Franziska Giffey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Franziska Giffey
MJK 19248 Franziska Giffey (SPD-Bundesparteitag 2018).jpg
Franziska Giffey, 2018
Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
In office
14 March 2018 – 20 May 2021
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byKatarina Barley
Succeeded byChristine Lambrecht (Acting)[1]
Leader of the Social Democratic Party in Berlin
Assumed office
28 November 2020
Serving with Raed Saleh
DeputyIna Czyborra
Andreas Geisel
Iris Spranger
Julian Zado
Preceded byMichael Müller
Mayor of Neukölln (Berlin)
In office
15 April 2015 – 14 March 2018
Preceded byHeinz Buschkowsky
Succeeded byMartin Hikel
Personal details
Franziska Süllke

(1978-05-03) 3 May 1978 (age 43)
Frankfurt (Oder), East Germany
(now Germany)
Political partySocial Democratic Party
Alma materFree University of Berlin

Franziska Giffey (née Süllke, born 3 May 1978) is a German politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who served as Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2018 until 2021.[2] She was the Mayor of Neukölln in Berlin from April 2015 to March 2018.[3] In December 2020, Giffey was nominated to be the SPD's mayoral candidate in the 2021 Berlin State election.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Frankfurt (Oder), Giffey grew up in Briesen. After her Abitur in 1997, she started studying English and French at the Humboldt University of Berlin in order to become a teacher, but had to leave the profession in 1998 for medical reasons.[3] She subsequently studied administrative law at a Fachhochschule for Public Administration in Berlin from 1998 until 2001. During her graduate studies in European administrative management from 2003 to 2005, she worked at the Representation of Berlin to the European Union in Brussels in 2003 and at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 2005. In 2005, she started extra-occupational doctoral studies at the Free University of Berlin, where she received her doctorate in 2010. Her thesis, which contains 119 plagiarized passages,[5] dealt with the inclusion of civil society by the European Commission in EU decision-making.

In addition to her studies, she worked as Commissioner for European Affairs in the district administration of Neukölln from 2002 to 2010.

Political career[edit]

Giffey joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 2007.

In 2015, Giffey succeeded Heinz Buschkowsky as mayor of the Berlin district of Neukölln, home to many immigrants and high unemployment.[6]

Federal Minister of Family Affairs, 2018–2021[edit]

After the formation of a grand coalition between the CDU under Chancellor Angela Merkel and the SPD in the wake of the 2017 federal election, Giffey was appointed member of the fourth Merkel cabinet in March 2018, serving as Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. She succeeded Katarina Barley in this office, who became Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection.

Following the 2018 Chemnitz protests, Giffey was the first member of Merkel's cabinet to visit the site where a 35-year-old German carpenter was stabbed to death.[7]

In mid-2020, Giffey presented the government’s first equality strategy, which bundled together measures that aim to get more women into leadership roles, narrow the gender pay gap and improve work-life balance.[8] By early 2021, she introduced legislation introducing stricter gender equality rules for government-controlled companies and measures to force larger listed companies to have at least one woman on their management boards.[9][10]

Allegations of plagiarism & resignation[edit]

In 2019, allegations of plagiarism prompted the Free University of Berlin to review Giffey’s 2010 dissertation.[11] In response, Giffey announced that she would resign if her doctorate is revoked and she would not run for the leadership of her party due to the ongoing investigation.[12]

On July 10 2021, the presidium of the Free University of Berlin unanimously stripped Giffey of her doctorate, saying she was guilty of 'at least partially intentional deception' and citing 69 instances in the 200-page thesis when citations were either not at all or improperly attributed[13].

She resigned as minister on 19 May 2021 but immediately won the candidacy for Berlin mayor from the SPD, which she has not relinquished.[14]

Candidate for Mayor of Berlin[edit]

When Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller announced his intention not to run again for his party’s leadership in the state, Giffey and Raed Saleh expressed their intention to take over as dual leaders.[15] Giffey subsequently was voted her party's candidate to succeed Müller as mayor in the 2021 Berlin state election.

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

  • Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR), Member of the Advisory Board (–2018)[16]

Non-profit organizations[edit]

  • Business Forum of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Member of the Political Advisory Board (since 2020)[17]
  • German Forum for Crime Prevention (DFK), Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2018)[18]
  • German Red Cross (DRK), Member
  • Lions Club, Member
  • French-German Youth Office (Berlin/Paris), Chairwoman
  • Total E-Quality initiative, Member of the Board of Trustees[19]

Personal life[edit]

Giffey has been married to a veterinarian since 2009; the couple has one child. Her nephew is basketball player Niels Giffey.


  1. ^ Julia Bernewasser, Julius Betschka, Georg Ismar and Simone Windhoff (May 19, 2021), [1] Der Tagesspiegel.
  2. ^ SPD-Ministerin Franziska Giffey: Von Berlin-Neukölln nach überall, Tagesspiegel
  3. ^ a b Franziska Giffey in Neukölln: Diese Frau wird Buschkowskys Nachfolgerin, Berliner Zeitung
  4. ^ "ZEIT ONLINE | Lesen Sie mit Werbung oder im PUR-Abo. Sie haben die Wahl". Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  5. ^ [2], Süddeutsche Zeitung.
  6. ^ Holger Hansen and Michelle Martin (9 March 2018), German government takes shape as SPD names ministers Reuters.
  7. ^ Andrea Shalal and Hans-Edzard Busemann (31 August 2018), Stabbing suspect in Germany was slated for deportation: court Reuters
  8. ^ Holger Hansen and Andreas Rinke (8 July 2020), No more glass ceiling? Germany seeks female boardroom quota deal Reuters.
  9. ^ Andreas Rinke (20 November 2020), Germany agrees women quotas for company boards Reuters.
  10. ^ Maria Sheahan (6 January 2021), German cabinet agrees quota for women on company boards Reuters.
  11. ^ "Plagiatsaffäre - Alle Fälle von A-Z | Business And Science". Business And Science (in German). Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  12. ^ German minister offers to resign if university revokes title Associated Press, 15 August 2019.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Familienministerin Giffey tritt zurück" [Family minister Giffey resigns]. (in German). 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  15. ^ Nikki Motson (30 January 2020), In Brief: Berlin SPD chief Michael Müller is stepping aside to make way for a new team of leaders KCRW.
  16. ^ Advisory Board Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR).
  17. ^ Bernd Westphal und Anke Rehlinger koordinieren neu konstituierten Politischen Beirat des SPD-Wirtschaftsforums Business Forum of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, press release of 1 July 2020.
  18. ^ Board of Trustees German Forum for Crime Prevention (DFK).
  19. ^ Board of Trustees Total E-Quality.