What would change if more members of the Bundestag were independent business owners?
It is self-employed people in particular who can bring more determination and passion to Parliament. In addition, it has always helped me to be able to juggle many things at the same time and keep track of developments. When you have a passion for something, you also want to achieve it, make a difference. Sometimes things happen faster, sometimes you need a lot of stamina – whether in a start-up or in politics. You have to deal with that, but you learn that in time.
Throughout my life, I have always been able to benefit from my experience in both areas and draw motivation from both. What is particularly important to me in this context is the preservation of freedom, responsibility for the greater whole, mutual respect, but also not losing the ability to be enthusiastic and to enjoy your work.
Your focus, both as an entrepreneur and as a politician, is digitisation. How great are the challenges facing businesses and policymakers in this regard in the coming years?
We are facing great challenges that will dramatically change our everyday lives, whether political, professional or private – even if many will only realise it after the fact. And as Chairman of the Digital Agenda Committee, I want to contribute to ensuring that digitisation receives the status it deserves in the German Bundestag, as well as in our economy and society!
But for everyone to benefit from the potential of digitisation, fibre connections must be a matter of course for every household and every business. We also need an education initiative, because without state-of-the-art learning, we will not be able to make the opportunities of digitisation accessible to all age groups. We need to strengthen the start-up scene and rapidly digitise administrative services, which hold great potential for efficiency and, in the area of Open Data, there is also tremendous potential for innovative business models. IT security also has to change. We need a right to encryption and we must finally give the issues of data security and data protection the status they deserve – the data breach that we learned about at the beginning of January was hopefully a wake-up call for everyone!