Born in 1963. Potsdam (Brandenburg). 1986-1991, studied journalism, politics, economics, and political administration, Ludwig-Maximilian University and the German school of journalism, Munich. 1992/1993, doctorate in political science. 1999-2004, member of the Brandenburg regional parliament. Former member of economic, European affairs, and development committees in the Brandenburg regional parliament. 2003-2007, Vice-Chairman, SME Union of the CDU/CSU Germany. 2000-2010, Vice-Chairman, SME Union of the CDU Brandenburg. 2000-2010, managing director, Biotech GmbH and Biotech II GmbH, Hennigsdorf. Since May 2003 Member of the Brandenburg CDU regional executive. Since November 2006 Vice-Chairman of the CDU/CSU Group in the European Parliament. MEP since 2004.