How do I use a wingman

Politics & Communication

On October 11, 2013, Carsten Linnemann entered the big political stage. On this day, the CDU member of the Bundestag is elected chairman of the medium-sized and business association of the CDU / CSU (MIT). “Above all, the office is an obligation,” says the 36-year-old. Together with the middle class parliamentary group of the Union faction and the German Economic Council, MIT forms the economic wing of the Union, which is gaining in importance with the departure of the FDP from the Bundestag. There are great expectations when choosing Linnemann.

Linnemann has been at home for a long time, especially in medium-sized business policy. “In the family we often talked about the business,” says the son of a Paderborn bookseller couple. “Even on Sundays.” But while his older brother Marcus takes over the family business, Carsten is drawn to Chemnitz after high school and business studies.

Why? "There is one of the few research focuses on world trade law in Germany," he says. “That attracted me.” Linnemann is studying economics and is doing his doctorate in 2006 on the liberalization of cross-border freight transport. At that time he is 28 years old and almost incidentally received the Federal Research Prize from the Federal Ministry of Research in 2003.

Politically, Linnemann has also had his apprenticeship years behind him. Joined the Junge Union in 1995 at the age of 17, two years later he was elected chairman of the JU Egge in his home municipality. In 1998 he was accepted into the CDU. A few years later he moves into the Altenbeken municipal council. “Experience in local politics is worth its weight in gold,” he says. “Politics is very specific there. And the reactions to it too. ”Even today he still uses every opportunity to be out in the constituency. He not only attends official appointments, but also visits citizens' homes once a month to discuss matters with them. “That totally grounds me,” says Linnemann.

In 2005 he heard a lecture by Norbert Walter. The then chief economist of Deutsche Bank is unique - and known for the fact that he steadfastly defends his views, some of which deviate from the mainstream. Linnemann is impressed by this straightforwardness. “If you are convinced of something, you have to say it and stand up for it.” He applies to Walter and becomes his assistant.

"You have to fight your way through"

Linnemann then switched to IKB Deutsche Industriebank - the financial institution that marked the beginning of the banking crisis in Germany. Linnemann is not a banker. Rather, he analyzes the economic development for IKB. And yet this time in Düsseldorf shaped him very much. “Yes, they still exist, the respectable bankers,” he says. "But I see the gap between banks and the economy, which has widened and needs to be closed again."

Linnemann is not a theorist. He wants to design. And will soon have the opportunity to do so. When in 2009 the CDU member of the Bundestag Gerhard Wächter no longer ran for the constituency of Gütersloh-Paderborn III, the majority of party members decided in a primary election for Linnemann, who was later elected as a direct candidate in the Bundestag with 52.1 percent.

There he followed the advice of an experienced politician: “First, shut up, because nobody was waiting for you. Second: If you express yourself, it is about topics that you are familiar with, ”says Linnemann. “There is no mentor. You have to push yourself through. "

The young MP will soon be noticed by influential colleagues. "Mr. Linnemann is a great political talent," says Bundestag Vice President Peter Hintze, who also leads the CDU regional group NRW in the Bundestag. "Immediately after his first election to the German Bundestag, I noticed him as a personable and clever colleague."

Towards the end of the electoral term you hear more and more about Linnemann. Be it in connection with the Union's pension plans, be it with proposals for tax simplification. “We are elected to say what we want,” he says. It is probably also thanks to his clear manner that Linnemann moves back into the Bundestag with 59.1 percent and thus the best first vote result of the NRW CDU. With his profile, he is now predestined for higher tasks.

Soon afterwards, MIT elected him chairman with 71 percent of the vote. "Mr. Linnemann gives MIT a friendly face and positive attention," says Hintze about his colleague. And Linnemann has a clear goal: namely to position the association more at the center of political life. “As an economic wing, we now have the chance to be better noticed,” he says. “And we will use that. For the good of everyone. Because only with a strong economy and a healthy middle class can prosperity be achieved for everyone in Germany. ”This is how someone speaks who wants to make a difference.