Katrin Göring-Eckardt

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Katrin Göring-Eckardt
Katrin Göring-Eckardt
Leader of the Alliance 90/The Greens in the Bundestag
Assumed office
8 October 2013
Serving with Anton Hofreiter
Preceded byRenate Künast
In office
27 October 2002 – 18 October 2005
Serving with Krista Sager
Preceded byRezzo Schlauch
Succeeded byRenate Künast
Vice President of the Bundestag
In office
18 October 2005 – 22 October 2013
PresidentNorbert Lammert
Preceded byAntje Vollmer
Succeeded byClaudia Roth
Member of the Bundestag
for Thuringia
Assumed office
27 October 1998
Personal details
Katrin Dagmar Eckardt

(1966-05-03) 3 May 1966 (age 54)
Friedrichroda, Bezirk Erfurt, East Germany
Political partyAlliance '90/The Greens
Alma materUniversity of Leipzig
ProfessionPolitician, Theologian
WebsiteOfficial Website (German)

Katrin Dagmar Göring-Eckardt (born Katrin Dagmar Eckardt; 3 May 1966) is a German politician from the German Green Party (officially known as Alliance '90/The Greens; German: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen). Starting her political activity in the now-former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in the late 1980s, she has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1998. She became co-chair of her party caucus in the Bundestag (2002–2005) and the Greens' Vice President of the Bundestag on 18 October 2005, a position that she held until 2013. In the November 2012 primary election, the Green Party chose her and Jürgen Trittin as the top two candidates for the Greens for the 2013 German federal election.[1] She also stood as joint top candidate for the Greens in the 2017 German federal election, alongside Cem Özdemir.[2]

Between 2009 and 2013, Göring-Eckardt served as praeses of the synod of the Evangelical Church in Germany (German: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, abbreviated EKD) and thus as member of the Council of the EKD.[3] However, during the federal election campaign in 2013 she stepped down from her office in the EKD.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Katrin Eckhardt was born on 3 May 1966 in the small town of Friedrichroda, near Gotha in Thuringia. Her parents were both dancers.[5] She was an active member of the Free German Youth (German: Freie Deutsche Jugend, abbreviated FDJ).[6] After completing her Abitur at the Erweiterte Oberschule (English: Extended Secondary School, abbreviated EOS) Gotha in 1984, she began studying Protestant theology at the University of Leipzig, where she studied until 1988 without gaining an academic degree.[7]

Political career[edit]

Party career[edit]

Until the Peaceful Revolution and Die Wende in East Germany, Göring-Eckardt worked with the Arbeitskreis Solidarische Kirche (English: Working Group Solidarity Church, abbreviated as AKSK) and without any party membership. In 1989, she became a founding member of the East German political group called the Democratic Awakening and, in 1990, the citizens' movement Democracy Now.[8] From 1990 to 1993, she was a member of the Thuringia State Executive of Alliance 90. As a member of the Thuringia state boards of Democracy Now and Alliance 90, she participated in the negotiations for the merger of Alliance 90 and the Greens, which in 1990, merged with the Green Party in the GDR to form an all-German party that currently exists: Alliance '90/The Greens.[9]

After the merger of Alliance 90 with the Greens in 1993, Göring-Eckardt worked in the Thuringia Landtag with the same parliamentary group as a speaker for women's issues, family and youth. From 1998 to 2006, she was also a member of the party council of the Alliance 90/The Greens. From 1995 to 1998, she was also an employee of the Green politician Matthias Berninger; around that same time from 1996 to 1998, she was also an adjunct member of the Federal Executive for the Greens. Until 1998, she was a member of the Thuringia Green Party National Executive; she was also the state spokeswoman with interruptions during her service.[10][11] In 2006, she was once again an assessor for the Thuringia Green Party State Executive Committee.

Prior to the ballot to determine the top two Green candidates in November 2012 for the 2013 German federal election, Göring-Eckardt initially spoke out against having a top two for parliamentary candidates, but instead favored a broad-positioned top team. One strong supporter of her candidacy was, amongst others, Boris Palmer (mayor of Tübingen), the party was also internally "realist". During her candidacy, she announced her intention to engage in discussing in particular how to resolve the further disintegration of society. She wanted to go to the people and especially appeal to those sections of the population there, because she said that the other values are crucial as the purely economic ones. An example factor for that choice was the electoral success of Winfried Kretschmann as Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg in 2011.[12] Compared to competitors Claudia Roth and Renate Künast, who were seen as insiders, voters felt that the conservative Göring-Eckardt was a better choice than an outsider. Various media described her performance as a correction to the force rather than going further left when compared to first-place primary election winner Jürgen Trittin, a vote made by the now much more bourgeois party base. The rumored affinity to her black-green alliances notwithstanding, Göring-Eckardt spoke out after the primary election for a red-green coalition. Left party members evaluated the good performance rather critically; compared with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, they called her an "alleged social politician".[13]

Member of the Bundestag, 1998–present[edit]

Since 1998, Göring-Eckardt has been a member of the Bundestag; she entered the body as a list MP for Thuringia since the electoral system is mixed-member proportional representation with half of the seats being constituency-based and the other half being state list-based. From 1998 to 2002, she was First Parliamentary Secretary (or managing director), specifically from February to October 2002, as well as health and pension policy spokeswoman for the party's parliamentary group. From October 2002 to September 2005, she and Krista Sager became co-chairs of the Green Party faction.[10] In the 2005 federal election, she was the Greens candidate for the Thuringia constituency Erfurt – Weimar – Weimarer Land II; however, she lost election for that constituency but still remained in the Bundestag because she was re-elected on the state list for Thuringia.

On 18 October 2005, Göring-Eckardt was elected as the Green parliamentary group's Vice President of the Bundestag with 479 votes in favor, 69 votes against, and 39 abstentions. Since the fall of 2005, she is also the cultural affairs spokeswoman in her group. In 2009, she sought again to win a constituency seat in her state, this time Gotha – Ilm-Kreis; she still could not gain a constituency-based seat but once again got re-elected on the state list. On 27 October 2009, she was re-elected Vice President of the Bundestag on the first day of the meeting of the new parliament with 473 votes in favor, 9 votes against, 5 abstentions, and 61 blank votes. In the primary election for the Greens' top candidates for the 2013 federal election on 11 November 2012, she was the second-place winner with 47.3%, beating Claudia Roth and Renate Künast; this made her and Jürgen Trittin, who won the most votes, the factions' top two candidates for the following year's election.[14]

Since October 2013, she has been co-chair of the Green Party faction, together with Anton Hofreiter.[15]

Other activities[edit]

Religious activities[edit]

Göring-Eckardt is active within the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and has held a number of positions within it. She served from 2007 to 2015 as an elected board member of the German Evangelical Church Assembly. She also sat on the Board of Trustees of the International Martin Luther Foundation.[16]

She was a member of the Evangelical Church in Germany's 11th Synod and was elected its head in 2009 over the former Minister-President of Bavaria Günther Beckstein.[17][18]

In 2009 became President of the 33rd biannual German Evangelical Church Assembly, held in Dresden in 2011.

When in November 2012 the Green party elected her as their joint top candidate (with Jürgen Trittin) for the 2013 general election Göring-Eckhard chose to relinquish her responsibilities within the EKD for the duration of the election campaign.[4]

Other community activities[edit]

Göring-Eckardt is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace e. V.[19] She was also a 2009/2010 Board member of the non-profit association Atlantik-Brücke e. V. and, since May 2010, an official "godmother" of the Bethel Children's Hospice for dying children.[20]

She also holds the following community positions:

  • Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag (Bureau Board)
  • Federal Foundation for Mother and Child, Member of the Board of Trustees - until 22 February 2010[10]
  • Atlantik-Brücke e. V. (member)[21]
  • International Martin Luther Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Bethel Children's Hospice (Godmother)
  • Evangelical Academy in Berlin, Member of the Advisory Board
  • Evangelical Wittenberg Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Hermann Kunst Foundation for the Promotion of New Testament Textual Research, Member of the Board of Trustees[22]
  • Education Foundation of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EKM), Member of the Board
  • Haus der Geschichte, Member of the Board of Trustees
  • Progressives Zentrum, Member of the Circle of Friends[23]
  • Zeitzeichen. Evangelical Comments on Religion and Society. magazine, volunteer co-editor[10]

Political positions[edit]

Values and Positions[edit]

Party insiders, the media and the public view Göring-Eckardt as a member of the so-called "Realo [de]" (English: Realist), or realpolitik/realist wing of the Greens. In addition she is considered to be a supporter of conservative values with a green lifestyle. In the past, she has based her conscience-based decisions on her religious views. Due to her strong localization in the bourgeois/middle class and good contacts with the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), she has been listed as a suitable candidate for discussions about forging CDU-Green or black-green coalitions (black being the CDU's color and green being the color for the Greens). Her reputation of being friendly to the CDU is well-founded with her participation in the so-called Pizza-Connection (English: Pizza Connection) in the 1990s; the Pizza Connection was an informal conversation circle between the younger Green and CDU politicians with the name of the circle coming from an Italian restaurant in Bonn.[24][25]

She was a supporter of Schröder's Agenda 2010 reforms.[26]

After the end of the red-green coalition government (where the Social Democratic Party led by Gerhard Schröder and the Greens were in a coalition from 1998 to 2005), Göring-Eckardt profiled on different occasions that what she called her conservative values of sustainability, social compensation, and social justice are of particular concern to her.

Human rights[edit]

Under the umbrella of the godparenthood program of Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights for political prisoners, Göring-Eckardt has been raising awareness for the imprisonment of Belarusian political activist Ales Bialiatski between 2011 and 2014.[27]

In August 2012, Göring-Eckardt was one of 124 members of the Bundestag to sign a letter that was sent to the Russian ambassador to Germany, Vladimir Grinin, expressing concern over the trial against the three members of Pussy Riot. "Being held in detention for months and the threat of lengthy punishment are draconian and disproportionate", the lawmakers said in the letter. "In a secular and pluralist state, peaceful artistic acts -- even if they can be seen as provocative -- must not lead to the accusation of serious criminal acts that lead to lengthy prison terms".[28][29]

In December 2014, Göring-Eckardt and fellow Green MP Luise Amtsberg visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to learn more about the plight of Syrians fleeing the violence in the ongoing Syrian Civil War that erupted in 2011.[30]

In August 2018, Göring-Eckardt urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to appeal Russian President Vladimir Putin for the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.[31]

European integration[edit]

Following the United Kingdom's 2016 referendum on European Union membership, Göring-Eckart made a request to the German government on behalf of the estimated 100,000 Britons living and working across Germany to offer fast-track citizenship.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Göring-Eckardt married Lutheran pastor Michael Göring in 1988 and had two sons.[8][33] The couple separated in 2011[34] and divorced in 2017. She is in a relationship with Thies Gundlach, a theologian and official in the EKD.[35]


  1. ^ "Urwahl: Grünen-Basis macht Trittin und Göring-Eckardt zum Spitzenduo" [Primary Election: Green Base Makes Trittin and Göring-Eckardt the Top Two]. Spiegel Online (in German). Spiegel Online GmbH. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013. [...] Die Grünen ziehen mit Bundestagsvizepräsidentin Katrin Göring-Eckardt und Fraktionschef Jürgen Trittin an der Spitze in den Bundestagswahlkampf. Trittin erreichte 71,9 Prozent der abgegebenen gültigen Stimmen, Göring-Eckardt 47,3 Prozent. [...] (English: '[...] The Greens move Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt and parliamentary leader Trittin at the top in the election campaign. Trittin reached 71.9 percent of the valid votes cast, Göring-Eckardt 47.3 percent. [...]')
  2. ^ "Grüne Urwahl: Die Mitglieder entscheiden" [Green Primary: The Members Decide]. Alliance '90/The Greens (in German). Berlin, Germany. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Bundestagsvizepräsidentin Katrin Göring-Eckardt" [Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt]. EKD: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (in German). Hannover, Germany: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (English: Evangelical Church in Germany). Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Spitzenkandidatin Göring-Eckardt lässt EKD-Ämter ruhen (Ruhezeit bis zum Ende des Bundestagswahlkampfes 2013)" [Top Candidate Göring-Eckardt Can Rest EKD Offices (Rest period until the end of the election campaign in 2013)]. Die Welt (in German). Berlin, Germany: Thomas Schmid (newspaper owned by Axel Springer AG). 10 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  5. ^ Willershausen, Florian (24 May 2004). "Die Mächtigen von morgen" [The powerful people of tomorrow]. Karriere [de] (in German). Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt GmbH. Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Göring-Eckardt und ihre Jugend in der DDR. Das eher aufmüpfige Mädchen und das Mitwirken in der FDJ" [Göring-Eckardt and her youth in the GDR. The more rebellious girls and the involvement in the FDJ.]. Thüringische Landeszeitung (in German). Thuringia, Germany: Funke Mediengruppe. 10 December 2012.
  7. ^ Wehner, Markus (26 May 2013). "Ein Makel im Lebenslauf: Deutsche Spitzenpolitiker verschleiern ihre Studienabbrüche" [A flaw in the CV: German leaders conceal their (academic) dropouts]. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Frankfurt, Germany: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Fraktion > Abgeordnete 17. Wahlperiode > Katrin Göring-Eckardt" [Faction > Members of 17th Bundestag > Katrin Göring-Eckardt]. Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (English: Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group) (in German). Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Katrin Göring-Eckardt: Ost-Frau, protestantisch, grün" [Katrin Göring-Eckardt: East German Woman, Protestant, Green]. Spiegel Online (in German). Spiegel Online GmbH. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d "Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen" [Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Alliance '90/The Greens]. Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Vizepräsidentin Katrin Göring-Eckardt" [Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt]. Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Archived from the original on 3 October 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  12. ^ Schulte, Ulrich (13 July 2012). "Spitzenkandidaten-Debatte der Grünen: Die Frau für die guten Werte" [Greens Top Candidates' Debate: The Woman of the Good Values]. Die Tageszeitung (in German). taz, die tageszeitung Verlagsgenossenschaft eG. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  13. ^ Caspari, Lisa (17 November 2012). "Parteitag: Der konservative Beat der Grünen" [Party: The Conservative Beat the Green]. Die Zeit (in German). Zeit-Verlag Gerd Bucerius GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  14. ^ Heiser, Sebastian (11 November 2012). "Grüne Urwahl: Gute Nachrichten für Künast" [Green primary election: Good news for Künast]. Die Tageszeitung (in German). taz, die tageszeitung Verlagsgenossenschaft eG. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  15. ^ Christina Hebel, Christoph Sydow: Fraktionsspitze: Göring-Eckardt gewinnt Kampfabstimmung bei Grünen. In: Spiegel Online, 8. Oktober 2013.
  16. ^ "Katrin Göring-Eckardt". International Martin Luther Stiftung (in German). 1 December 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  17. ^ Kamann, Matthias (2 May 2009). "EKD-Synode wählt Göring-Eckardt an die Spitze" [EKD-Synod chooses Göring-Eckardt to be the head]. Die Welt (in German). Thomas Schmid (Owner: Axel Springer AG). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  18. ^ Mawick, Reinhard (2 May 2009). "Katrin Göring-Eckardt zur Präses der EKD-Synode gewählt" [Katrin Göring-Eckardt elected President of the EKD]. EKD: Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  19. ^ "Das ASF-Kuratorium" [Action Reconciliation Service for Peace - Board of Trustees]. Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  20. ^ "Katrin Göring-Eckardt wünscht sich Kinder gut behütet" [Katrin Göring-Eckardt wants children well protected]. Kinderhospiz Bethel (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Frage 5: Atlantikbrücke" [Question 5: Atlantic Bridge]. Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Bundespartei (in German). Archived from the original on 26 December 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  22. ^ Board of Trustees Hermann Kunst Foundation for the Promotion of New Testament Textual Research.
  23. ^ Circle of Friends Progressives Zentrum.
  24. ^ Medick, Veit; Weiland, Severin (12 November 2012). "Nach der Urwahl: Wie schwarz sind die Grünen?" [After the primary election: How black are the Greens?]. Spiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  25. ^ Halbig, Julia (10 November 2012). "Spitzenkandidatin Katrin Göring-Eckardt: Die grüne Christin" [Top candidate Katrin Göring-Eckardt: The Green Christian]. Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Munich: Südwestdeutsche Medien Holding. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  26. ^ Christiane Hoffmann (September 17, 2013), The Anti-Pippi: Green Party's Top Candidate Lacks Punch Spiegel Online.
  27. ^ Prisoner’s Godparenthood: Katrin Göring-Eckardt adopts Ales Bialiatski Archived 2015-01-28 at the Wayback Machine Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights, press release of 13 October 2011.
  28. ^ Henry Meyer (August 8, 2012), Madonna Urges Freedom for Anti-Putin Punk Girls at Concert Bloomberg News.
  29. ^ Appell aus dem Bundestag: Deutsche Abgeordnete fordern Milde für Pussy Riot Spiegel Online, August 7, 2012.
  30. ^ Die Fraktionsvorsitzende von Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, besuchte Jordanien[permanent dead link] press release of December 9, 2014, German Embassy to Jordan, Amman.
  31. ^ Calls for Merkel to Help Rescue Sentsov UA.TV.
  32. ^ Jules Johnston (August 1, 2016), German Greens want Brits to stay post-Brexit Politico Europe.
  33. ^ Eubel, Cordula; Monath, Hans (10 June 2012). "Interview mit Katrin Göring-Eckardt: 'Bei den Piraten gibt es eine eher elitäre Beteiligung'" [Interview with Katrin Göring-Eckardt: 'With the pirates, there is a rather elitist participation']. Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH (Dieter von Holtzbrinck Media). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  34. ^ kewil (15 August 2013). "Göring-Eckardt soll einen neuen Pastor haben" [Göring-Eckardt will have a new pastor]. Politically Incorrect (in German). Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  35. ^ "Göring-Eckardt hat sich von ihrem Mann getrennt - und spricht über ihre neue Liebe". Focus Online (in German). Focus Online Group GmbH. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2018.


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