Ilse Aigner

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Ilse Aigner
Ilse Aigner 09.2015.JPG
Deputy Minister-President of Bavaria
Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology
Assumed office
10 October 2013
Minister-President Horst Seehofer
Preceded by Martin Zeil
Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
In office
10 October 2009 – 30 September 2013
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Horst Seehofer
Succeeded by Hans-Peter Friedrich (Food and Agriculture)
Heiko Maas (Justice and Consumer Protection)
Member of the Bundestag
In office
1998 – 2013
Personal details
Born (1964-12-07) 7 December 1964 (age 50)
Feldkirchen-Westerham, West Germany
(now Germany)
Political party Christian Social Union
Religion Roman Catholicism

Ilse Aigner (born 7 December 1964) is a German politician and member of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU).

Aigner was born in Feldkirchen-Westerham, Rosenheim, Bavaria and entered Angela Merkel's grand coalition cabinet as Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection on 31 October 2008. She succeeded Horst Seehofer who had become minister president of Bavaria. She left her position on 30 September 2013 after being elected as a member of the Bavarian parliament. Since 10 October 2013 she is Deputy Minister-President of Bavaria and Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs; and Media, Energy and Technology.

Education and professional background[edit]

Aigner completed a professional training as a telecommunications technician in 1985 and joined the electrical installation business of her parents. In 1990 she graduated from the technical academy with the degree of a State Certified Engineer and worked for several years for Eurocopter in the development of helicopter electric systems.

Aigner was elected first in 1994 to the Bavarian State Parliament.

Member of the German Bundestag, 1998–2013[edit]

From 1998 Aigner was a member of the German Bundestag, winning always an absolute majority of the votes in her electoral district.

Election results for the Bundestag
Year Electoral


Votes for Aigner Votes for opposing

Candidate (SPD)

1998 Starnberg 57,0% 26,2%
2002 Starnberg 63,5% 21,9%
2005 Starnberg 59,7% 22,0%
2009 Starnberg 54,0% 15,8%

From 2002 to 2005, she was a member of the Budget Committee, where she served as her parliamentary group's rapporteur on the budgets of the Federal Ministry for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (BMELV) and the aerospace technology portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). From 2005 to 2008, she served as her parliamentary group’s spokesperson for education and research policy.

Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, 2008–2013[edit]

Aigner was a little-known member of parliament with no previous ministerial experience when she took over as Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture in the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2008,[1] replacing Horst Seehofer.[2]

During her time in office, Aigner steered through a 2011 dioxins scare that saw contaminated eggs and meat from Germany going to six neighbouring countries.[3] In response, she imposed tough new safety standards for animal feed manufacturers, a move widely supported in the market to retain public confidence.[4] She also took a tough line against cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Germany but received praise from commodity traders when she supported imports of GMOs approved in the United States and South America to secure German supplies of soybeans for animal feed.[5] Meanwhile, she repeatedly expressed concern that outside financial investment in agricultural commodity markets distorts prices, instead calling for more transparency in commodity markets and clear visibility of the difference between futures investment by industrial food buyers and financial investors.[6]

In 2009, Aigner caused a controversy when she called for requirements to publish the names and location of recipients of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies to be “suspended” until the implications for data protection have been assessed. In response, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel threatened Germany with legal action.[7][8]

Aigner has been outspoken in her criticisms of Facebook. She feels that Facebook needs to do more with its settings to protect its users' privacy [1]. For years, she has been fighting for higher privacy standards in Facebook and other social networks.[9] In September 2011, she asked all federal ministers in Germany not to use Facebook for public relations and communication.

Amid the German debate on the country’s energy transition to an energy portfolio dominated by renewable energy, Aigner called in later 2012 for the partial nationalization of the country's electricity grid in order to ensure that high-voltage power lines required to transport green energy from offshore windfarms and other sources to the industry-heavy regions of southern Germany are built.[10]

In 2012, Aigner announced she would leave her post to return to local politics in her home state of Bavaria following the 2013 national elections, prompting speculation that she was eyeing the post of Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer.[11]

Deputy Minister-President of Bavaria, 2013–present[edit]

Following her return to Bavaria after the state's 2013 elections, Aigner was named Minister-President Horst Seehofer's deputy as well as Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology.

In the negotiations to form a grand coalition following the 2013 national elections, Aigner led the CDU/CSU delegation in the working group on economic affairs; her co-chair from the SPD was Hubertus Heil.[12]

Other activities[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Horst Seehofer
Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Succeeded by
Hans-Peter Friedrich
as Minister of Food and Agriculture
Succeeded by
Heiko Maas
as Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection
Preceded by
Martin Ziel
Deputy Minister-President of Bavaria
Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Media, Energy and Technology