Jo Leinen

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Jo Leinen (2014)

Jo Leinen (born April 6, 1948 in Bisten) is a Member of the European Parliament representing Germany. He was elected on the SPD ticket and acts as a representative within the Party of European Socialists group. He is well known for his support for a Federal Europe.

He obtained a law degree in Germany in 1972 and a Certificate of Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, in 1974. Since 1977 he has worked as a lawyer.

Extraparliamentary tasks[edit]

Leinen became publicly known as a spokesman of the Anti-nuclear movement Anti-AKW- and the Peace movement (1980), he was also active for the Bundesverband Bürgerinitiativen Umweltschutz (BBU). He received the nickname "container-Jo" during a demonstration, having climbed a container in order to coordinate protest actions by megaphone.[1] Because of his participation at a demonstration against the Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plant Kernkraftwerk Brokdorf (1981), he was briefly charged with being "guide and headman" of a rioting 'mob', however the Federal Constitutional Court eventually dropped charges against him, ruling that there can not be a case of "guide and headman" during collective actions. (One of his defenders at the time was Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of the BRD.) [2]


Jo Leinen is a member of the SPD and had different functions:

  • 1977–1979: Europe-Secretary of the youth of the SPD
  • 1981–1985: member of the committee of environment of the SPD
  • 1985–1999: member of the state-directorate of the SPD Saar
  • 1996 until today: member of the Europe-Commission of the SPD


He was Minister of the Environment in the State of Saarland (1985–1994) then a Member of the Landtag of Saarland until 1999. He has been President of the Union of European Federalists since 1997. Since 2004 he is member of the Advisory Council of the Committee for a Democratic UN.

1999 Leinen was also member of the municipal council of Püttlingen/Saar.

European Parliament[edit]

Leinen has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999.[3]

In the 2004-2009 parliamentary session he was a member of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs its chair from July 23, 2004.

He is currently chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and a substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (EU). Leinen is member of the delegation for relations with India.

He was member in the Committee of the Regions from 1995 to 1999 and in the Congress of the Regions and Communes of the Council of Europe. Currently, he is member of different organisations of culture, social and sport; and also vice-president of EUROSOLAR e.V and member of the Parliamentarian Working Group of the Advisory Board of "A Soul for Europe".

Commitment to European ideal[edit]

Jo Leinen was chairman of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) (JEF) (1977–1979) and vice-president of the European Environment Bureau (EEB) in Brussels (1979–1984). He was President of the UEF (1977–2005). He served as vice-president of the European Movement International from 2005 to 2011 until in November 2011 he was elected president of the organisation.



  • 1985: award from the environment foundation


  • Öffentlichkeit in Europa: Europäische Öffentlichkeit als neuer Antrieb für europäische Politik, in: Claudio Franzius/ Ulrich K. Preuss (Hrsg.), Europäische Öffentlichkeit, Baden-Baden 2004, S.31–37.
  • zusammen mit Justus Schönau: Auf dem Weg zur europäischen Demokratie. Politische Parteien auf EU-Ebene: neue Entwicklungen, in: Integration, 3/2003, S. 218–227.

External links[edit]


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