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Annabelle Wischnat

Porträt einer Frau mit Brille in Farbe

coordinates the committees

for the mobilization department of the SPD party executive board

What are your tasks?

I am responsible for the mobilization department of the SPD party executive board. There I work in the department ‘committees’, which looks after the ten committees within the SPD. I coordinate the work of five committees, organize conferences, committee and networking meetings, and I am the contact person for the volunteers and full-time employees of the committees. During election times, I also plan campaigns for the individual committees and help organize the SPD’s efforts at targeting different target groups during election campaigns.


What did you study?

I studied political science and English for my bachelor's degree in Mannheim, did a semester abroad in the field of European Studies, and then again studied political science for my master’s degree at the FU Berlin.


How did you get into your current position?

I actually wanted to work in political education or in the charitable foundation field, which I had already done as a student. Because of my studies and voluntary work with the SPD, I decided to do full-time political work. And then took the classic route: saw the job advertisement, applied for it, and was interviewed.

Is it easy to get a full-time position in a party?

Yes and no. As a student, I already worked for the SPD in Berlin and I am also involved in the party on a voluntary basis, which certainly helped me, as I knew the structures and working methods of the organization.

As with all job interviews, however, what counted was work experience and, in my job, specific experience in organizing events, public relations and coordinating volunteers.


What were the last three things you did at work?

  • Within a group we developed a concept for an event for Women's Day on March 8th
  • Developed a concept for mobilizing women
  • Furthered preparations for a health policy conference and committee meetings: requested speakers, wrote agendas, sent invitations, arranged catering, undertook event preparations


How do you specifically influence politics?

I do not formulate any political content for the party, but rather exert influence by supporting voluntary structures. My job is to define target groups; to establish networks between the committees as multipliers of our political work with social actors, and to design mobilization strategies.


Politics - isn’t that just an endless string of discussions? How satisfied are you with the implementation of your political ideas?

This accusation is old - and partly justified. In a political system like Germany and with more and more parties in parliaments (and governments), governing, i.e. finding compromises between the coalition parties, is becoming more and more difficult and protracted.

As the SPD, we have achieved a lot in this legislature (2017-2021) so far: from full-time work to part-time work and back, professional support for the long-term unemployed, relief from daycare fees and health insurance contributions, investments in social housing, expansion of the rent protection law, increase of care professionals, stabilization of pension contributions.

Despite these successes, we have not yet been able to tackle important social projects in the coalition with the Union, including, for example, the abolition of §219a, the increase in the pension rate, the introduction of citizens' insurance, and the wealth tax.


Are you always up to date with the latest political developments?

I try to be. I listen to the radio a lot and read newspapers (online).


What is your biggest political vision?

Complete equality between women and men at all levels.


What are the next steps you plan to take in your political career? – Do you have the long-term goal of being Chancellor?

Definitely not, too little free time. A political career is not a priority for me. Being able to help develop political decisions and structures full-time is super exciting, I don't have to do it in front of the camera.


What are the most important skills you need to have in order to work in politics? What do you need to assert yourself internally?

The most important thing is actually the soft skills. Organizational skills and strategic thinking, quick comprehension and assessment of political situations. But what you also have to bring with you: perseverance, empathy, frustration tolerance, the willingness to get little sleep - and above all: enjoyment of political work and the will to change society for the better.

How best to assert oneself: Know the structures, procedures and contexts, address the people at certain interfaces and do not let yourself be dissuaded from your point of view, be persistent.


What challenges you in your job, what is particularly exciting?

I coordinate committees in various thematic areas. I don't have to be an expert, but I have to be able to understand the contextual relationships in each field and thus have an insight into the most varied of thematic policy fields at different political levels. Election times are of course particularly exciting when day-to-day political affairs are subject to completely different rules and decisions and processes can change overnight.