A theologian from Thuringia: Katrin Göring-Eckardt
© Dominik Butzmann
On 9 December 2021 the Bundestag elected Katrin Göring-Eckardt from Thuringia as its newest Vice-President. In a secret ballot, Göring-Eckardt received 501 votes in her favour and 140 against, with 48 abstentions. She replaces Claudia Roth, who stepped down as Vice-President following her appointment as the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Katrin Göring-Eckardt has been a Member of Parliament since 1998. She already held the position of Vice-President of the German Bundestag from 2005 until 2013. From 2002 to 2005 and from 2013 to 2021 she was co-chair of the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag, alongside Dr Anton Hofreiter.
Göring-Eckardt was born in 1966 in Friedrichroda in Thuringia. After obtaining her Abitur (higher-education entrance qualification), she studied theology and became active in the church movement in the GDR. She was not a member of any party prior to the fall of the Wall. In 1989 she was a co-founder of the citizen’s movement Democracy Now and subsequently Alliance 90. From 1992 to 1993 she negotiated the merging of Alliance 90 with the West German Greens.
From 1995 until 1998 she was chair of the Thuringia Land branch of the united party and was elected to its federal executive committee in 1996. She initially joined the Bundestag as a staffer for the Member Matthias Berninger, which enabled her to hone her parliamentary skills. In 1998 she won her own mandate for the Bundestag. She became parliamentary secretary and spokesperson on health and pension policy for her parliamentary group, before being elected head of the group alongside Krista Sager in 2002.