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|Member of the Bundestag|
|Leader of the Free Democratic Party|
7 December 2013
|Preceded by||Philipp Rösler|
|Secretary General of the FDP|
24 December 2009 – 14 December 2011
|Preceded by||Dirk Niebel|
|Succeeded by||Patrick Döring|
January 7, 1979 |
Wuppertal, West Germany
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.
Lindner joined the FDP in 1995. 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). In 2000, he was elected to the state parliament (Landtag) (until 2009). 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 in December 2011, he was also general secretary of the FDP on federal level.
Linder was elected the new chairman of the FDP following the resignation of Chairman Philipp Rösler after the 2013 German federal elections in which the FDP failed to clear the 5% hurdle to enter the Bundestag for the first time since 1949.
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.
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.
- Aktive Bürgerschaft, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
- ZDF, Member of the Television Board
- Nicholas Kulish (May 13, 2012), In Rebuke to Merkel’s Party, Social Democrats Win German Vote New York Times.
- 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.