Edelgard Bulmahn

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Edelgard Bulmahn
2014-09-09 - Edelgard Bulmahn MdB - 7159.jpg
Vice President of the Bundestag
In office
22 October 2013 – 24 October 2017
PresidentNorbert Lammert
Preceded byWolfgang Thierse
Succeeded byThomas Oppermann
Chair of the Economics and Technology Committee
In office
23 November 2005 – 22 October 2013
Preceded byRainer Wend
Succeeded byEduard Oswald
Federal Minister of Education and Research
In office
26 October 1998 – 22 November 2005
ChancellorGerhard Schröder
Preceded byJürgen Rüttgers
Succeeded byAnnette Schavan
Member of the Bundestag
for Stadt Hannover II
In office
25 January 1987 – 24 October 2017
Preceded byHelmut Rohde
Succeeded byYasmin Fahimi
Personal details
Born (1951-03-04) 4 March 1951 (age 67)
Petershagen, West Germany
(now Germany)
Political partySocial Democratic Party of Germany
Alma materUniversity of Hanover

Edelgard Bulmahn (born 4 March 1951) is a German politician from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). She served as Member of the German Bundestag between 1987 and 2017. She was Federal Minister of Education and Research from 1998 to 2005. From 2013 until 2017 she was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the Bundestag.


After gaining her Abitur (higher-education entrance qualification), Bulmahn spent one year living in the Bror Hayil kibbutz in southern Israel.[1] She later studied political science and English language and literature at the University of Hanover. From 1981 to 1987 she worked as a school teacher in Hanover.[2]

Political career[edit]

Bulmahn joined the SPD in 1969 and was a member of the party executive committee from 1993 to 2011.

Member of the German Bundestag, 1987-2017[edit]

Bulmahn entered the German Bundestag following the 1987 federal elections, representing the 42nd electoral district of Hannover. From 1987 to 1990 she served as deputy chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Study Commission on Technology Assessment and from 1990 to 1994 as deputy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group on the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment.[3]

From 2005 to 2009, Bulmahn served as chairwoman of the Bundestag Committee for Economic Affairs and Technology. During that time, she was also the deputy chairwoman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with Arabic-Speaking States in the Middle East, which is in charge of maintaining inter-parliamentary relations with Bahrain, Irak, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and the Palestinian territories.

From 2009 to 2013, Bulmahn was a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and spokeswoman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Sub-Committee on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Integrated Conflict Management. In this capacity, she served as her parliamentary group's rapporteur on Southeast Asia. In addition, from 2011 to 2013, she served as spokeswoman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Study Commission on Growth, Wellbeing and Quality of Life.[4]

Federal Minister of Education and Research, 1998-2005[edit]

Bulmahn’s tenure fell in a period of significant changes in Germany’s education system. In 2002, amid a heated debate surrounding the German parliament’s vote on allowing human embryo stem cells to be imported for medical research, she voiced her support for allowing the import of embryo stem cells under strict conditions.[5] When Bulmahn first proposed in 2004 an initiative to foster an elite circle of universities with significant funds from the federal government, she drew heavy criticism; however, after lengthy negotiations with the state governments, a compromise was finally reached in June 2005.[6][7]

Vice-President of the Bundestag, 2013-2017[edit]

On 22 October 2013 Bulmahn was elected as one of the Vice Presidents of the Bundestag. In addition, she was a member of the parliament’s Council of Elders, which – among other duties – determines daily legislative agenda items and assigning committee chairpersons based on party representation. She also served as a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as of the Sub-Committee for Civilian Crisis Prevention.

In October 2016, Bulmahn announced that she would not stand in the 2017 federal elections but instead resign from active politics by the end of the parliamentary term.[8]

Political positions[edit]

In 2016, Bulmahn demanded that a financial bonus (9,500 €) be paid to universities for every graduate student they attract.[9]

Other activities[edit]

Regulatory agencies[edit]

Non-governmental organizations[edit]

Scientific institutions[edit]


  1. ^ Martin Niewendick (May 4, 2016), Wie Edelgard Bulmahn israelische Studenten irritierte Der Tagesspiegel
  2. ^ Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice-President of the Bundestag Archived 2014-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Bundestag.
  3. ^ Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice-President of the Bundestag Archived 2014-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Bundestag.
  4. ^ Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice-President of the Bundestag Archived 2014-12-04 at the Wayback Machine Bundestag.
  5. ^ Germany authorises stem cell imports BBC News, January 30, 2002.
  6. ^ A new focus on excellence Nature, Nature Materials 4, 795 (2005).
  7. ^ Paving the Way for Academic Excellence Deutsche Welle, June 24, 2005.
  8. ^ Andreas Schinkel (October 6, 2016), Bulmahn will nicht mehr in den Bundestag Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.
  9. ^ "Edelgard Bulmahn: "Die Leistung muss entscheiden"". www.wiwo.de. Retrieved 2016-07-21. (German)
  10. ^ Board of Directors Atlantik-Brücke.
  11. ^ Hans-Martin Tillack (June 13, 2016), Sicherheitskonzerne finanzierten Verein für EU-Abgeordnete Stern.
  12. ^ Board of Trustees Helmut Schmidt Foundation.
  13. ^ International Willy Brandt Prize Social Democratic Party of Germany.
  14. ^ Board of Trustees Humboldt University of Berlin.
  15. ^ Anja Kühne (September 22, 2017), Edelgard Bulmahn ist neue Kuratoriumsvorsitzende der Humboldt-Universität Tagesspiegel.

External links[edit]