New chairwoman The economic policy profile of the future Green Party leadership
Ricarda Lang was unable to speak on stage at the Berlin Velodrom due to a Corona infection. The delegates were connected online.
The Green Party has elected a new leadership. With Ricarda Lang, the new leadership of the governing party is moving more to the left again. Climate protection, social policy and feminism are her topics.
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Freedom, equality, security – Ricarda Lang often talks about these great promises. While her peers have just been tossing such terms back and forth at university, the 28-year-old Swabian is already moving into the forefront of politics with a left-wing and strongly sociopolitical profile. At the online party conference of the Greens, she was elected on Saturday with about 76 percent approval as the new party leader. The result still needs to be confirmed by postal vote, which should happen by mid-February.
It is precisely the idea of freedom that Lang more often brings to bear on climate protection; in contexts where conservatives would rather speak of restrictions. She defends the freedom of the young and future generations – this can only be preserved by more climate protection in the here and now. As a self-confessed feminist, she talks about equality when it comes to the distribution of opportunities in society.
And finally, security refers above all to social security: Lang wants to strengthen the social systems and adapt them to modern as well as different family circumstances. Together with the foreign politician and realo Omid Nouripour from Hesse, Lang forms the new chairman duo of the Green Party. Nouripour received 621 votes, making him the new co-leader of the party.
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The election of the two was considered certain, as the members of the Bundestag were almost the only ones running to succeed Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck. The two previous chairpersons now have government responsibility in the new "traffic light" coalition – she as foreign minister, he as economics and climate minister – and that means that in the sunflower party, which traditionally focuses on the separation of offices, others now have to take over.
Lang, now the youngest party leader in the Greens’ more than 40-year party history, and 46-year-old Nouripour will have a lot of mediating to do if the Greens make compromises in government that may not go over well with the grassroots. Especially in economic policy and climate protection will be necessary. Conversely, the two newcomers will ensure that those in power do not lose touch with the greatly increased number of members: to about 125.000 Greens, who are considered to be open to discussion and partly skeptical of the government.
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But what makes them tick in terms of economic policy, and what economic and social ideas can be expected from them??
Member of the Bundestag Omid Nouripour is new co-chairman of the Green Party.
Image: imago images
Nouripour, who was born in Iran and came to Frankfurt when he was 13, studied several humanities and social sciences after graduating from high school. He has not completed his studies since becoming a member of his party’s federal executive committee in 2002. Nouripour is likely to give Lang the lead on economic issues, where he has not been active at all so far.
The topics of the directly elected in Frankfurt were in the Bundestag so far the foreign and security policy, Europe or also immigration and right-wing extremism. In his candidacy speech, Nouripour pledged the party’s support to those in government in the coalition with the SPD and FDP. Together with Lang, he said, he would draw lessons from the election campaign and create new structures at party headquarters so that the Greens could "play the K-question again" in the 2025 federal election.
Ricarda Lang: Against coal, for a basic child allowance
Lang, who grew up in the Swabian town of Nurtingen as the daughter of a single social worker, also dropped out of law school – in favor of politics. She comes from the state association of Baden-Wurttemberg, which tends to be conservative among the Greens, but was a spokeswoman for the Green Youth, the party’s youth organization that is clearly to the left.
The future party leader is committed to equal pay, better pay for jobs mainly held by women, and is a member of the Verdi trade union. She is considered an advocate of the basic child allowance, which would guarantee children and young people a security beyond the Hartz IV system and would be more in line with their needs. She is also a vehement opponent of coal-fired power generation.
Since 2021, Ricarda Lang has been in the Bundestag, where she is a member of the Family Committee and a deputy member of the Committee for Labor and Social Affairs. Since 2019, she was also already deputy chairwoman and women’s policy spokeswoman of Bundnis 90/Die Grunen. In doing so, it was part of the board that granted itself a Corona bonus for 2020. The 1500 euros have been repaid by all six parties involved, however, the prosecutor’s office is investigating because of charges received in this regard.
Lang has shown self-confidence, since the beginning of her political career she has also been strongly attacked personally. The Green apparently does not meet the beauty ideal of some trolls on the Internet, who let off steam about the politician in a way that probably no man would have to endure. Lang is taking an offensive approach to this, including legal action, but no longer wants to raise the issue herself. She once said in this regard, "I went into politics to improve working conditions in care, to give everything to stop the climate crisis, and not to be insulted and then talk about it." Men in parliaments wouldn’t have to talk about themselves like that either, their bodies would just be accepted. "This should apply to women in the same way."
More on the topic: Michael Kellner is the new representative for small and medium-sized businesses. He is considered assertive. But he has had little contact with economic issues so far.