How to Get Into Greentech Genetics
theme - Career
I was elected to the Bundestag in 2013 as the youngest woman. I was already a city councilor and district councilor for five years, but of course I first had to prove myself and orientate myself in the Bundestag. As a young woman, I was sure to receive special attention. Fortunately, it's the same here as everywhere else: you can definitely earn the respect of your colleagues, and sometimes you just can't put up with anything. The question is always: if someone puts a shoe in front of you: do you slip in or do you just put your own next to it?
"When I speak in the Bundestag, I still feel a certain excitement"
Even now, when I speak in the Bundestag, I still feel a certain excitement. That is a special situation. It is particularly difficult to get a topic across well that is also abstract. In the Bundestag we have to try to make understandable what is often described in a very complicated way in the legal text.
How do I become a member of the Bundestag?
In principle, it is best to try out whether you like to be politically active - as a class representative, in church, in a club and of course in a political youth organization. It is also a good idea to do internships with members of parliament. That goes in the Bundestag, but also - there it is a bit more familiar - in the Landtag. Politics is right? Then start small, in the city or district council.
Later there are two ways to enter the Bundestag:
1. About a direct candidacy in one of the 299 constituencies. Anyone who has German citizenship and is over 18 years of age can be put up for election by a party (this is also possible without being a member of the party). Independent individuals can also apply for a direct mandate, for which they require the signatures of at least 200 eligible voters in the constituency. The place in parliament is given to whoever receives the most first votes in the constituency.
2. On the national list of a party, the composition of which is voted on at the electoral party congress or a delegates' conference. The higher up the list, the better the odds. Of the at least 598 seats in the federal parliament, 299 (plus any overhang seats) are assigned via these state lists; the second votes on the ballot paper count.
But we MEPs don't always sit in plenary. Of course, especially when it comes to issues relating to your own main committee, you try to be present in the plenary debates. My main committee is the Health Committee, and I am also an alternate member of the Food and Agriculture Committee and the Defense Committee. But also the speeches of the Chancellor, the regional group chairmen and of course the roll-call votes are dates on which I am in plenary. But to be permanently present, that is not possible with our workload, you would not get anything else. Because the plenary session on Thursday, for example, is scheduled from nine in the morning until 1.30 a.m.
"During the day I meet regularly with political decision-makers"
My working day usually starts at eight in the morning. I then meet with CSU colleagues, in the young group or the group of women, for example. Often there are also events of interest groups or a parliamentary breakfast at a research institution. During the day I meet regularly with political decision-makers. For example with ministers or today, among other things, with the head of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). In the evening there are more events organized by groups who want to position their topics politically. But since I have a daughter now, I won't stay there, like some others, until eleven or twelve o'clock. In between I have a lot of phone calls, write e-mails and letters to advance my topics. But face-to-face discussions are often necessary in order to give particular emphasis to the concerns so that I still have to deal with them during the days. Since I really enjoy doing my job, I don't actually see it as a “must”, but rather it gives me pleasure.
The most important thing in all the meetings is that as a member of parliament - I am committed to the common good - you keep in mind that these groups do not invite you because you are particularly nice, but that interests are always at stake. There is nothing reprehensible about it - I have my own interests - you just have to keep it in mind.
In Berlin I am in the 22 weeks of session of the Bundestag, the rest of the time I spend in the constituency. In my two constituency offices in Kulmbach and Lichtenfels, I and my employees take care of the inquiries that come to us from the municipalities - from the mayors, from entrepreneurs, but also from individuals. And of course, there are also the typical social events at which honorary citizens are appointed or companies are inaugurated.
"Confidence? Not necessarily. Sometimes the particularly self-confident, self-loving politicians are annoying "
All in all, that's a lot of work. You can take two or three days out and it would be wise to go away for five days in the summer. But especially at the beginning you don't take a lot of time off because you want to perform and want to develop a standing. So you should be stress-resistant and - this is especially true for politicians in top positions - get along with little sleep. For me, other basic requirements are hard work, integrity, openness and independence. Self-confidence? Not necessarily. Sometimes the particularly self-confident, self-loving politicians are annoying. Stand in front, speak into every microphone, but say nothing in committee. Then the other way around!
What do members of the Bundestag earn?
According to Article 48 Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law, MPs have the “right to appropriate compensation that ensures their independence”. The amount is not specified in the law, it just has to do justice to the importance of the special office and the responsibility and burden associated with it. In the 1977 law on representatives, the remuneration of simple judges at the highest federal courts is used as a guide.
The members of the Bundestag earn as much as these judges due to several zero rounds - the compensation can be adjusted annually - but not: The parliamentary allowance has been 9,327.21 euros per month since July 1, 2016, there are no annual special payments. Secondary activities are permitted; members of parliament must disclose income generated with them of 1,000 euros or more per month or 10,000 euros per year.
It might sound provincial, but one of the best moments in my professional life so far was the groundbreaking for a bypass road in Untersteinach. It hadn't been built in 30 years, and it was only through hard work and non-loosening in the right places that we got the all-important funding. When I drive through the village and see that one or the other is making up their house on this thoroughfare, then of course I imagine that it's because of the road and because people now have a perspective again. As Horst Seehofer says of himself, I'm “in love with success”. I want a plan to work.
Not so nice: With some topics you have the feeling that no matter what you do, you simply cannot win - unless, of course, you act against your own convictions and simply give in to the critics. But I find that a way too easy, and it wouldn't suit me either. The typical example here is the legalization of cannabis. In this area, I have worked hard to ensure that cannabis can finally be prescribed as medicine by a doctor in Germany. It was a very important step for many seriously ill and dying people. Even if that was a huge success, after a speech in the Bundestag I am torn apart by certain media, including social media, because we are still against the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
“In the end you just have to trust yourself. Don't be afraid, also don't be afraid of defeat. They come anyway "
The subject of drugs and addiction causes a lot of negative reactions every time. The first shit storm that was very strange. Sometimes I think that at some point you shouldn't be surprised if one or the other politician turns into a robot and no longer says what he really thinks and feels, but only comes up with standard answers. But that shouldn't happen to me. I prefer to get an even thicker skin!
Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to get involved politically! A pastor once said to me: Responsibility makes you beautiful. That's how I've felt since my first experiences as a class representative and member of the Junge Union. In the end, you just have to trust yourself. Don't be afraid, also don't be afraid of defeat. They're coming anyway. The trick is to get up afterwards and move on. And as is so often the case in life, there is an opportunity that you have to seize: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg's mandate was released, so I just threw my hat into the ring.
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