Saskia Esken


Saskia Esken (' 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 2019 Social Democratic Party of Germany leadership election, elected as co-leader in 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 was born 1961 in Stuttgart. After unfinished studies in literature and sociology, she obtained, in 1990, a professional certificate in IT. She worked in this field until the birth of her children.

Political career

Esken entered the SPD in 1990. She has been a member of the German Bundestag since the 2013 German federal election, 2013 elections, representing Calw (electoral district), 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 German federal election, 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 of Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel following the 2017 German federal election, 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.

Other activities

Regulatory agencies

* Federal Network Agency, Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (BNetzA), Member of the advisory board (since 2018)

Non-profit organizations

* Stiftung Datenschutz, Member of the Strategic Advisory Board * ''Ein Netz für Kinder'', Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2014) * Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland, German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), Member * Greenpeace, Member * ver.di, German United Services Trade Union (ver.di), Member * Federal Agency for Civic Education, Alternate Member of the Board of Trustees (2014-2018)

Political positions

In March 2019, Esken opposed the European Union's Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market and its article 13. Also in 2019, Esken called repeatedly for a renegotiation of the Fourth Merkel cabinet, 2018 coalition treaty on issues such as government spending and climate change policy.


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 prosecutors dismissed the legal complaints, arguing that Esken was exercising her constitutional right to express her opinion.Merlin Sugue (2 September 2020)
German SPD leader allowed to call protesters ‘Covidiots,’ officials rule
''Politico Europe''.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Esken, Saskia Living people 1961 births Politicians from Stuttgart Social Democratic Party of Germany politicians Members of the Bundestag 2021–2025 Members of the Bundestag 2017–2021 Members of the Bundestag for Baden-Württemberg Members of the Bundestag 2013–2017 Members of the Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party of Germany