Thomas de Maizière

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thomas de Maizière
OT Berlin 09-13 Thomas de Maizière.jpg
Minister of the Interior
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 December 2013
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Hans-Peter Friedrich
In office
28 October 2009 – 3 March 2011
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Wolfgang Schäuble
Succeeded by Hans-Peter Friedrich
Minister of Defence
In office
3 March 2011 – 17 December 2013
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Succeeded by Ursula von der Leyen
Minister for Special Affairs
In office
22 November 2005 – 27 October 2009
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Ronald Pofalla
Chief of the Chancellery
In office
22 November 2005 – 27 October 2009
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Succeeded by Ronald Pofalla
Personal details
Born (1954-01-21) 21 January 1954 (age 60)
Bonn, Germany
Political party Christian Democratic Union
Spouse(s) Martina de Maizière
Children 3
Alma mater University of Münster
University of Freiburg
Religion Lutheranism[1]

Karl Ernst Thomas de Maizière (German pronunciation: [də mɛˈzi̯ɛːɐ̯]; born 21 January 1954) is a German politician (CDU) who has served as the Federal Minister of the Interior since 17 December 2013 as part of the third cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel. A close confidant of Merkel, he served as chief of staff at the Chancellor's Office and Federal Minister for Special Affairs in the First Merkel cabinet, from 2005 to 2009. He was Minister of the Interior from 2009 to 2011 and Minister of Defence from 2011 to 2013.

Along with Wolfgang Schäuble and Ursula von der Leyen, De Maizière is one of only three ministers with Merkel since she became chancellor in 2005.[2] Together with Von der Leyen, he has in the past been mentioned as a possible future successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.[3]

Before his appointment to the federal cabinet, he served as a cabinet minister of the state of Saxony, including as chief of staff, minister of finance and minister of justice.

Background and education[edit]

Maiziere was born in Bonn to the later Inspector general of the Bundeswehr, Ulrich de Maizière. He graduated at the Aloisiuskolleg in Bonn and studied law and history at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster and the University of Freiburg, he passed his first state examination in law in 1979 and his second 1982, earning his doctorate of law (Dr. jur.) in 1986.[4]

He belongs to a noble family originally from Maizières-lès-Metz who, as Huguenots, had fled France for asylum in Prussia in the late 17th century.[5] The Maizière family still attended French-language schools and Huguenot churches in Berlin until the beginning of the 20th century. His cousin Lothar de Maizière is also a CDU politician and was the last, and only democratically elected, Premier of the German Democratic Republic, who later served as Federal Minister of Special Affairs in the Kohl government.[6]

Political career[edit]

Early career in state politics[edit]

Maizière worked for the governing mayor (prime minister) of Berlin (Baron Richard von Weizsäcker and Eberhard Diepgen), before he was part of the West German delegation to negotiations on German reunification. After 1990 he worked with re-establishing democratic structures in states that were part of the former German Democratic Republic. He became secretary of state at the ministry of culture of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in November 1990. From December 1994 to 1998 he was the chief of staff of the Chancellery of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

He served as the chief of the Saxon Chancellery from 1999 to 2001, with the rank as a cabinet minister. From 2001 to 2002 he served as the minister of finance of Saxony, from 2002 to 2004 minister of justice, and from 2004 to 2005 minister of interior.[7]

Chief of Staff at the Federal Chancellery, 2005-09[edit]

On 17 October 2005, he was nominated for membership of the Federal Government as chief of the Chancellor's office and federal minister of special affairs in the First Merkel cabinet.[8] He took office on 22 November 2005 after Merkel's election by the Bundestag. In his capacity as chief of staff of the chancellery, he also functioned as deputy president of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, German Institute for International and Security Affairs.

Federal Minister of the Interior, 2009-11[edit]

He took office as Federal Minister of the Interior in the Second Merkel cabinet.

Federal Minister of Defence, 2011-13[edit]

On 2 March 2011, Merkel announced that Maizière would be the successor of federal minister of defence zu Guttenberg, who had resigned from office the previous day.[9] On 3 March, he was appointed to this post.[10] He held the defence ministry portfolio until 17 December 2013.

Signaling one of the biggest shake-ups in decades for the German military, De Maizière in 2011 unveiled plans to reduce troop numbers, cut bureaucracy and eliminate duplication inside the Federal Ministry of Defence. Under the proposals, the army was to be turned into a solely professional force.[11]

In 2012, De Maizière told a gathering of army reservists that he considered the U.S. strategy of using drones for targeted killings a “strategic mistake”. According to the online news edition of the German public television broadcaster ARD, De Maizière said he thought it was unwise to have U.S. commanders direct such attacks from their base in the United States.[12]

Federal Minister of the Interior, 2014-[edit]

On 17 December 2013 Maizière was appointed Federal Minister of the Interior for a second time.[13]

On 23 February 2014 Bild am Sonntag reported Maizière, among others in the government and in business, were under NSA surveillance. The newspaper report quoting an unnamed NSA official said the U.S. Was particularly interested in the interior minister, "because he is a close aide of Merkel, who seeks his advice on many issues and was rumored to be promoting his candidacy for the post of NATO secretary-general."[14][15]

In late 2014, De Maizière proposed a law according to which the government can retract identity cards of potential foreign fighters and replace them with substitute identification; this was meant to allow government agencies to keep Germans from leaving to join groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Maizière is married to Martina de Maizière, with whom he has three children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dr. Thomas de Maizière, CDU/CSU" (in German). Deutscher Bundestag. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Arne Delfs (22 January 2014), Merkel Succession Beckons After Von der Leyen’s Defense Posting Businessweek.
  3. ^ Arne Delfs (July 17, 2014), Merkel at 60 Says No Rest on Laurels as Power Uncontested Bloomberg.
  4. ^ "Thomas de Maizière (CDU)". Federal Government. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Judy Dempsey (March 2, 2011), Merkel Is Quick to Fill Open Cabinet Position International Herald Tribune.
  6. ^ Judy Dempsey (March 2, 2011), Merkel Is Quick to Fill Open Cabinet Position International Herald Tribune.
  7. ^ Judy Dempsey (March 2, 2011), Merkel Is Quick to Fill Open Cabinet Position International Herald Tribune.
  8. ^ Judy Dempsey (March 2, 2011), Merkel Is Quick to Fill Open Cabinet Position International Herald Tribune.
  9. ^ Pidd, Helen (2 March 2011). "Angela Merkel appoints her closest adviser as defence minister". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Neue Minister ernannt" [New ministers appointed]. Cabinet of Germany (in German). 3 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011. [dead link]
  11. ^ Judy Dempsey (May 18, 2011), Germany Plans Deep Cuts to Its Armed Forces International Herald Tribune.
  12. ^ Judy Dempsey (June 11, 2012), Europe Stays Quiet Despite Unease About Drones International Herald Tribune.
  13. ^ "Minister". Federal Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "U.S. now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel: report". Reuters. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Merkel's aides now on NSA radar, claims Dutch news report". Germany News.Net. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  16. ^ Rainer Buergin and Arne Delfs (October 17, 2014), Germany Clamps Down on Flow of Fighters to Islamic State Bloomberg.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Chief of the Chancellery
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Ronald Pofalla
Vacant
Title last held by
Bodo Hombach
Minister for Special Affairs
2005–2009
Preceded by
Wolfgang Schäuble
Minister of the Interior
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Hans-Peter Friedrich
Preceded by
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
Minister of Defence
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Ursula von der Leyen
Preceded by
Hans-Peter Friedrich
Minister of the Interior
2013–present
Incumbent