Interview with ELF President, Dr. Jürgen Martens

First of all, I would like to thank the ELF members for the many congratulations on my election. I am looking forward to further cooperation.

Dr. Martens, after a successful campaign the German liberals are back in Parliament. Could you comment on the results of the FDP?

The last four years have been extremely difficult for the FDP, as being an extra-parliamentary opposition granted us no political influence and rare access to the media. Thus, returning to Parliament was vital to German liberals. The number of votes (over 10.5%) was surprisingly high, which means that we will return to Parliament with 80 MPs. Our election campaign was focused on a small number of future topics such as education, digitisation, infrastructure, and the way we ran our campaign went down especially well with younger voters. We placed particular emphasis on social media and the Internet.

You were a candidate in the German election and were elected as a new member of the Bundestag. Will this change your role as President of ELF?

I am glad and grateful to be able to shape liberal politics as a member of the Bundestag now. The European dimension has already been of particular importance in my work and will even grow. The future of all European countries depends on shaping Europe together. The European Liberal Forum can contribute to this. I will therefore continue to be available to ELF as its president, using my new opportunities in Berlin for the benefit of ELF.

Independent of the FDP’s role inside or outside a coalition, could you elaborate on the policies FDP aims to promote in the next Parliament?

In the upcoming legislative period, the FDP must keep precisely what it promised the voters in the electoral program. I have mentioned the topics of liberal politics above. These topics are also of great importance for the future of Europe, such as the expansion of European networks and the European infrastructure. To this end, we must develop the European Union and strengthen it in its core areas, make sure that its values are more respected in some Member States and make the EU more effective in dealing with the outside world. 

28. Sep 2017 by Intern

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