Hans-Gert Pöttering

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hans-Gert Pöttering
Pöttering, Hans-Gert-9757.jpg
23rd President of the European Parliament
In office
16 January 2007 – 14 July 2009
Vice President
Preceded by Josep Borrell
Succeeded by Jerzy Buzek
Leader of the European People's Party-European Democrats
In office
20 July 1999 – 16 January 2007
Preceded by Wilfried Martens
Succeeded by Joseph Daul
Member of the European Parliament
for Germany
Assumed office
17 July 1979
Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Assumed office
1 January 2010
Preceded by Bernhard Vogel
Personal details
Born (1945-09-15) 15 September 1945 (age 70)
Bersenbrück, Germany
Political party Christian Democratic Union
Children Johannes
Residence Bad Iburg, Germany
Alma mater University of Bonn
University of Geneva
Graduate Institute of International Studies
Columbia University
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

Hans-Gert Pöttering (born 15 September 1945) is a German conservative politician (CDU, European People's Party), and was the President of the European Parliament from January 2007 to July 2009. On 4 December 2009 he was elected Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from 1 January 2010.

He has served as a Member of the European Parliament continuously since the first elections in 1979 and thus is its longest-serving member, and was Chairman of the European People's Party-European Democrats 1999–2007.

He is a member of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group.[1]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Pöttering never got to know his father who was killed in action during the last days of the Second World War. After Abitur and military service, he studied law, political science and history in University of Bonn, the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and at Columbia University in New York. He took his first state exam in jurisprudence in 1973, earned a PhD in political science and history in 1974 and took his second state exam in jurisprudence in 1976.

Political career[edit]

He has been a member of the European Parliament since 1979, the only member of the European Parliament to have served continuously since the first elections.

From 1984 to 1994 he was chairman of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence. From 1994 to 1996 he chaired the working group on the Intergovernmental Conference of the European People's Party (EPP) and EPP-ED Group, the results of which became the official EPP position for the Treaty of Amsterdam.

In 1994 he became Vice-President of the EPP, and from 1999 to 2007 he was the Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament. He was the top candidate of the CDU in the 2004 European elections.

He is Deputy Chairman of the Advisory Board of A Soul for Europe.

President of the European Parliament[edit]

As part of a deal with the socialist group, it was agreed that he would succeed Josep Borrell Fontelles as President of the European Parliament in the second part of the 2004–2009 term, which he did on 16 January 2007. He was elected with 450 of 689 valid votes, and defeated Italian Green Monica Frassoni, Danish Eurosceptic Jens-Peter Bonde and French Communist Francis Wurtz.

As President of the European Parliament he initiated the House of European Historyproject. He made reference to the House in his inaugural speech in 2007.[2]


Pöttering is known as an enthusiastic European Federalist and an ally of Angela Merkel. He has stated that his priority will be to rejuvenate the European Constitution.


Pöttering has received the Robert Schuman Medal of EPP-ED, the Grand Order of Merit of Germany, the Grand Decoration of the Republic of Austria, the Mérite Européen en or of Luxembourg, the European Honorary Senator, the ‘MEP of the year 2004’, award given by the newspaper ‘European Voice’, an Honorary Doctorate from Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Opole, Poland, the Grand Cross of the Order of St Gregory the Great, Grand Order of Queen Jelena with Sash and Star, Croatia, the Walter Hallstein Prize 2007, Frankfurt am Main, European Excellence Award 2008 of the Autonomous Community of Madrid ('Premio a la Excelencia Europea 2008'), and the Grand Ernst Moritz Arndt Medal of the Pomeranian Exiles Association. On Tuesday 24 June he was awarded the 'Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana', the highest honour of the Republic of Italy, at a ceremony conducted by the Italian State President, Giorgio Napolitano.

Private life[edit]

He lives in Brussels in Belgium. Pöttering is Roman Catholic, divorced and has two sons.[3]


  • Adenauers Sicherheitspolitik 1955–1963. Ein Beitrag zum deutsch-amerikanischen Verhältnis, Droste Verlag 1975, ISBN 3-7700-0412-4
  • Europas Vereinigte Staaten, Editio Interfrom 2000, ISBN 3-7201-5237-5, with Ludger Kühnhardt
  • Weltpartner Europäische Union, Edition Interfrom 2001, ISBN 3-7201-5252-9, with Ludger Kühnhardt
  • Kontinent Europa. Kern, Übergänge, Grenzen, Edition Interfrom 2002, ISBN 3-7201-5276-6, zusammen mit Ludger Kühnhardt
  • Von der Vision zur Wirklichkeit. Auf dem Weg zur Einigung Europas, Bouvier 2004, ISBN 3-416-03053-2


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Wilfried Martens
Leader of the European People's Party-European Democrats
Succeeded by
Joseph Daul
Political offices
Preceded by
Josep Borrell
President of the European Parliament
Succeeded by
Jerzy Buzek