Queenmaker Once More?

Monday, May 17, 2021, 12:00 - 1:00 EDT // 18:00 - 19:00 CEST

The FDP in the Super Election Year 2021

In recent years, no party has fluctuated as much in the polls and election results as the Free Democratic Party (FDP). From a record 14.6 percent result for the Bundestag in 2009, in 2013 it failed to reach the 5 percent threshold for representation, bouncing back with nearly 11 percent of the vote in 2017. Since then, the liberals dipped close to the 5 percent mark in polling, although more recently they have been in the 9-12 percent range. Results in state elections have varied, from 10.5 percent in Baden-Württemberg in 2021 to missing the threshold in Hamburg in 2020. What accounts for this volatility in support? Will the party be able to maintain its current level of support until the Bundestag election in September? Has the party been too rigid in its support of CDU-led governments with its neoliberal and center-right identity? And could it possibly become the queenmaker for a Chancellor Annalena Baerbock and a “traffic light” coalition? These are the questions addressed in the next webinar of the 2021 Bundestag election series at AGI.


Ria Schröder is a politician of the German liberal party FDP. She is the former chair of the Young Liberals and  current member of the Federal Executive Committee of the FDP. In Hamburg, where she lives and works as a lawyer, she is deputy chairperson of her party and runs for the Bundestag elections in September.

Sven Hilgers is a member of the FDP’s federal committee on international politics and chairman of the FDP Berlin’s committee on international and European politics. A board member of the FDP Berlin, he chaired the group that drafted the election manifesto for the upcoming state election in Berlin in September 2021. Among other things, he was vice president and international officer of the young liberals Germany (JuLis) and worked as an assistant for a liberal MP in the Bundestag. Beside his political work, Mr. Hilgers is manager globalization, free trade and market economy at the global themes unit of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation (FNF) in Berlin. Before joining the FNF, he was part of the research project on EU-IMF cooperation in the Eurozone at the Free University Berlin and the University of Hagen, where he analyzed the economic adjustment programs in Greece and Cyprus as well as the policies of the European Central Bank. His research has appeared in the Review of International Political Economy, West European Politics and New Political Economy. Mr. Hilgers studied political science and global studies in Berlin and Roskilde (Denmark). He holds an MA and BA in political science from Freie Universität Berlin, where he is pursuing his PhD.

Moderated by Eric Langenbacher, Senior Fellow; Director, Society, Culture & Politics Program, AGI

This webinar will convene via Zoom. Please contact Elizabeth Caruth at ecaruth@aicgs.org with any questions.

This webinar is supported by the AGI Harry & Helen Gray Culture and Politics Program and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is presented in partnership with The Aston Centre for Europe, Aston University, Birmingham, UK; the International Association for the Study of German Politics; and the BMW Center for German and European Studies, Georgetown University.