Caren Lay

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Caren Lay (2020)
Caren Lay (2020)

Caren Nicole Lay (born December 11, 1972 in Neuwied ) is a German politician ( Die Linke ) and a qualified sociologist . She has been a member of the Bundestag since 2009 and has been the deputy chairwoman of the Left Party in the Bundestag since 2017 . From 2012 to 2018 she was one of the vice-leaders of her party. In November 2019, Lay unsuccessfully applied to succeed Sahra Wagenknecht as co-group chairman of the left parliamentary group. She lost to Amira Mohamed Ali in a fight vote .

Life and work

Lay comes from a working class family . After graduating from high school in Andernach , she studied sociology with a focus on political science and women's studies at the Philipps University in Marburg and the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and in Pennsylvania ( USA ). After graduating as a qualified sociologist, she was initially a lecturer at the Free University of Berlin from 1999 to 2000 and a parliamentary scientific advisor in the PDS parliamentary group in the Saxon state parliament in Dresden from 2000 to 2003 . She then moved for the then responsible Federal Minister Renate Künast as a speechwriter in the Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture . In the course of the protests against Agenda 2010 of the red-green federal government, Lay joined the PDS in 2004.


Caren Lay (2019)

Member of the Saxon State Parliament (2004 to 2009)

Lay was a member of the Saxon state parliament from 2004 to 2009 , deputy chairman of the left-wing parliamentary group.PDS and spokeswoman for labor market policy. In addition, she was Parliamentary Director of the parliamentary group from 2007 to 2009 . In addition, she was a member of the Presidium, a member of the Committee on Economics, Labor and Transport, as well as chairwoman of the 2nd committee of inquiry into the corruption affair and chairwoman of the 1st commission of inquiry on demographic development .

Member of the Bundestag (since 2009)

Caren Lay has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2009 . She was elected to the German Bundestag via the state list of Saxony. The party placed her in January 2013 as one of its eight top candidates . In October 2013 she became deputy parliamentary group leader and head of the “Structure and Regional Policy ” working group. From 2009 to the end of 2015 she was the spokeswoman for consumer policy in her group. Lay has been the spokesperson for rent, building and housing policy for the Left Party in the Bundestag since January 2016 . After the 2017 federal election, she was elected as deputy parliamentary group leader.

In March 2014, the Bundestag lifted their immunity so that the Dresden public prosecutor could continue investigating them; Lay participated in a blockade against a Nazi demonstration in Dresden in 2011 . Lay and her fellow parliamentary group member Michael Leutert , who was also affected, rejected criminal prosecution as unlawful, with reference to an opinion by the Scientific Service of the Bundestag , according to which the Saxon Assembly Act was not valid at the time of the offense due to a formal error and the federal law was not applicable to the demonstrators. The Immunity Committee did not follow this view. On February 12, 2015, the Dresden public prosecutor closed the proceedings without conditions or payments on the grounds that the guilt appeared minor.

On November 12, 2019, Lay unsuccessfully applied to succeed Sahra Wagenknecht as co-group chairman of the left parliamentary group. In a fight vote she was defeated by Amira Mohamed Ali with 29 to 36 votes.

In the 19th German Bundestag Lay chairwoman is the Committee for Construction, Housing, Urban Development and municipalities . She is also a full member of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety , and a deputy member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection .

Extra-parliamentary work

Lay at the Federal Party Congress 2018 in Leipzig

From 2007 to 2018 she was a member of the executive committee of the party Die Linke. Lay was federal manager from 2010 to 2012 and then from 2012 to 2018 deputy chairwoman of her party. In the election of the new party executive in June 2018, she decided not to run again, pointing out that she wanted to concentrate on her work as deputy parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag.

Lay is considered a representative of the libertarian, undogmatic spectrum of her party. In autumn 2006 she initiated the establishment of the Emancipatory Left together with Katja Kipping .

In 2007 she joined the current Forum Democratic Socialism . At the federal congress in April 2008, she was elected as one of the three speakers of the forum alongside Stefan Liebich and Inga Nitz . After her nomination as federal manager in 2010, she gave up this post. She later resigned from the FDS.

In the run-up to the Göttingen Federal Party Congress in 2012, together with Katja Kipping , Katharina Schwabedissen , Jan van Aken and Thomas Nord, she advocated a “ third way ” beyond the reform-oriented and traditional wing of the left.

Caren Lay is a member of the ver.di union , the German Tenants' Association , the BUND nature conservation association , the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung , the VVN-BdA , Attac , the Rent and Living Network and the Alpine Association .

Political positions

Caren Lay is a rent politician and has been the spokesperson for rent, building and housing policy for the Left Party in the Bundestag since 2016.

Caren Lay is promoting a red-red-green government alliance at the federal level. Together with members of the SPD, Bündnis90 / Die Grünen and the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, she organized several meetings of the “Trialog for a progressive policy”.

Lay is committed to stopping the decline in social housing. For a long time, she also campaigned for an amendment to the Basic Law that would allow the federal government to continue providing the states with money for social housing construction even after the unbundling funds from Federalism Reform I have expired. Lay demands that the federal government should launch a public housing program based on the Vienna model. The federal government should promote social, non-profit, municipal and cooperative housing construction with an annual amount of 10 billion euros. Every year 250,000 new social housing are to be built. In addition, municipalities should remunicipalise formerly public apartments. In four years, a total of 1.5 million new and affordable apartments are to be built. Lay believes that with such a housing program a "trend reversal in the housing market" could be initiated. She is also of the opinion that the federal government itself should build affordable apartments with long-term social ties

Lay is committed to ensuring that public land is no longer privatized. Public land should only be awarded with a heritable building lease. She advocates building up a new rent movement in Germany that will put pressure on the federal government. In this context, she took part in the protests against the federal government's housing summit and the alternative housing summit in September 2018. Lay advocates the reintroduction of non-profit housing. So that property developers oriented towards the common good receive tax incentives with investment subsidies if they build inexpensive rental apartments on a permanent basis.

As federal managing director, in spring 2012 she initiated a “rent policy offensive” by the Left Party.

She regularly takes part in anti-Nazi protests, including a blockade against the annual Nazi rally in Dresden in 2011. Your citizens' offices in Bautzen and Hoyerswerda have already been attacked several times. For them, the fight against the shift to the right is "one of the most urgent tasks of the left, indeed of the entire enlightened society".

As a builder with West German roots, Lay advocates a different economic and structural policy for East Germany. She advocates a socio-ecological structural change in Lusatia. In addition, she is committed to the creation of equality of living conditions in East and West.

Caren Lay is rooted in the women's movement. Within her party, she has developed a mentoring program for young women. In 2011, as Federal Managing Director, she initiated the award of the Clara Zetkin Women's Prize by the Left Party, which honors projects that aim to improve the living conditions of women and gender equality. Since then, the prize has been awarded annually.


In December 2017, the planned award ceremony for Ken Jebsen in Berlin's Babylon Cinema caused controversy within the Left Party. The Berlin Senator for Culture Klaus Lederer (Die Linke) publicly criticized the award ceremony. He was then criticized by some party members. A rally was announced in front of the federal office, at which the former left-wing politician Wolfgang Gehrcke announced his participation. On the initiative of Caren Lay, the party executive of the Left Party then dissociated itself under the heading "Clear Edge Against Cross Front " in a motion "unequivocally from the activities of right-wing populists, nationalists, conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites who want to make right-wing populist models of explaining the world and 'cross-front' strategies socially acceptable" and, on the other hand, showed solidarity with Klaus Lederer.


Web links

Commons : Caren Lay  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Caren Lay: Caren Lay (DIE LINKE) for May 26, 2016, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  2. Ulrich Schmid: Big team for a small party. , January 25, 2013; accessed on February 23, 2013
  3. Profile on the homepage of the DIE LINKE parliamentary group. in the Bundestag
  4. Leutert and Lay lose immunity . In: Neues Deutschland , March 21, 2014
  5. Left parliamentarians no longer immune in: taz , February 9, 2012; Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  6. ^ Blockade of neo-Nazi demonstration in Dresden: proceedings against members of the Bundestag suspended . In: Leipziger Volkszeitung , February 18, 2015; accessed on February 20, 2015
  7. Successor to Sahra Wagenknecht: Amira Mohamed Ali is the new co-leader of the left-wing parliamentary group . In: Spiegel Online . November 12, 2019 ( [accessed November 12, 2019]).
  8. ^ German Bundestag - MPs. Accessed August 30, 2020 .
  9. a b Caren Lay - Caren Lay. June 4, 2010, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  10. That's far from it! - Caren Lay. April 20, 2018, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  11. Left power struggle . Ladies tandem Kipping / Schwabedissen versus Bartsch. In: Stuttgarter Zeitung . May 23, 2012 ( [accessed September 12, 2014]).
  12. ^ CV on the website of Caren Lay
  13. Red-Red-Green wants to get out of the back rooms. Retrieved June 27, 2019 .
  14. decline of public housing stop! - Caren Lay. May 18, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2019 .
  15. ^ Amendment to the constitution for new social housing - Caren Lay. September 28, 2018, accessed March 20, 2019 .
  16. No social housing policy without new construction. Retrieved March 20, 2019 .
  17. Public housing program based on the Viennese model - Caren Lay. November 20, 2018, accessed March 20, 2019 .
  18. The federal government has to build its own apartments - Caren Lay. June 26, 2018, accessed March 20, 2019 .
  19. Time for a new tenant movement in the federal government! - Caren Lay. April 6, 2018, accessed March 20, 2019 .
  20. Milestone for a new rent movement - Caren Lay. June 9, 2018, accessed March 20, 2019 .
  21. Together against #Mietenwahnsinn - Caren Lay. September 24, 2018, accessed March 20, 2019 .
  22. DIE LINKE: Left offensive on housing and rent policy. May 9, 2012, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  23. Nazi graffiti on the new LEFT citizens office in Bautzen - Caren Lay. February 16, 2014, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  24. Personal - Caren Lay. April 30, 2010, accessed March 18, 2019 .
  25. Clara Zetkin Women's Prize. Retrieved March 18, 2019 .
  26. Matthias Meisner: The left in the fight against the cross front. In: December 4, 2017, accessed March 20, 2019 .