Ralph Brinkhaus

Ralph Brinkhaus (born 15 June 1968) is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Since 2018 he has been the parliamentary leader of the ruling CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag.

Ralph Brinkhaus
2019-11-23 Ralph Brinkhaus CDU Parteitag by OlafKosinsky MG 5882.jpg
Leader of the CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag
Assumed office
25 September 2018
First DeputyAlexander Dobrindt
Preceded byVolker Kauder
Member of the Bundestag for Gütersloh I
Assumed office
27 September 2009
Preceded byHubert Deittert
Personal details
Born (1968-06-15) 15 June 1968 (age 53)
Wiedenbrück, West Germany (now Germany)
Political partyChristian Democratic Union

Education and early careerEdit

Brinkhaus was born on 15 June 1968 in Wiedenbrück, North Rhine-Westphalia, and grew up in Rietberg. After completing vocation training at Bosch and military services at Field Marshal Rommel Barracks, Augustdorf, he studied economics at the University of Hohenheim. He holds a degree in Economics and is qualified as tax advisor.

Early in his career, Brinkhaus worked at Deloitte in Hannover; Babcock Borsig in Oberhausen; as well as at Medion in Essen and Mülheim. In 2004, he eventually settled down as a tax adviser in Gütersloh.

Political careerEdit

Brinkhaus was elected member of the city council of Gütersloh in 2004, a position he held until 2012. From 2004 to 2009 he was the party group leader. In 2004 he became a member of the executive committee of the CDU at district level.

Brinkhaus has been a member of the German Bundestag since the 2009 elections, succeeding Hubert Deittert.[1] From 2009 until 2013, he served on the Finance Committee, where he was his parliamentary group’s rapporteur on banks and insurances. From 2014, he was part of the group’s leadership under chairman Volker Kauder. In this capacity, he was the group's main spokesman for budgetary and financial issues.[2]

In addition to his committee assignments, Brinkhaus chaired the German-Indian Parliamentary Friendship Group from 2014 until 2017. He has since been serving as the group’s deputy chairman.

Since 2016 Brinkhaus has also been the deputy head of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, under the leadership of chairman Armin Laschet.[2] In the negotiations to form a coalition government under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel following the 2017 federal elections, Brinkhaus was part of the CDU delegation.[3]

Brinkhaus was elected CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader on 25 September 2018, with 125 votes from the parliamentary group members against incumbent Volker Kauder's 112 votes;[4][5][6] at the time, the chairs of both CDU and CSU, Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer, as well as Armin Laschet had already endorsed Kauder.[2] Brinkhaus has since led the group with his co-chair from the CSU, Alexander Dobrindt.

Other activitiesEdit

  • Institut Finanzen und Steuern, Member of the Board of Trustees

Political positionsEdit

In June 2017, Brinkhaus voted against Germany’s introduction of same-sex marriage.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Since 2010, Brinkhaus has been married to fellow economist and American Express manager Elke Tombach. He supports the 1. FC Köln football club.[8][1]


  1. ^ a b Bungeroth, Matthias. "Im Porträt: Der Gütersloher Ralph Brinkhaus (MdB)". Regionale Politik (in German). Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Guy Chazan (25 September 2018), Merkel ally’s defeat highlights growing CDU hostility Financial Times.
  3. ^ Members of the Coalition Talks with CSU and SPD CDU.
  4. ^ "Ralph Brinkhaus zum Vorsitzenden der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion gewählt". CDU/CSU Group in the Bundestag. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  5. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Merkel ally sent packing in surprising parliamentary group leadership vote | DW | 25 September 2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  6. ^ WELT (25 September 2018). "Volker Kauder: Merkel-Vertrauer verliert überraschend gegen Ralph Brinkhaus". DIE WELT. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  7. ^ Diese Unionsabgeordneten stimmten für die Ehe für alle Die Welt, 30 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Von Gütersloh nach Berlin: Ralph Brinkhaus: Profiteur der Unionskrise" (in German). Retrieved 25 September 2018.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group