Christian Wolfgang Lindner (born January 7, 1979 in Wuppertal ) is a German politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and has been its federal chairman since December 7, 2013 . From 2000 to 2009 and again from May 2012 to October 2017 he was a member of the state parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia . From October 2009 to July 2012 Lindner was a member of the German Bundestag , from December 2009 to December 2011 also Secretary General of the Federal FDP. Lindner moved into the German Bundestag again as the top candidate of his party in the 2017 federal election and became chairman of the FDP parliamentary group there .
Lindner was born in 1979 in Wuppertal, the son of a teacher. After his parents separated, he grew up with his mother in nearby Wermelskirchen . After graduating from high school in Wermelskirchen in 1998 , Lindner did community service as a caretaker at the Theodor Heuss Academy of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Gummersbach . According to his own statements, his motivation for refusing military service was to be able to continue an entrepreneurial activity that he had started in 1997. He later reversed the decision when he was applying to be a reserve officer.
From 1999 to 2006 he studied political science as a major and constitutional law and philosophy as minor subjects at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn . After eleven semesters, he obtained the degree Magister Artium (M.A.). In his master's thesis at the Institute for Political Science, he dealt with the topic of tax competition and financial equalization. Can the financial constitution be reformed?
During his studies, Lindner was a reserve officer in the Air Force . In 2002 he was promoted to first lieutenant in the reserve. As a reservist , he took part in military exercises at the Air Force Command in Cologne-Wahn for around four years as an operational diary . In 2008 he became a liaison officer to the North Rhine-Westphalia state command in Düsseldorf. Since September 2011 he has held the rank of Captain of the Reserve.
In 2011 Lindner married the journalist Dagmar Rosenfeld , with whom he had been in a relationship since 2009. In April 2018, the separation became known. In July 2018 he confirmed a relationship with the RTL reporter Franca Lehfeldt. Lindner is non-denominational .
From 1997 to 1999 and 2002 to 2004 Lindner worked as a freelance management consultant and in electricity trading . He let this activity expire in the course of his election to the North Rhine-Westphalian FDP General Secretary.
In May 2000, Lindner founded the Internet company Moomax GmbH together with three other partners . The venture capital fund Enjoyventure participated in this company. Lindner was managing director from 2000 to 2001 and then left the company. In the wake of the decline of the new market, Moomax later filed for bankruptcy.
Between October 2017 and January 2018, Lindner achieved at least 38,500 euros in additional income with seven appearances in front of banks and consulting firms (details are not known because the income is given to the Bundestag in ranges). This included a speech at an evening reception by the Düsseldorf Kerkhoff Group on November 14, 2017, during the exploratory talks in Jamaica .
At the age of 16, Lindner joined the FDP. From 1996 to 1998 he was state chairman of the Liberal Schools of North Rhine-Westphalia and a member of the board of the Young Liberals of North Rhine-Westphalia . Since 1998 he has been a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian state executive committee of the FDP .
In the North Rhine-Westphalian state elections on May 14, 2000, the FDP succeeded in entering the state parliament (it received 9.8%; in May 1995 it was only 4.0%). The 21-year-old Lindner moved into the state parliament as the youngest member in the history of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia . From 2000, Lindner was initially a “spokesman for generations, families and integration”. Since 2002, Lindner has been chairman of the FDP district association Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis . From 2004 to 2012 he was also the deputy chairman of the FDP district association in Cologne.
From November 2004 to February 2010, Lindner was Secretary General of the North Rhine-Westphalian FDP state association and as such was campaign leader of the FDP for the state election campaign in 2005. In 2005, North Rhine-Westphalia saw a historic change of government: after 39 years of SPD government, the CDU and FDP got together a slim majority of the parliamentary seats; Jürgen Rüttgers formed the Rüttgers cabinet . Lindner became deputy chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the state parliament and spokesman for the areas of innovation, science and technology.
Bundestag (2009-2013) and Secretary General (2009-2011)
He was a member of the FDP federal executive from 2007 to December 2011. In the federal election on September 27, 2009 , Lindner was elected to the German Bundestag via the state list in North Rhine-Westphalia . In December 2009 he succeeded Dirk Niebel as General Secretary of the FDP; in December 2011 he resigned from this office. In his function as General Secretary, Lindner also led a commission from June 2010 to develop a new FDP basic program , the first draft of which was presented in September 2011.
Chairman of the FDP-NRW (2012-2017)
On March 14, 2012, the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia dissolved unanimously; an early state election was necessary. In April 2012, an FDP state party conference elected Lindner as the top candidate for the state election on May 13, 2012 . At an FDP state party conference in May - shortly before the state election - Lindner was elected as state chairman. In the state election, the FDP received 8.6% of the vote. Lindner was also a direct candidate for the state electoral district Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis II in the election ; there he received 11.6% of the first votes. In May 2012 he was elected chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the state parliament and subsequently renounced his parliamentary mandate . On March 9, 2013 Lindner was elected one of the three deputy FDP federal chairmen (the other two were Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Holger Zastrow ; Philipp Rösler had been the party chairman since 2011 ).
Lindner ran as the top candidate for the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on May 14, 2017 . The main topics were the social market economy , education, civil rights and digitization; He advocated a tougher course on the subjects of internal security , Turkey policy and the euro rescue. According to the journalist Thomas Sigmund, he was the secret leader of the opposition when setting the topic. The FDP received 12.6% of the vote (after 8.6% in the 2012 state election). The CDU and FDP formed a coalition (→ Laschet cabinet ) and assumed government responsibility.
Because of Lindner's involvement in federal politics, Joachim Stamp was elected as his successor as state chairman of the FDP NRW on November 25, 2017.
Federal Chairman (since 2013)
After the federal election in 2013 , in which the FDP missed entry into the Bundestag, FDP boss Rösler and the board announced their resignation. At the same time, Lindner declared that he wanted to run for the office of FDP party chairman. An extraordinary party congress was called between December 6th and 8th, 2013 , at which the causes of the election defeat were analyzed and a completely new presidium was elected. Lindner, then 34 years old, became the youngest chairman in FDP history. In his application speech, Lindner had declared the time of mourning to be over and called on the delegates to renew the party “from the ground up”.
In May 2014, Lindner was elected to the program committee editor-in-chief of the ZDF television council. The Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2014 that the parties are no longer allowed to send representatives directly.
On May 15, 2015, Lindner was re-elected as federal chairman at the federal party conference in Berlin with 572 of 621 votes. On April 28, 2017, he was confirmed in office by another federal party conference in Berlin with 91% of the votes.
As federal chairman, he was also the top candidate for the 2017 federal election . In the election, the FDP was able to double its result compared to the 2013 federal election to 10.7%. Lindner ran for the federal election on the first place of the state list of the FDP NRW and as a direct candidate for the federal constituency Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis . He moved into the 19th German Bundestag via the state list ; in his constituency he received 15.7% of the first votes. On September 25, 2017, one day after the general election, Lindner was elected chairman of the new FDP parliamentary group in the Bundestag .
After four weeks of exploratory talks to form a Jamaica coalition , Lindner announced the negotiations on November 19, 2017 . a. with the sentence "It is better not to govern than to govern wrongly!" for failure.
On April 26, 2019, Lindner was confirmed as federal chairman at the federal party conference in Berlin with 86.6 percent of the votes. The election took place without any opponents.
In connection with the government crisis in Thuringia in 2020 , Lindner's administration was criticized by leading liberals. He had supported Thomas Kemmerich's position as a candidate for the office of Thuringian Prime Minister and after his election, which had only been possible with the votes of the AfD, initially stated that the FDP could not be held responsible for whoever it voted. In retrospect, Lindner saw this as a miscalculation and therefore asked the vote of confidence in an extraordinary meeting of the FDP federal executive committee on February 7, 2020. Both Kemmerich's candidacy and his acceptance of the election were mistakes that were likely to cast doubt on the basic attitude of the FDP. This is crystal clear and in principle different from the AfD. 33 members of the party executive expressed their confidence in Lindner, with one vote against and two abstentions. Lindner later recommended that the President of the Thuringian Constitutional Court , Stefan Kaufmann , be elected head of a non-party expert government in Thuringia. Kaufmann himself described it as unprofessional to give a name without asking the person. Bodo Ramelow described the advance as an imposition.
Lindner is u. a. Member of the German Atlantic Society , the NRW Foundation , the Board of Trustees of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Association of Reservists of the German Armed Forces . He left the Friedrich A. von Hayek Society in 2015.
Since 2007 he has been involved as a member of the friends' association and since September 2009 also as "ambassador" of the rainbow country children's hospice in Düsseldorf.
Finance and tax policy
Lindner described the reduction of the national debt in 2012 as a priority of the FDP. He rejected calls for tax increases and instead proposes reducing bureaucracy . In 2011 he also demanded that a debt brake be introduced for the social security system. New laws and social benefits should only be passed if the subsequent burdens are bearable for future generations.
In 2017, he spoke out in favor of tax cuts in view of the record tax revenues of the federal government and criticized the "greed of the state".
Lindner defended the FDP's position of refusing a state guarantee for a transfer company that was to be formed for Schlecker's employees . In the context of the surveillance and espionage affair in 2013 and the 2013 federal election , Lindner called for more state regulation for the data market in a guest article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
In view of the weakening economy in Germany in 2019, Christian Lindner is calling for the federal government to change direction in economic and financial policy. "Solos away, reduce bureaucracy, facilitate private investments - then Germany could prevent an economic crisis."
Climate and energy policy
In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster , Lindner demanded that the seven German nuclear power plants , which were shut down as part of a three-month moratorium , not be put back into operation after the end of the same. In the discussion about a nuclear phase-out , he spoke out against a rapid phase-out.
In December 2018, Lindner criticized that climate protection outside Germany could be achieved more easily, for example by protecting the rainforest. In the case of global warming , it is irrelevant where CO 2 is emitted. To combat climate change , German money is therefore often better invested abroad and has a faster effect. As one of the biggest problems of the German energy transition , Lindner sees the faltering expansion of the transmission grids as a result of difficult approval procedures and resistance from residents. For the energy transition, 6000 km of lines would be required to transport wind power from northern Germany to southern Germany. Of these, only 28 km are currently being built per year. That is as much as a Roman snail covers a year. A German energy transition could not work without the lines.
Lindner is in favor of slowing down the expansion of wind energy in Germany if it cannot be used due to a lack of cables. In 2016, Lindner committed to converting lignite into electricity and spoke out against an early coal phase- out as long as coal-fired power plants could not be replaced due to the lack of power lines . In 2014 Lindner wrote that Germany was concentrating “religiously inflated on climate protection ”. He called for the Renewable Energy Sources Act to be abolished , as it leads to comparatively high electricity costs and is very inefficient. Instead, Lindner is calling for the Europe-wide CO 2 certificate trading to be optimized . This automatically leads to electricity from renewable energies becoming more economical and promotes it especially in countries where the weather conditions are best and the costs are correspondingly lowest. Lindner warns against adopting “Chinese-style regulatory models” in climate policy. He demanded that the hard coal-fired power plant in Datteln be put into operation, as it is much more modern and climate-friendly than the lignite-fired power plants currently required.
Against electromobility, Lindner argues that a considerable part of electricity in Germany is generated by converting lignite into electricity.
Lindner positions itself against the Fridays for Future movement . He said: “You cannot expect children and young people to see all global interrelationships, what is technically meaningful and what is economically feasible. It's a thing for professionals ”. Lindner later stated that by “professionals” he meant scientists or engineers who should decide on the selection of the best means to achieve climate protection. Furthermore, even political decision-makers are “often not even aware of the innovative approaches and are therefore not even seen as an alternative”.
With a “climate protection with asceticism, prohibition and renunciation”, according to Lindner, Germany might become “moral world champion”, but nobody will follow Germany in the world. Instead, the FDP wants to talk about effective measures. For example, by the middle of the next decade, all public buildings could be made climate-neutral, energetic building renovation could be promoted through tax incentives or bonuses could be paid for CO 2 storage through forest reforestation. Instead of banning oil heating, more greenhouse gas-friendly fuels should be developed. Furthermore, Lindner calls for an expansion of the CO 2 certificate trade and a “climate dividend” in order to curb the emission of the climate-damaging gas.
In September 2019, Lindner accused the Greens in the climate debate of rigorously one-sidedly pushing de-industrialization, continuing the cultural war against the car and wanting to dictate a different way of life to people.
Labor market and social policy
In August 2011, Lindner suggested reducing the duration of unemployment benefits for older employees to a maximum of 18 months, which was rejected by all parties, but was supported by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry .
Lindner is a critic of Angela Merkel's refugee policy . He is calling for a committee of inquiry to be set up in the Bundestag with regard to refugee policy in 2015. Summer 2015 should not be repeated in this way. "As an opposition, such a committee would be the only instrument to make mistakes made by the government of the time transparent and to put pressure on a new immigration policy."
Lindner also advocates the creation of legal escape routes to Europe and decent accommodation in North Africa. The sea rescue belongs in the hands of the state. At the same time, there should be no aiding and abetting crime among economic migrants. Lindner wants to bring migrants rescued on the Mediterranean back to Africa instead of Europe.
Lindner speaks out against a state-mandated traffic turnaround, referring to the technological change away from the internal combustion engine and towards e-mobility. Lindner writes in an article for Die Welt on October 16, 2016: “A quick and general ban on gasoline and diesel engines is economically harmful, ecologically questionable and practically impossible.” Lindner also positions himself against the introduction of speed limits .
In 2008, Lindner was one of the initiators of the Children's Education Act in North Rhine-Westphalia and, among other things, demanded a legal right to a kindergarten place from the age of two. He advocates tuition fees, but advocates the principle of financing part of the studies with a loan to be repaid later. In a lead application, which was elaborated by Lindner in 2011, he also called for a. a reform of educational federalism, the strengthening of early childhood education and reforms in the field of teacher training and further education.
In the context of the North Rhine-Westphalian state elections in 2012, Lindner declared education policy to be one of the thematic priorities of his election campaign. In this context, he called for a modification of the school consensus passed by the SPD, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia, because it unilaterally favors high schools and secondary schools.
In a guest article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 2010, Lindner advertised a “ republican identity” because the world is ordered by secular laws, but not by religious commandments. Nonetheless, the FDP is “no longer anti-clerical and anti-religious as in earlier times”: modern liberalism is “post-secular”, without denying any claim to truth for the individual in principle without religious commandments and beliefs.
In 2000, Lindner came up with the business idea of bringing Internet avatars onto the market. On May 29, 2000, at the height of the New Economy and two weeks after his entry into the Düsseldorf State Parliament as an FDP member, he founded the Internet company Moomax GmbH together with Hartmut Knüppel and Christopher Patrick Peterka , which operated from July 18, 2000 to was entered in the commercial register of the Cologne District Court on December 20, 2004 .
The Moomax GmbH was founded with 30,000 euro share capital and received via the venture capital fund EnjoyVenture additional capital. Lindner, who was managing director from 2000 to 2001, left the company after a year, at which time his stake in the company had been reduced to 8% due to the steadily growing stake by other investors, in particular Enjoyventure. Later Moomax went into bankruptcy due to disagreements with the shareholder Enjoyventure and the decline of the Neuer Markt, which provided a large part of the clientele. The venture capitalist Enjoyventure lost around 600,000 euros in its own funds. The 1.4 million euros that Enjoyventure had borrowed from KfW Bankengruppe to expand its stake in Moomax did not have to be repaid due to the bankruptcy. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , Lindner said that the funds were used "very largely" to create qualified jobs. He indicated that Moomax had created many jobs, but did not want to authorize the number when asked. The last Moomax managing director Wolfgang Lubert named a number of well under ten permanent employees. Research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comes to the conclusion that a not inconsiderable part of the two million euros in salaries must have gone to the three Moomax managing directors. Lindner declined a detailed answer to the Berliner Zeitung's inquiry on this subject, but submitted a written statement from the Enjoyventure management that denied this suspicion. He later told the newspaper that he and the other two managing directors had "received a total of less than ten percent of the € 2 million start-up capital".
At the end of January 2015, Christian Lindner's company founding again came into the limelight after he was mostly in the state parliament until his election to the state parliament due to the interjection "you have experience" (based on the failure to found a company) SPD MP Volker Münchow, who was employed in the private sector, was enraged and wrongly accused him of having spent most of his professional life in the public service. On the other hand, this is precisely what Lindner himself applies because of his political activities as a member of parliament. A video of it quickly made the rounds on social networks and met with great media coverage - initially mostly positive.
Internal membership decision
In December 2011, Lindner was criticized within the party in his function as Federal Secretary General for the implementation of a membership decision of the FDP. The decision, organized by Frank Schäffler , was about the question of how the party should stand in future on the euro rescue policy of the federal government and in particular the ESM . Schäffler criticized that “some members had not received any voting documents”. He also complained that "the participation figures" in the membership decision were known "only to the party leadership". Lindner had also said before the end of the vote that he would consider the initiative to have failed. FDP local politicians demanded Lindner's resignation in this context.
Own Wikipedia article
In January 2013, two articles appeared in Wirtschaftswoche that dealt with euphemisms in the Wikipedia article about Lindner at the time . Some of these changes in the version history came from IP addresses of the Bundestag and the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia, to which Lindner belonged at the time the article was edited. Wirtschaftswoche speculated that these changes could have come from Lindner's employees. It was also reported that a Lindner employee had intervened at Tagesspiegel to delete a report on Lindner's business failure so that it could no longer be used as a source in the Wikipedia article. On the other hand, a review of edits by non-registered persons also shows, according to the taz , how problematic it is when such an article "becomes a battlefield for political interests"; because whoever looks at the version history of the article comes across "not only the desire of his supporters to emphasize critical sentences, but also attempts to defame the FDP star". On February 15, 2013, heise online reported that Lindner had asked Wirtschaftswoche and other websites that had taken over the article via a law firm to delete this and all links to it. Wirtschaftswoche also reported on previous requests from the law firm to the media to delete or change certain media articles about Lindner on the Internet. According to a spokesman for Lindner, this was done so that the statements from the Wikipedia article could then be removed because they were no longer documented in the gray area between image cultivation and manipulation.
- with Hartmut Knüppel (Ed.): The share as a brand. How companies should communicate with investors . Frankfurter Allgemeine Buch, Frankfurt am Main 2000, ISBN 3-933180-83-X .
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- with Philipp Rösler (Ed.): Freedom. felt - thought - lived. Liberal contributions to a discussion of values . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-16387-1 .
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-  Spiegel Online, last seen on September 26, 2019.
- The world, 
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- Business register . January 20, 2015. Accessed January 20, 2015. Enter registration number HRB 33738 in the search mask
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- Merlind Theile: The better Guido . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 2010, p. 26-27 ( Online - May 3, 2010 ).
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- Konrad Fischer: Wikipedia manipulation: The perfect Internet CV for Lindner. (No longer available online.) In: Wirtschaftswoche . January 5, 2013; Archived from the original on January 6, 2013 ; Retrieved November 8, 2013 .
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- AKV presents new knight Christian Lindner . Aachen newspaper az-web.de. June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- Video (17 minutes)
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Lindner, Christian Wolfgang (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German politician (FDP), Member of the Bundestag, Member of the Bundestag, entrepreneur, management consultant|
|DATE OF BIRTH||7th January 1979|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Wuppertal|