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In the election campaign, the FDP wanted to modernise Germany – but its ideas have become obsolete. Now she has discovered the subject of Europe. It could be your salvation.

FDP: In love with its own disputes

In the election campaign, the FDP wanted to modernise Germany – but its ideas have become obsolete. Now she has discovered the subject of Europe. It could be your salvation.

FDP: In love with its own disputes

Christian Lindner was in election campaign 2017 Germany's favorite political one-man-show: The Man with sneakers to two-heron. The maker, who in taxi between two dates still quickly spoke a political statement in mobile phone camera, which n spread as if by itself on net. The party leader who wanted to heave FDP back into government with clear ideas and good marketing.

With its popularity, Power went along. But instead of using it, Lindner had negotiations on a Jamaica coalition burst in autumn without being so right to explain. Henceforth, he was considered a responsible retarder for many citizens. Especially those who had high hopes for his modernization narrative.

Half a year later, FDP now met at party congress in Berlin. And she is not bad: in polls FDP achieves stable values between eight and ten percent, opposition work of 80 deputies in Bundestag has started. Neverless, party has one thing in particular: an exhausted impression.

According to party rally motto, FDP wants to make Germany "Innovation nation". But it seems more like you and your boss have reached end of your innovative power – at least for now.

So Liberals are discussing digital politics. But it is difficult to repeat campaign demands only if one is second largest of four opposition parties in Bundestag – so little to say. And it seems strange when Lindner even apologizes for his own election poster from year 2017: "Digital First, misgivings second", that was probably a bit too brisk in view of data scandal around Cambridge Analytica, he says. This shows: The FDP has not clarified wher it wants to be lobby of digital economy or just a data protection party. Being both has always been a challenge, today it needs a clear position even more than before.

The FDP wants to be uncomfortable

The FDP also wants to be uncomfortable. Lindner seems to be almost a bit in love with his own dispute. In his speech, he emphasized it again and again. You just have principles and don't need a narrative, he said. Sounds smooth. But where is this going to lead? The inability to compromise? That is not how politics works, which always also lives on willingness to compromise.

Lindner's criticism of Angela Merkel has also worn off. The Chancellor is too hesitant in international crises, and does not stand for future of Germany. However, in early summer of 2018, FDP is no longer needed for this attitude, and young CDU men are already taking over.

Or parties are also empty after this long campaign, just think of SPD. But while comrades must rule and keep CSU in check, FDP must reinvent itself urgently. Orwise, it threatens to disappear in opposition.

New Theme Europe

A profiling issue could be Europe. Lindner presented a decidedly proeuropean counter-design to Macron-Europa at weekend in Berlin. The FDP chief positions FDP as a European party, which says yes to a defence union, more common trade and a European FBI. It is a double message: Europe can also strengn one who rejects a common fiscal policy. If we prefer to focus on areas that are capable of majority voting, Lindner wants to understand his proposal.

The party leader has a blank space: Since departure of Martin Schulz, issue of Europe does not play a major role in union or SPD. French President Emmanuel Macron is still waiting for answers from Berlin for expansion of banking union, which Merkel cannot or will not give him. Lindner is now bringing anor draft into play: More Europe, but different. This could be one of decisive ideas for a successful future for FDP.

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