Saskia Esken

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Saskia Esken (2019)
Signature of Saskia Esken

Saskia Christina Esken (* 28 August 1961 in Stuttgart as Saskia Christina Hofer ) is a German politician ( SPD ). She has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2013 and co- federal chairwoman of the SPD since December 6, 2019 .

Origin, profession and private life

Esken grew up in Renningen . Her political engagement began in a youth center in Weil der Stadt , of which Bernd Riexinger was one of the founders . While her parents joined the SPD because of Willy Brandt , the party was not left enough for her at the time. She obtained her Abitur in 1981 at the Johannes-Kepler-Gymnasium in Weil der Stadt. She broke off studying German and political science at the University of Stuttgart and then worked, among other things, as a parcel deliverer and waitress . In 1990 she completed an apprenticeship as a state-certified computer scientist at the Academy for Data Processing in Böblingen and then worked in software development until she ended her professional career in 1994 after the birth of her first child. About the volunteer Parents Association she came to the education policy and was from 2012 to 2014 as deputy chairman of the Parents Advisory Board of Baden-Wuerttemberg operates.

Esken has been married to Roland Esken since 1993, with whom she has three children. Her husband is retired and is involved as chairman of the Württembergische Schwarzwaldbahn Calw - Weil der Stadt (WSB) e. V. for an expansion of the Stuttgart S-Bahn . Saskia Esken also supports the cause. After Saskia Esken was elected to the German Bundestag, they moved from Bad Liebenzell to Calw .

Political party

Esken joined the SPD in 1990. From 2008 to 2015 she was chairwoman of the Bad Liebenzell local association and from 2010 to 2020 chairwoman of the Calw district association . At the state party conferences on October 19, 2013 and October 10, 2015, she was elected as a member of the board of the SPD Baden-Württemberg . After the big losses in the state elections in 2016 , an early election of the state executive took place on October 22, 2016, in which she missed the re-election to the state executive. At the state party conference on November 24, 2018, she again missed the election to the state executive.

Saskia Esken (r.) And Norbert Walter-Borjans (l.) At the SPD regional conference for the election of the SPD chairmanship on September 10, 2019 in Nieder-Olm .

In the election for the SPD chairmanship in 2019 , Esken ran together with Norbert Walter-Borjans , the former finance minister of North Rhine-Westphalia . They were nominated by the SPD North Rhine-Westphalia . The Jusos and their chairman Kevin Kühnert supported their candidacy. In the first ballot in October 2019, Esken and Walter-Borjans took second place with 21.0 percent of the vote, behind Klara Geywitz and Olaf Scholz , who received 22.7 percent of the vote. In the runoff election in November 2019, Esken and Walter-Borjans received 53.1 percent of the vote and Geywitz and Scholz 45.3 percent of the vote. At the federal party conference on December 6, 2019, Esken was elected federal chairman with 75.9 percent and Walter-Borjans with 89.2 percent of the delegate's votes. Esken thus received the second worst result in an SPD chairman election without opposing candidates. Only Sigmar Gabriel received a worse result in 2015 with 74.3 percent of the delegate votes.

At the federal party conference on December 11, 2021, Esken ran for another term of office; her previous co-chair, Norbert Walter-Borjans, did not run. She was confirmed in office with 75.9 percent of the delegates' votes and, together with Lars Klingbeil, forms the new chairman duo of the SPD.


Video presentation (2014)

Esken was 2007-2014 member of the municipal council of Bad Liebenzell and 2009-2020 member of the district council of the district Calw .

In the 2009 federal election she ran for 28th place on the state list of Baden-Württemberg and in the Calw constituency . Your place on the state list was not enough for entry into the German Bundestag . In the Calw constituency, which has been won by the CDU candidate without interruption since 1949 , it achieved second place with 20.2 percent of the first votes behind Hans-Joachim Fuchtel from the CDU.

In the 2013 Bundestag election , she moved into the German Bundestag via 18th place on the Baden-Württemberg state list. In the Calw constituency, she came second behind Hans-Joachim Fuchtel from the CDU, with 20.2 percent of the first votes. In the 18th electoral term she was a member of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment , the Digital Agenda Committee and the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Development . She was also deputy spokesperson for the parliamentary group's working group on the digital agenda.

In the 2017 Bundestag election , it moved back to the German Bundestag, topping 15th place on the Baden-Württemberg state list. In the Calw constituency, she again came second behind Hans-Joachim Fuchtel from the CDU, with 16.9 percent of the first votes. In the 19th electoral term, she was a member of the Committee on Home Affairs , the Digital Agenda Committee and the Artificial Intelligence Study Commission . She was also deputy spokesperson for the parliamentary group's working group on the digital agenda. After her election as party leader in December 2019, she gave up her committee membership and her position as deputy spokeswoman for the parliamentary group's working group on the Digital Agenda.

Esken at the signing of the coalition agreement of the traffic light parties (2021)

In the federal election in 2021 , she moved into the German Bundestag again via first place on the Baden-Württemberg state list. In the Calw constituency, she took second place behind Klaus Mack from the CDU, with 17.2 percent of the first votes .

Political positions

Esken is a member of the parliamentary left , in which the left wing of the SPD parliamentary group has come together.

After the 2017 federal election , Esken described Agenda 2010 as a fall from grace, for which the SPD is still paying the bill. They also declared that the SPD had "finally to stop, auszubaldowern their personnel decisions in back rooms and to present us then." After the Federal Constitutional Court cuts in unemployment benefits II had declared unconstitutional for part, called Esken in November 2019, the abolition of Hartz IV sanctions .

Esken stated in the mid-term review of the Merkel IV cabinet that a continuation of the grand coalition would only be justifiable after an immediate increase in the minimum wage "to at least 12 euros", moving away from the debt brake and improving the climate package . She described the federal government's climate protection package as "not enough ambitious and also socially unjust". In the event that the CDU and CSU do not agree to renegotiating the coalition agreement, Esken wanted to “recommend that the party congress leave the coalition”. This position has since been revised by Esken.

Before her candidacy for the federal party chairmanship, Esken was particularly active as a network politician. She is against data retention and for a right to encryption. In the debate on the 2019 EU copyright reform , she was against the introduction of the upload filters provided for in it (Article 13) and against the ancillary copyright law for press publishers at EU level (Article 11). Esken advocates the decriminalization of cannabis "under strict conditions and with strict observance of the protection of minors."

Esken argues for the introduction of a speed limit on German autobahns that this is "good for the climate and safety". Often the “population is further than politics”, in this context they advocate enforcing the will of the majority “also against the protests of lobby groups”.

Following the decision of the supplementary budget to finance the consequences of the Corona, which provides for additional debts of 156 billion euros, Esken demanded a property levy for higher earners on April 1, 2020.


New Year's Eve 2019/20 occurred in the district Connewitz in Leipzig clashes between police and revelers that did not exist in previous years. She came under fire because Esken questioned police tactics and called for a review of the police operation, while at the same time the initial reporting and portrayal by the police were one-sided. Critics then accused her of reversing the perpetrator and the victim . Party friends like Sigmar Gabriel also criticized their statements. Esken stated that their statements had been misinterpreted, but did not deviate from their criticism of the police.

As a result of the protests against police violence in the USA, Esken accused the German police of "latent racism" and called for an examination of excessive police violence and racism. According to her, the vast majority of police officers would be very critical of such tendencies and suffer from the potential loss of confidence that would result. Politicians from the SPD and CDU as well as members of the Police Union (GdP) criticized these statements. The GdP spoke of a "verbal gossip" against the police and the SPD interior minister of Rhineland-Palatinate Roger Lewentz also found critical words against Esken. In this context, the SPD interior minister of Lower Saxony Boris Pistorius spoke of an “unjustified general suspicion”, and his colleagues from Thuringia and Berlin, both SPD, distanced themselves from Esken's accusations.

Esken came under fire for a tweet in the context of the death of George Floyd and Trump's reaction to wanting to ban “the Antifa”. In this she counted herself to the Antifa . In a tweet she replied that for her Antifa is "an acronym for anti-fascism " and referred to a possible meaning in the Duden. She would neither accept the reinterpretation by the New Right nor the occupation by acts of violence by left fringe groups, which, like any act of violence, are reprehensible and should be prosecuted. Critics from the CDU and FDP accused her of a lack of differentiation and, from their point of view, incorrect use of the term "Antifa".

The Islamism expert Ahmad Mansour accused her of playing down Islamism and political Islam and not considering them adequately after Esken claimed on a talk show that Islamism "does not express group-related enmity per se" and is "not a form of discrimination," which is why the SPD is positioning itself in their election manifesto against Islamophobia , but not against Islamism. Mansour accuses the SPD of having distanced itself from liberal Muslims among Esken . Esken accused him of "showmanship".

In June 2021, the German Bundestag approved the use of state Trojans by the federal police , federal intelligence services and state agencies for the protection of the constitution with the votes of the grand coalition . Esken's public distancing from the use of state Trojans sparked criticism from the SPD parliamentary group. SPD member of the Bundestag Ulli Nissen called Esken's behavior shabby. Juso representatives supported their stance, but criticized the fact that Esken, as party leader, could not prevent the SPD from approving.


Esken is a member of the non-partisan European Union Germany , which advocates a federal Europe and the European unification process. She is also a member of BUND , Greenpeace , Campact , D64 , ver.di and the Friends of Nature . She is also a sustaining member of the Society of liberties with the aims of strategic action guiding the fundamental rights and human rights to maintain and expand.

Web links

Commons : Saskia Esken  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Parliament election 2021 · Constituency 280 Calw. In: Retrieved September 27, 2021 .
  2. Saskia Esken: Your courage should rouse the party. In: October 22, 2019. Retrieved October 22, 2019 .
  3. SPD leader without friend or helper. In: June 12, 2020, accessed June 12, 2020 .
  4. a b Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans in portrait. In: December 3, 2019, accessed December 3, 2019 .
  5. The underrated. In: August 25, 2020, accessed on August 25, 2020 .
  6. a b Our candidate for the Bundestag: Saskia Esken, December 11, 2008.
  7. From the northern Black Forest to the big stage. In: November 28, 2019. Retrieved November 28, 2019 .
  8. a b “How are the politicians in character? - Normal? ", July 16, 2014.
  9. ^ Saskia Esken: curriculum vitae. (PDF) 2009, accessed December 4, 2019 .
  10. ^ Black Forest Bote, Oberndorf Germany: Northern Black Forest: Saskia Esken is looking forward to Berlin - Black Forest Bote. Retrieved December 4, 2019 .
  11. Imprint | Württemberg Black Forest Railway Calw. Retrieved on December 4, 2019 (German).
  12. "Great news for the people in the northern Black Forest" - Saskia Esken. Retrieved December 4, 2019 .
  13. From row 2 to the top? In: October 30, 2019, accessed May 6, 2020 .
  14. SPD boss Schmid does not let go of from May 13, 2016. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  15. Overview of the results of the election of the state board PDF on the website from October 22, 2016. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  16. Election results of the state executive board PDF on the website from November 24, 2018. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  17. NRW state executive nominates Walter-Borjans and Esken. In: August 31, 2019, accessed August 31, 2019 .
  18. Kühnert favors duo Walter-Borjans / Esken for the top of the SPD. In: September 2, 2019, accessed September 2, 2019 .
  19. Jusos support NRW candidate duo for SPD chairmanship. In: September 12, 2019, accessed September 12, 2019 .
  20. Scholz / Geywitz against Walter-Borjans / Esken in runoff election for SPD chairmanship. In: October 26, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019 .
  21. SPD-Basis votes for Saskia Esken and Norbert Walter-Borjans. In: November 30, 2019, accessed November 30, 2019 .
  22. Esken and Walter-Borjans are new SPD leaders. In: December 6, 2019, accessed December 6, 2019 .
  23. The climber of the year. In: December 30, 2019, accessed December 30, 2019 .
  24. ^ Election results of the SPD party chairmen since Schröder. In: December 6, 2019, accessed December 6, 2019 .
  25. Election at the federal party congress: The SPD has a new party leadership., December 11, 2021, accessed on December 11, 2021 .
  26. Saskia Esken completes the trio. In: September 25, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017 .
  27. ^ Landes-SPD selects Esken as the top candidate for the federal election. May 9, 2021, accessed May 9, 2021 .
  28. Saskia Esken again missed direct mandate in Calw. In: September 27, 2021, accessed September 27, 2021 .
  29. ^ Members of the parliamentary left overview on the website . Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  30. Somewhere between frustration and lust Article on the website of October 27, 2017. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  31. How the SPD deals with the Hartz slap Article on the website from November 6, 2019. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  32. Continuation of the grand coalition only under these conditions Article on the website of November 12, 2019. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  33. "Imagine if there were no more social democracy" Article on the website from November 18, 2019. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  34. "Then I recommend the GroKo-Ende" article on the website from November 19, 2019. Retrieved on September 22, 2021.
  35. The SPD leadership cancels the revolt again. Retrieved December 4, 2019 .
  36. Internet politician Esken becomes SPD leader Article on the website from November 30, 2019. Retrieved on September 22, 2021.
  37. Saskia Esken in conversation with Ann-Kathrin Büüsker: New EU copyright law - student revolt against upload filters. Deutschlandfunk, March 8, 2019, accessed on March 19, 2021 (German).
  38. Five SPD duos see cannabis relaxed article on the website from September 30, 2019. Accessed on September 22, 2021.
  39. "A speed limit on our motorways is good for climate and safety". In: December 26, 2019, accessed January 8, 2020 .
  40. Saskia Esken: Twitter post on safety on motorways with and without speed limit. December 31, 2019, accessed January 8, 2020 .
  41. a b Interview with new SPD leaders: “No blank check for the Union”. In: December 14, 2019, accessed January 8, 2020 .
  42. "Need fair burden sharing". SPD leader Esken calls for corona levy for the wealthy. Tagesspiegel from April 1, 2020. Retrieved September 22, 2021.
  43. a b There were other unconscious people in Leipzig-Connewitz. In: January 12, 2020, accessed January 15, 2020 .
  44. ^ Dpa, AFP: SPD leader in Leipzig: Esken questions police tactics. In: January 3, 2020, accessed January 12, 2020 .
  45. Suspects from Leipzig must be remanded in custody. Die Zeit , January 3, 2020, accessed on January 5, 2020 .
  46. Saskia Esken: The police have no right to be worshiped. In: . January 8, 2020, accessed January 15, 2020 .
  47. a b Esken regrets the interpretation of her statements. Der Spiegel , January 3, 2020, accessed on January 5, 2020 .
  48. Esken: Also in Germany latent racism of police officers. In: June 8, 2020, accessed June 8, 2020 .
  49. Criticism of Saskia Esken for "racism" statement about the police. In: June 8, 2020, accessed June 8, 2020 .
  50. SPD interior ministers attack SPD boss for expressing racism. In: June 9, 2020, accessed June 9, 2020 .
  51. Esken is one of the anti-fascists - criticism of a lack of differentiation. In: June 2, 2020, accessed June 2, 2020 .
  52. SPD is criticized for Twitter solidarity campaign with US protests. In: June 2, 2020, accessed June 2, 2020 .
  53. "Islamism is not discrimination, this is a terrorist organization if you will". In: . July 30, 2021, accessed August 16, 2021 .
  54. Oliver Maksan: Why is the SPD having such a hard time with the problem of political Islam? In: NZZ . August 5, 2021, accessed August 16, 2021 .
  55. GroKo wants police to use state Trojans - Jusos criticize the SPD boss. In: June 9, 2021, accessed June 9, 2021 .
  56. Harsh criticism of SPD leader Esken - from her own parliamentary group. In: June 22, 2021, accessed June 22, 2021 .
  57. ^ European Union parliamentarians in the German Bundestag. In: Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  58. About me. In: Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  59. Saskia Esken. In: Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  60. Martin Reeh, Stefan Reinecke: "We want to be a movement". In: September 18, 2019, accessed September 18, 2019 .