|Leader of the Social Democratic Party|
|Assumed office |
6 December 2019
Serving with Norbert Walter-Borjans
|General Secretary||Lars Klingbeil|
|Deputy||Klara Geywitz |
|Preceded by||Malu Dreyer (acting)|
|Member of the Bundestag |
|Assumed office |
22 September 2013
|Constituency||Social Democratic List|
|Born||28 August 1961|
Stuttgart, West Germany
Saskia Esken (née Hofer, born 28 August 1961) is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) who has been serving as co-leader of the party since being elected as co-leader on December 2019 (alongside Norbert Walter-Borjans). She has been a member of the Bundestag since 2013 and is an IT specialist.
Early life and career
Esken entered the SPD in 1990. She has been a member of the German Bundestag since the 2013 elections, representing Calw. In parliament, she has since been serving on the Committee on the Digital Agenda. In this capacity, she is her parliamentary group's rapporteur on privacy, IT security, digital education, and eGovernment.
From 2013 until 2017, Esken was a member of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment as well as of the Parliamentary Advisory Board on Sustainable Development. Following the 2017 elections, she also joined the Committee on Internal Affairs.
Within her parliamentary group, Esken is part of working groups on digital issues (since 2014) and on consumer protection (since 2018) as well as of the Parlamentarische Linke (Parliamentary Left), an association of left-wing MPs.
In the negotiations to form a coalition government under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel following the 2017 federal elections, Esken was part of the working group on digital policy, led Helge Braun, Dorothee Bär, and Lars Klingbeil.
Together with Norbert Walter-Borjans, Esken announced her candidacy for the 2019 Social Democratic Party of Germany leadership election. The November 2019 run-off was won by Esken and Walter-Borjans.
- Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA), Member of the Advisory Board (since 2018)
- Stiftung Datenschutz, Member of the Strategic Advisory Board
- Ein Netz für Kinder, Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2014)
- German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), Member
- Greenpeace, Member
- German United Services Trade Union (ver.di), Member
- Federal Agency for Civic Education, Alternate Member of the Board of Trustees (2014-2018)
In March 2019, Esken opposed the European Union's Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and its article 13.
In mid-2020, the Berlin attorney general's office received hundreds of complaints accusing Esken of slander for using the term “Covidiots” on Twitter; Esken had said that protesters at a Berlin march threatened the health of others by violating social distancing rules and ignoring requirements to wear face masks. The prosecuters dismissed the legal complaints, arguing that Esken was exercising her constitutional right to express her opinion.
- "Deutscher Bundestag - Saskia Esken".
- "Baden-Württemberg MdB- Europa Union Deutschland". www.europa-union.de.
- "Parlamentarische Linke - Unsere Mitglieder".
- "Kandidatenrennen: Walter-Borjans und Esken wollen SPD-Vorsitzende werden". 28 August 2019 – via Spiegel Online.
- Braun, Stefan (30 November 2019). "SPD-Basis entscheidet sich für das ganz große Experiment". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- Members of the Advisory Board Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA)
- Advisory Board Stiftung Datenschutz.
- "Upload-Filter? Ich trinke sowieso nur Espresso - Saskia Esken". www.saskiaesken.de (in German). Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- Tobias Buck (November 30, 2019), Blow to Merkel as leftwingers win SPD leadership Financial Times.
- Michael Nienaber (September 2, 2020), German SPD leader can call anti-lockdown protesters 'Covidiots': prosecutors Reuters.
- Merlin Sugue (September 2, 2020), German SPD leader allowed to call protesters ‘Covidiots,’ officials rule Politico Europe.