Edmund Stoiber

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Edmund Stoiber
DrEdmundStoiber.jpg
Official portrait of Dr. Edmund Stoiber
Bavaria
Minister President of Bavaria
In office
28 May 1993 – 30 September 2007
Preceded by Max Streibl
Succeeded by Günther Beckstein
Chairman of the Christian Social Union
In office
1998–2007
Preceded by Theo Waigel
Succeeded by Erwin Huber
Personal details
Born (1941-09-28) 28 September 1941 (age 74)
Oberaudorf, Germany
Nationality German
Political party CSU
Spouse(s) Karin Stoiber
Children Constanze
Veronica
Dominic
Religion Roman Catholicism

Edmund Rüdiger Stoiber (born 28 September 1941) is a German politician, who was the tenth Minister President of the state of Bavaria and chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU). On 18 January 2007, he announced his decision to step down from the posts of minister-president and party chairman by 30 September, after having been under fire in his own party for weeks.[1]

Early life[edit]

Edmund Stoiber was born in Oberaudorf in the district of Rosenheim, Bavaria. Prior to entering politics in 1974 and serving in the Bavarian parliament, he was a lawyer and worked at the University of Regensburg.

Education and profession[edit]

Stoiber attended the Ignaz-Günther-Gymnasium in Rosenheim, where he received his Abitur (high school diploma) in 1961, although he had to repeat one year for failing in Latin.[2] His national service was with the Gebirgsdivision mountain infantry division in Mittenwald and Bad Reichenhall and was cut-short due to a knee injury. Following his military service, Stoiber studied political science and then, in the fall 1962 in Munich, law. In 1967 he passed the state law exam and then worked at the University of Regensburg in criminal law and Eastern European law. He was awarded a doctorate of jurisprudence, and then in 1971 passed the second state examination with distinction.

In 1971, Stoiber joined the Bavarian State Ministry of Development and Environment.[3]

Political career[edit]

Norbert Blüm and Edmund Stoiber in 1981

In 1978 Stoiber was elected secretary general of the CSU, a post he held until 1982/83. In this capacity, he served as campaign manager of Franz-Josef Strauss, the first Bavarian leader to run for the chancellorship, in the 1980 national elections.[3] From 1982 to 1986 he served as deputy to the Bavarian secretary of the state and then, in the position of State Minister, led the State Chancellery from 1982 to 1988. From 1988 to 1993 he served as State Minister of the Interior.

Minister-President of Bavaria, 1993–2007[edit]

In May 1993, the Landtag of Bavaria, the state's parliament, elected Stoiber as Minister-President succeeding Max Streibl. He came to power amid a political crisis involving a sex scandal, surrounding a contender for the statepremiership.[4] Upon taking office, he nominated Strauss' daughter Monika Hohlmeier as State Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs.

In his capacity as Minister-President, Stoiber served as President of the Bundesrat in 1995/96. In 1998, he also succeeded Theo Waigel as chairman of the CSU.

During Stoiber's 14 years leading Bavaria, the state solidified its position as one of Germany's richest.[5] Already by 1998, under his leadership, the state had privatized more than $3 billion worth of state-owned businesses and used that money to invest in new infrastructure and provide venture capital for new companies.[6] He was widely regarded a central figure in building one of Europe's most powerful regional economies, attracting thousands of hi-tech, engineering and media companies and reducing unemployment to half the national average.[7]

Candidate for Chancellor, 2002[edit]

In 2002, Stoiber politically outmaneuvered CDU chairwoman,[citation needed] Angela Merkel, and was elected the CDU/CSU's candidate for the office of chancellor, challenging Gerhard Schröder.

In the run up to the 2002 national elections, the CSU/CDU held a huge lead in the opinion polls and Stoiber famously remarked that "...this election is like a football match where it's the second half and my team is ahead by 2–0." However, on election day things had changed. The SPD had mounted a huge comeback, and the CDU/CSU was narrowly defeated (though both the SPD and CDU/CSU had 38.5% of the vote, the SPD was ahead by a small 6,000 vote margin, winning 251 seats to the CDU/CSU's 248). The election was one of modern Germany's closest votes.[8]

Gerhard Schröder was re-elected as chancellor by the parliament in a coalition with the Greens, who had increased their vote share marginally. Many commentators faulted Stoiber's reaction to the floods in eastern Germany, in the run-up to the election, as a contributory factor in his party's poor electoral result and defeat. In addition, Schröder distinguished himself from his opponent by taking an active stance against the upcoming United States-led Iraq War. His extensive campaigning on this stance was widely seen as swinging the election to the SPD in the weeks running up to the election.

Later political career[edit]

Stoiber subsequently led the CSU to an absolute majority in the 2003 Bavarian state elections, for the third time in a row, winning this time 60,7% of the votes and a two-thirds majority in the Landtag. This was its widest margin ever achieved in the state.[9]

Between 2003 and 2004, Stoiber served as co-chair (alongside Franz Müntefering) of the First Commission on the modernization of the federal state (Föderalismuskommission I), which had been established to reform the division of powers between federal and state authorities in Germany. In February 2004, he became a candidate of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder for the presidency of the European Commission but he decided not to run for this office.[10]

Stoiber had ambitions to run again for the chancellorship, but Merkel secured the nomination, and in November 2005 she won the general election. He was slated to join Merkel's first grand coalition cabinet as Economics minister. However, on 1 November 2005, he announced his decision to stay in Bavaria, due to personal changes on the SPD side of the coalition (Franz Müntefering resigned as SPD chairman) and an unsatisfactory apportionment of competences between himself and designated Science minister Annette Schavan. Stoiber also resigned his seat in the 16th Bundestag, being a member from 18 October to 8 November.

Subsequently, criticism grew in the CSU, where other polticians had to scale back their ambitions after Stoiber's decision to stay in Bavaria. On 18 January 2007, he announced his decision to stand down from the posts of minister-president and party chairman by 30 September. Günther Beckstein, then Bavarian state minister of the interior, succeeded him as minister-president and Erwin Huber as party chairman, defeating Horst Seehofer at a convention at 18 September 2007 with 58,1% of the votes. Both Beckstein and Huber resigned after the 2008 state elections, in which the CSU vote dropped to 43,4% and the party had to form a coalition with another party for the first time since 1966.

Life after politics[edit]

Stoiber was first appointed in 2007 as a special adviser to then-European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to chair the “High level group on administrative burdens,” made up of national experts, NGOs, business and industry organizations. Quickly nicknamed the “Stoiber Group,” it produced a report in July 2014 with several proposals on streamlining the regulatory process.[11] Stoiber was re-appointed in December 2014 by Jean-Claude Juncker to the same role, from which he resigned after one year in late 2015.

Since his retirement from German politics in 2007, Stoiber has worked as a lawyer and held paid and unpaid positions, including:[11]

Political positions[edit]

Foreign policy[edit]

Stoiber and Vladimir Putin

In his capacity as Minister-President, Stoiber made 58 foreign trips, including to China (1995, 2003), Israel (2001), Egypt (2001), India (2004, 2007) and South Korea (2007).[13]

In 2002, Stoiber publicly expressed support for the United States in their policy toward Iraq. During his election campaign, he made clear his opposition to war, and his support for the introduction of weapons inspectors to Iraq without preconditions as a way of avoiding war, and he criticized Schröder for harming the German-American alliance by not calling President George W. Bush and discussing the issue privately.[14] He also attacked German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer for his criticism of the U.S. position.[15]

Stoiber is known for backing Vladimir Putin and there have been comparisons to Gerhard Schröder. One author called Stoiber a "Moscow's Trojan Horse".[16][17][18] Putin is known to have given Stoiber "extreme forms of flattery" and privileges such as a private dinner at Putin's residence outside Moscow.[19]

European integration[edit]

Stoiber has been said to be skeptical of Germany's decision to adopt the euro. When the European Commission recommended that Greece be allowed to join the eurozone in 1998, he demanded that the country be barred from adopting the common currency for several years instead.[20] He is a staunch opponent of Turkey's integration into the European Union, claiming that its non-Christian culture would dilute the Union.

At the same time, Stoiber has repeatedly insisted he is a “good European” who is keen, for instance, on forging an EU-wide foreign policy, replete with a single European army.[21] Earlier, in 1993, he had told German newspapers: "I want a simple confederation. That means the nation-states maintain their dominant role, at least as far as internal matters are concerned."[22]

Economic policy[edit]

While the conservative wing of the German political spectrum, primarily formed of the CDU and CSU, enjoys considerable support, this support tends to be less extended to Stoiber. He enjoys considerably more support in his home state of Bavaria than in the rest of Germany, where CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel is more popular. This has its reasons: Merkel supports a kind of fiscal conservatism, but a more liberal social policy. Stoiber, on the other hand, favors a more conservative approach to both fiscal and social matters, and while this ensures him the religious vote, strongest in Bavaria, it has weakened his support at the national level.

In 2005, Stoiber successfully lobbied Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceuticals group, to move the headquarters of its Sandoz subsidiary to Munich, making it one of Europe's highest-profile corporate relocations that year as well as a significant boost to Stoiber's attempts to build up Bavaria as a pharmaceuticals and biotechnology center.[23]

During his time as Minister-President of Bavaria, Stoiber pushed for the construction of a roughly 40-kilometer high-speed magnetic-levitation link from Munich's main station to its airport, to be built by Transrapid International, a consortium including ThyssenKrupp and Munich-based Siemens. After he left office, the German federal government abandoned the plans in 2008 because of spiraling costs of as much as €3.4 billion.[24]

Domestic policy[edit]

Stoiber, as a minister in the state of Bavaria, was widely known for advocating a reduction in the number of asylum seekers Germany accepts, something that prompted critics to label him xenophobic, anti-Turkish and anti-Islam. In the late 1990s he criticized the incoming Chancellor Schröder for saying that he would work hard in the interest of Germans and people living in Germany. Stoiber's remarks drew heavy criticism in the press.

When Germany's Federal Constitutional Court decided in 1995 that a Bavarian law requiring a crucifix to be hung in each of the state's 40,000 classrooms was unconstitutional, Stoiber said he would not order the removal of crucifixes "for the time being," and asserted that he was under no obligation to remove them in schools where parents unanimously opposed such action.[25]

During his 2002 election campaign, Stoiber indicated he would not ban same-sex marriages – sanctioned by the Schröder government – a policy he had vehemently objected to when it was introduced.[26]

Media policy[edit]

Stoiber has been a staunch advocate of changes in German law that would give more power to owners of private TV channels. In 1995, he publicy called for the abolition of Germany's public television service ARD and a streamlining of its regional services, adding that he and Minister-President Kurt Biedenkopf of Saxony would break the contract ARD has with regional governments if reforms were not undertaken.[27] However, when European Commissioner for Competition Karel van Miert unveiled ideas for reforming the rules governing the financing of public service broadcasters in 1998, Stoiber led the way in rejecting moves to reform established practice.[28]

Controversies[edit]

Comments on East Germany[edit]

During the run-up to the German general election in 2005, which was held ahead of schedule, Stoiber created controversy through a campaign speech held in the beginning of August 2005 in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. He said, "I do not accept that the East [of Germany] will again decide who will be Germany's chancellor. It cannot be allowed that the frustrated determine Germany's fate." People in the new federal states of Germany (the former German Democratic Republic) were offended by Stoiber's remarks. While the CSU attempted to portray them as "misinterpreted", Stoiber created further controversy when he claimed that "if it was like Bavaria everywhere, there wouldn't be any problems. Unfortunately, not everyone in Germany is as intelligent as in Bavaria." The tone of the comments was exacerbated by a perception by some within Germany of the state of Bavaria as "arrogant".

Many, including members of the CDU, attribute Stoiber's comments and behavior as a contributing factor to the CDU's losses in the 2005 general election. He was accused by many in the CDU/CSU of offering "half-hearted" support to Angela Merkel, with some even accusing him of being reluctant to support a female candidate from the East. (This also contrasted unfavorably with Merkel's robust support for his candidacy in the 2002 election.) He has insinuated that votes were lost because of the choice of a female candidate. He came under heavy fire for these comments from press and politicians alike, especially since he himself lost almost 10% of the Bavarian vote – a dubious feat in itself as Bavarians tend to consistently vote conservatively. Nonetheless, a poll has suggested over 9% may have voted differently if the conservative candidate was a man from the West, although this does not clearly show if such a candidate would have gained or lost votes for the conservatives.

BayernLB activities[edit]

When the Croatian National Bank turned down BayernLB's original bid to take over the local arm of Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International, this drew strong criticism from Stoiber, who said the decision was "unacceptable" and a "severe strain" for Bavaria's relations with Croatia. Croatia was seeking to join the European Union at the time. The central bank’s board later reviewed and accepted BayernLB's offer of 1.6 billion euros.[29] The investment in Hypo Group Alpe Adria was part of a series of ill-fated investments, which later forced BayernLB to take a 10 billion-euro bailout in the financial crisis.

European Commission job[edit]

In September 2015, Emily O'Reilly, the European Ombudsman, received a complaint from two NGOs, Corporate Europe Observatory and Friends of the Earth, according to which Stoiber’s appointment as special adviser on the Commission’s better regulation agenda broke internal rules on appointments.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Stoiber is Roman Catholic. He is married to Karin Stoiber. They have three children: Constanze (1971), Veronica (1977), Dominic (1980) and five grandchildren: Johannes (1999), Benedikt (2001),Theresa Marie (2005), Ferdinand (2009) and another grandson (2011).

Stoiber is a keen football fan and he serves as Co-Chairman on the Advisory Board of FC Bayern Munich. Before the 2002 election FC Bayern General Manager Uli Hoeneß expressed his support for Stoiber and the CSU. Football legend, former FC Bayern President and DFB Vice-President, Franz Beckenbauer, on the other hand, showed his support for Stoiber by letting him join the German national football team on their flight home from Japan after the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

In his youth, he played for local football side BCF Wolfratshausen.[31]

Honours and awards[edit]

Edmund Stoiber during the conferment Order against the deadly seriousness, March 2000

Literature[edit]

  • Michael Stiller: Edmund Stoiber: der Kandidat. Econ, München 2002, ISBN 3-430-18786-9.
  • Jürgen Roth, Peter Köhler: Edmund G. Stoiber: Weltstaatsmann und Freund des Volkes. Eichborn, Frankfurt 2002, ISBN 3-8218-3584-2. (satirische „Biografie“)
  • Jule Philippi: Wer für alles offen ist, ist nicht ganz dicht. Weisheiten des Edmund Stoiber. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-499-62248-9 . (Analyse Stoibers will- und unwillkürlicher Sprachproduktion)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jens Hack (January 18, 2007). "Bavarian premier Stoiber says to step down early". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  2. ^ Mayer, Christian (2000–2008). "Edmund Stoiber Ein mittelmäßiger Schüler" (in German). wissen.de GmbH. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  3. ^ a b Steven Erlanger (January 12, 2002), German Right Backs Bavarian to Run Against Schröder New York Times.
  4. ^ Hugh Williamson (January 17, 2007), Stoiber crisis threatens Merkel's coalition Financial Times.
  5. ^ Leadership Crisis in Bavaria: Edmund Stoiber To Step Down Spiegel Online, January 18, 2007.
  6. ^ Edmund L. Andrews (September 14, 1998), Conservatives Win Decisive Victory in Bavarian Election New York Times.
  7. ^ Hugh Williamson (October 1, 2007), Stoiber steps aside and ends era in Germany Financial Times.
  8. ^ Jess Smee (January 17, 2007), Stoiber quits after snooping row The Guardian.
  9. ^ Mark Landler (September 23, 2002), Again, Bavaria's Favorite Is Germany's Runner-Up New York Times.
  10. ^ Overture over for staunch Stoiber Financial Times, June 10, 2004.
  11. ^ a b Quentin Ariès (September 15, 2015), EU watchdog to probe appointment of Juncker adviser Politico Europe.
  12. ^ Advisory Board Deloitte.
  13. ^ Wolfgang Wittl (February 3, 2016), Seehofer fehlt die Lust am Reisen Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  14. ^ Steven Erlanger (September 9, 2002), Stance on Bush Policy Could Swing Election in Germany New York Times.
  15. ^ William Boston (February 26, 2002), As Stoiber Looks Past Economy, His Campaign Hits Shaky Ground Wall Street Journal.
  16. ^ From Schröder to Stoiber? Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 132
  17. ^ Edmund Stoiber – Moscow's Trojan Horse in the Opposition Camp
  18. ^ The German Election Campaign Has Commenced. The Trumpet. 2009
  19. ^ Russia, Germany and Europe’s Future. Ron Fraser. The Trumpet. 2008
  20. ^ Edmund L. Andrews (May 8, 2000), Falling Euro, a Unity Currency, Instead Bolsters Dollar and Pound New York Times.
  21. ^ Edmund Stoiber, torch-bearer for Germany’s right The Economist, August 3, 2000.
  22. ^ Craig R. Whitney (November 12, 1993), Kohl Defends European Unity to Doubters New York Times.
  23. ^ Haig Simonian and Ralph Atkins (April 26, 2005), Sandoz to move HQ to Munich Financial Times.
  24. ^ Germany cancels magnetic-levitation train line International Herald Tribune, March 27, 2008.
  25. ^ Stephen Kinzer (August 23, 1995), Crucifix Ruling Angers Bavarians New York Times.
  26. ^ Edmund Stoiber: Bringing Bavaria to Berlin BBC News, June 17, 2002.
  27. ^ Michael Kallenbach (April 3, 1995), Public and Private Television at the Crossroads International Herald Tribune.
  28. ^ Peter Chapman (October 14, 1998), Poor reception for TV funding policy European Voice.
  29. ^ Zoran Radosavljevic (September 12, 2007), BLB gets nod from Croatia to take over Hypo unit Reuters.
  30. ^ Quentin Ariès (March 30, 2016), Commissioners request outside help from big hitters Politico Europe.
  31. ^ Das Logo zeigt den Ursprung (German) BCF website – Club history, accessed: 27 June 2009
  32. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (pdf) (in German). p. 1366. Retrieved November 2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  33. ^ http://www.abendblatt.de/politik/ausland/article458330/Edmund-Stoiber-ist-jetzt-Ehrendoktor-in-Suedkorea.html

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Max Streibl
Minister president of Bavaria
1993–2007
Succeeded by
Günther Beckstein