For her children, Europe is “simply there”, says Katja Adler. “But a peaceful, borderless Europe cannot be taken for granted”. The FDP politician knows this from her own experience: born in 1974, she grew up in Frankfurt an der Oder, in GDR times. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, her horizons expanded, not only to West Germany, but to the whole of Europe. After graduating with a degree in administration, she worked first at the State Office for Food, and later at the Ministry of Education in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
In 2002, Adler moved to Rhineland-Palatinate and worked in the state’s Ministry of Education, followed by a stint in the state’s Ministry of Family Affairs. Today, the 49-year-old sits for the FDP on the Bundestag’s European Affairs Committee and takes a stance on the European Union’s legislative projects. Expanding the internal market, speaking with one voice internationally, a European army – Adler wants a stronger Europe.
Staying at the community base
After the birth of her first child, she founded a daycare center in her hometown of Oberursel in the Hochtaunus district of Hesse. This is her entry into local politics: She realized that she wanted to make a political difference, Adler says. “And the best way to do that in Germany is through the party system”. She becomes an FDP member, moves into the city council in 2014, and two years later into the district council in Hochtaunus. And since 2021, she has been sitting in the Bundestag for the FDP. She continues to hold her municipal offices. “You can disappear very quickly into the Berlin bubble”, Adler says. “And that’s exactly what I want to avoid”.
Among other things, the European Committee takes a position on European legislative projects – Adler describes it as a “large cross-sectional committee”. It discusses many topics, but has no direct responsibility. Adler would like European topics that affect several policy areas to be dealt with by the European Committee as the lead committee.
Liberal network policy
One such issue could be the network usage fees proposed by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton – a digital, transport or economic issue, depending on one’s point of view. The core of the proposal is that Internet platforms should pay a fee for using network infrastructure. Adler fears that the corporations will pass the fee on to consumers. In a position paper, she and her parliamentary group have spoken out against the plan. The reason: the fee could endanger the open and free Internet.
Freedom is an important concern for Adler. On Twitter, a picture of a small Statue of Liberty can be seen right next to her name – she regularly speaks out against bans or socialism on the platform. For Adler, that’s part of her job: “Politics is discussion, and today that also takes place to some extent in social media”. No one in politics can afford to keep a profile on any platform anymore, she says. Jana Hemmersmeier