Norbert Walter-Borjans is a German economist and politician of the Social Democratic Party who has been serving as co-leader of the SPD since 2019. He served as minister of finance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2010 until 2017.
Early life and educationThe son of a carpenter, Walter-Borjans was born 1952 in the West German city of Krefeld and studied economics at the University of Bonn and reached a PhD.
Political careerFrom 1991 until 1998, Walter-Borjans worked as spokesperson of the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, then led by Minister-President Johannes Rau.
From 2010 to 2017 Walter-Borjans served as State Minister of Finance of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the government of Minister-President Hannelore Kraft. In this capacity, he was one of the state's representatives in the Bundesrat, where he served on the Finance Committee. During his time in office, the state government – as main shareholder –, the German government and Helaba agreed to divide up the asset of ailing WestLB and cover any losses during the winding-down process. On Walter-Borjans’s initiative, the state government on several occasions resorted to buying Swiss account data from whistle-blowers to pursue German tax dodgers.
In the negotiations to form a Grand Coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the SPD following the 2013 federal elections, Walter-Borjans was part of the SPD delegation in the working group on financial policies and the national budget, led by Wolfgang Schäuble and Olaf Scholz.
Together with Saskia Esken, Walter-Borjans announced his candidacy for the 2019 Social Democratic Party of Germany leadership election; the duo was soon endorsted by the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia, the party's largest chapter, and its chairman Sebastian Hartmann. as well as the SPD youth organization and its leader Kevin Kühnert, which account for some 80,000 of the 430,000 SPD members. The November 2019 run-off was won by Esken and Walter-Borjans.
- NRW.BANK, Ex-Officio Member of the Supervisory Board
- Portigon, Ex-Officio Member of the Supervisory Board
- RAG AG, Ex-Officio Member of the Supervisory Board
- Deutschlandradio, Member of the Broadcasting Council
- Verkehrsclub Deutschland, Founding Member