• 1 October 2014

    Public Program | "Does Germany Still Need The Free Democrats?“

    The Aspen Institute Germany hosted a panel discussion on the question “Does Germany Still Need the Free Democrats?“ In addition to moderator Rüdiger Lentz, the panelists Steffi Lemke, Member of the German Bundestag and Parliamentary Secretary of Alliance 90/The Greens, Christian Lindner, Member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Parliament and Federal Chairman of the FDP, and Lars Zimmermann, Member of the CDU Berlin, discussed whether the German Free Democrats (FDP) and liberal thoughts were still modern and how they might be further developed. According to Mr. Lindner, the status of the FDP had been damaged by the lack of a clear liberal profile. His aim was to raise the party’s profile and to encourage citizens to assume responsibility instead of delegating it to the state. Mr. Zimmermann noted that the FDP could not enjoy a monopoly position with regard to “liberal values“ due to increased competition. Ms. Lemke criticized that lacking profile seemed to be the key to success nowadays, citing Chancellor Merkel as an example. Mr. Zimmermann disagreed, emphasizing the Chancellor’s confidence-building effect. According to him, the core task of politics would be to organize changes based on security and communications. In the end, all three participants claimed to represent liberal values, although they disagreed on what exactly that means.