Christian Lindner

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Christian Lindner
File:Christian Lindner (Martin Rulsch) 1.jpg
Member of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
Assumed office
31 May 2012
In office
2 June 2000 – 18 November 2009
Leader of the Free Democratic Party
Assumed office
7 December 2013
Preceded by Philipp Rösler
Secretary General of the Free Democratic Party
In office
24 December 2009 – 14 December 2011
Preceded by Dirk Niebel
Succeeded by Patrick Döring
Member of the Bundestag
In office
27 September 2009 – 14 December 2011
Constituency North Rhine-Westphalia List
Personal details
Born (1979-01-07) January 7, 1979 (age 43)
Wuppertal, West Germany
Political party FDP
Residence Düsseldorf, Wermelskirchen
Occupation Politician

Christian Lindner (born January 7, 1979) is a German politician, member of the Landtag ("state diet") of North Rhine-Westphalia and leader of the liberal party Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP).

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, he studied political science at the University of Bonn from 1999 to 2006.[1][2]

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?".[3] 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.[4]

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.[5][6]

Political career

Lindner joined the FDP in 1995.[7] 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).[8] 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.[9] 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 has 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[10] in December 2011, he was also general secretary of the FDP on federal level.[11]

Lindner was later chosen to lead the FDP in the 2012 state election of North Rhine-Westphalia.[12] In the election, the FDP received 8.6% of the vote,[13] surpassing all expectations at the time.[14]

Linder was elected the new chairman of the FDP following the resignation of Chairman Philipp Rösler after the 2013 German federal elections[15][16] in which the FDP failed to clear the 5% hurdle to enter the Bundestag for the first time since 1949.[17]

In early 2015, an impromptu rant 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 when a Social Democratic member in the audience yelled: “That’s 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.[18]

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.[19]

Other activities


  3. (In german: Steuerwettbewerb und Finanzausgleich. Kann die Finanzverfassung reformiert werden?), »Bambi« legt los., Der Spiegel, 29 November 2004.
  4. Daniel Dettling (Hrsg.): Minima Moralia der nächsten Gesellschaft. Standpunkte eines neuen Generationenvertrags. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-531-16475-5, S. 168.
  5. Verbindungsoffizier zum Landeskommando. In: Rheinische Post. 26. Juli 2008.
  6. De Maizière befördert Lindner zum Hauptmann. In: Handelsblatt, 16. September 2011.
  7. "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-23. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-23. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-23. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-23. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Nicholas Kulish (May 13, 2012), In Rebuke to Merkel’s Party, Social Democrats Win German Vote New York Times.
  18. Troianovski, Anton (2015-02-03). "Video Rant Wins Praise for Struggling German Political Party". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Anton Troianovski (February 3, 2015), Video Rant Wins Praise for Struggling German Political Party: Once-Influential Pro-Business Party Faces a Crucial Election Wall Street Journal.
  20. "Aktive Bürgerschaft". Retrieved 2015-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. " - Organization". Retrieved 2015-05-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "ZDF-Fernsehrat" (in Deutsch). 2015-02-11. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-23. External link in |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links