catholics .

As a GoVolunteer ambassador for diversity and tolerance, Nahles is committed to cultural diversity and voluntary work.


In August 2013, Nahles planned to set up a network of party-affiliated broadcast controllers and therefore invited the SPD representatives from the broadcasting councils and the ZDF television council to telephone conferences. This has been criticized as an attempt to influence the work of public broadcasting inspectors.

The amendment to the workplace ordinance planned by Nahles in spring 2015 was criticized and subsequently not implemented.

The bill to amend SGB ​​II presented by Nahles in April 2016 stipulated that single parents receiving Hartz IV would have their children 's social benefits cut for every day that the children spent with the other parent. After public criticism, the change was not implemented.

In 2017, Nahles came under criticism from the union ver.di in connection with the use of DRK nurses in clinics . Despite decisions by the European Court of Justice and the Federal Labor Court that the employees are legally to be regarded as temporary workers, Nahles tried to enforce an exceptional permit after speaking to DRK President Rudolf Seiters .

At Nahles' suggestion, the grand coalition increased state party funding from 165 million euros per year to 190 million euros per year in June 2018. The opposition parties rejected the increase and filed a lawsuit against them.

Nahles' decision to dissolve the SPD's Historical Commission drew criticism. A call by historian Christina Morina against the dissolution was signed by over 1100 historians.

After the controversial statements by the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution , Hans-Georg Maaßen , about the riots in Chemnitz , Nahles initially called for his dismissal, but a few days later supported his promotion to State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior , for which the SPD State Secretary Gunther Adler was to be temporarily retired . After public criticism, the coalition partners intended that Maassen should become a special adviser in the Federal Ministry of the Interior without being promoted. However, because of another conflict, Maassen was placed on temporary retirement.

On the initiative of Nahles, Luisa Boos from Baden-Württemberg and Delara Burkhardt from Schleswig-Holstein received top spots on the list of candidates for the 2019 European elections proposed by the federal executive board for the delegates' conference , although Evelyne Gebhardt and Enrico Kreft were chosen as their top candidates by the state associations. Nahles wanted to achieve that more young women are represented on the promising lists. The state chairmen Leni Breymaier and Ralf Stegner voted against the list proposal and criticized the change. Boos then swapped her 15th place on the list with Gebhardt's 25th place on the list. Kreft received the 30th place on the list, which was considered hopeless.

When Marco Bülow left the parliamentary group , the SPD lost a seat on the Committee on Economics and Energy , and the parliamentary group leadership decided that Florian Post , who is regarded as a critic of Nahles, had to leave the committee. Post, other SPD MPs and the media saw this as a punitive measure for his dissenting opinions. Post accused Nahles of demanding unconditional obedience and surrounding herself with a clique of officials who neutralized critics.


In August 2017, Nahles received the Wilhelm Hoegner Prize , the highest award of the Bavarian SPD parliamentary group, from Markus Rinderspacher , head of the SPD state parliamentary group in Bavaria .


  • together with Stephan Lessenich and Jürgen Peters: Rethinking the welfare state. VSA-Verlag, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 978-3-89965-114-0 .
  • woman, believer, left. What is important to me. Pattloch Verlag, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-629-02239-4 .
  • The camera sees everything - how women should behave on political talk shows. In: Sascha Michel, Heiko Girnth (eds.): Political talk shows - stages of power. A look behind the scenes. Bouvier, Bonn 2009, ISBN 978-3-416-03280-3 , pp. 174–176.
  • Greetings from the patron (of the conference From Sigurd to Sickingen: knightly virtues and canon of values ​​from the Romantic period to the labor movement. Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg , September 12-13, 2009). In: The sofa beautiful, and yet to slack. edited by Nikolaus Gatter with the collaboration of Inge Brose-Müller and Sigrun Hopfensperger, Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin 2015 (Almanach of the Varnhagen Gesellschaft e. V., vol. 3), ISBN 978-3-8305-0579-2 , p. 165– 167

web links

Commons : Andrea Nahles  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: Andrea Nahles  – Quotations


  1. Andrea Nahles Minister of Social Affairs Voters. On
  2. ↑ Obituary notice for Alfred Nahles on
  3. About me ( Memento from September 29, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) on
  4. Realschule Mayen
  5. Andrea Nahles: The Ministerable. In: Retrieved September 30, 2017 .
  6. ↑ Career aspirations after graduation: "Housewife or Federal Chancellor". In: February 13, 2018.
  7. Famous and notorious: Andrea Nahles - 10 years of study and a Bundestag mandate, June 2, 2018
  8. Nahles supplies, October 21, 2002
  9. Andrea Nahles dares and wins, November 1, 2005
  10. Jens König, Stefan Reinecke : Two people understanders on the way to the top. In : September 16, 2005, retrieved February 13, 2015 .
  11. In the SPD because of Jesus Christ FAZ , May 9, 2009
  12. A Christian who later became a leftist , Birgit Wilke KNA on , September 26, 2017
  13. Prominent acolytes on holy steps., August 6, 2010
  14. ^ "I do it like Jesus", December 10, 2009
  15. Why Andrea Nahles is very familiar with dime novels, January 22, 2018
  16. Horst Neumann: Expected surprise ( Memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), FTD, November 14, 2005.
  17. Andrea Nahles married art historian Marcus Frings in Weiler. In: 19 June 2010, retrieved 21 June 2010 .
  18. Andrea Nahles: SPD general secretary is mother. In: Focus Online . 18 January 2011, retrieved 13 February 2015 .
  19. SPD general secretary back from maternity leave. In: 19 March 2011, retrieved 13 February 2015 .
  20. Love off after five years of marriage: Andrea Nahles and her husband separate. In: January 15, 2016, retrieved January 16, 2016 .
  21. How Andrea Nahles' companions experienced - "She could be quite annoying", April 3, 2018
  22. Citizens insurance? Better not, August 14, 2004
  23. From the Frankfurt Circle to the Forum Demokratische Linke 21, August 30, 2000
  24. After criticism from Mattheis, Nahles leaves the SPD-Linke, July 6, 2014
  25. Fit for Chaos, September 12, 1995
  26. Günther Lachmann: The secret weapon of the SPD against Oskar Lafontaine. In: . 17 July 2007, retrieved 7 October 2018 .
  27. ^ The career of Andrea Nahles , April 20, 2018
  28. Red-red office community, October 9, 2006
  29. Nahles suspends membership of the Parliamentary Left, January 13, 2018
  30. In the think tank…, July 29, 2004
  31. There was trouble behind the scenes at the Vices., October 26, 2007.
  32. Steinmeier campaigns without stars., July 30, 2009.
  33. Damper for Andrea Nahles., November 13, 2009.
  34. Gabriel re-elected with more than 90 percent., December 5, 2011.
  35. Worst result for Andrea Nahles., November 15, 2013.
  36. SPD elects Fahimi as general secretary., January 26, 2014.
  37. Minimum wage - Andrea Nahles bursts the collar. Retrieved September 26, 2017 .
  38. Retirement at 63: Bundestag approves pension package. Retrieved September 26, 2017 .
  39. Bundestag passes collective bargaining law - "Yes" after a heated exchange of blows, May 22, 2015, retrieved on July 30, 2015
  40. Collective bargaining unity law promotes conflicts such as the GDL strike. In: 12 August 2021, retrieved 12 August 2021 .
  41. Restart of the SPD: Andrea Nahles elected parliamentary group leader. Retrieved September 27, 2017 .
  42. Detlef Esslinger : Andrea Nahles plays with democratic culture , from September 28, 2017
  43. Sascha Lehnartz: Ms. Nahles, responsible opposition sounds different! , on September 28, 2017
  44. Florian Gathmann: Beware of the shredder , from September 28, 2017
  45. Boris Rosencrantz: Eat now! , on September 28, 2017
  46. This is how Nahles explains her "In die Face" comment , on September 28, 2017
  47. Nahles regrets her "in the face" saying , Welt (AFP), September 29, 2017
  48. Only 66 percent for Andrea Nahles. In: Spiegel Online , April 22, 2018.
  49. Agency report: Nahles resigns as party and faction leader. Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 2, 2019, retrieved June 2, 2019 .
  50. Agency report: "Take care". Der Spiegel , June 3, 2019, retrieved August 22, 2021 .
  51. Agency report: Mützenich takes over parliamentary group chairmanship on an interim basis. Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 4, 2019, retrieved August 22, 2021 .
  52. Agency report: Complete withdrawal – Nahles resigns from the Bundestag. Die Welt , October 14, 2019, retrieved August 22, 2021 .
  53. Agency report: Joe Weingarten takes over Bundestag mandate from Andrea Nahles. Die Zeit , October 23, 2019, retrieved August 22, 2021 .
  54. Nahles elected new President of the Federal Post Office and Telecommunications Agency, June 26, 2020
  55. DER SPIEGEL: Andrea Nahles becomes advisor to the EU Social Commissioner. Retrieved February 21, 2021 .
  56. Report published on strengthening social dialogue in the EU. Retrieved February 21, 2021 .
  57. Markus Becker: Andrea Nahles as special adviser to the EU Commission: Comeback in Brussels? In: THE MIRROR. Retrieved February 21, 2021 .
  58. Andrea Nahles becomes head of the Federal Employment Agency . In: The Mirror . January 25, 2022, ISSN  2195-1349 ( [accessed January 25, 2022]).
  59. Nahles should become head of the Federal Employment Agency. Retrieved January 25, 2022 .
  60. ZDF yearbook 2003: television council
  61. Neue Gesellschaft/Frankfurter Hefte , Bonn, 12th edition 2018, imprint p. 80.
  62. Andrea Nahles
  63. History
  64. Individuals
  65. GoVolunteer. Just help. Retrieved November 6, 2018 .
  66. Broadcasting councils snub Nahles, August 19, 2013
  67. Nahles is on the way to "Absurdistan", January 27, 2015
  68. "The thing is dead", February 26, 2015
  69. Absurd Hartz IV reform hits children of separation, April 14, 2016
  70. Hartz IV for single parents will not be reduced after all, June 3, 2016
  71. Frank Specht: Temporary work in nurse's costume. On on February 21, 2017, accessed on November 6, 2021
  72. Werner Rügemer : Now it's over. In ver.di Publik 3/2017, p. 15
  73. SPD pushes for more funding for parties, June 6, 2018
  74. Parties get an additional 25 million euros, June 15, 2018
  75. FDP, Left and Greens sue against party financing, July 4, 2018
  76. Lack of historical awareness in Andrea Nahles, July 25, 2018
  77. The memory of the SPD should be abolished, August 6, 2018
  78. No future without history. Open letter to the SPD party executive, August 16, 2018
  79. The dilemma of the SPD, September 19, 2018
  80. Maassen becomes special adviser in the Ministry of the Interior, September 23, 2018
  81. Seehofer sends Maassen into temporary retirement, November 5, 2018
  82. Nahles upsets state leaders with Europe list, November 19, 2018
  83. Gebhardt is now back in 15th place, December 10, 2018
  84. Enrico Kreft under, December 10, 2018
  85. Nahles wants to neutralize critics, March 15, 2019
  86. SPD rebel: "Nahles surrounds himself with a clique of officials who neutralize the critics", March 15, 2019
  87. SPD honors Andrea Nahles with Wilhelm Hoegner Prize. Die Welt, August 6, 2017, retrieved August 6, 2017 .