President of the German Bundesrat

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President of the
Bundesrat of the Federal Republic of Germany
Bundesrat Logo.svg
Daniel Günther (2017).jpg
Incumbent
Daniel Günther

since 1 November 2018
Legislative Branch of the
German Federal Government
SeatBerlin, Germany
AppointerBundesrat of Germany
Term lengthOne year
Constituting instrumentGerman Basic Law
Inaugural holderKarl Arnold
Formation1949
WebsiteOfficial Website
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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Germany
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In Germany, the President of the Bundesrat or President of the Federal Council (German: Bundesratspräsident) is the chairperson or speaker of the Bundesrat (Federal Council). He or she is elected by the Bundesrat for a term of one year (usually from November 1 to October 31 in the next year). Traditionally, the Presidency of the Bundesrat rotates among the leaders of the sixteen state governments (most of them hold the title Minister President, the head of government of Berlin holds the title Governing Mayor, the head of government of Hamburg holds the title First Mayor and the head of government of Bremen holds the title President of the Senate and Mayor). This is however only an established praxis, theoretically the Bundesrat is free to elect any member it chooses, and a President could also be re-elected. As well as acting as a chairperson the President of the Bundesrat is ex officio deputy of the President of Germany.

The President of the Bundesrat convenes and chairs plenary sessions of the body and is formally responsible for representing the Federal Republic in the Bundesrat. He or she is aided by two vice-presidents who play an advisory role and deputise in the president's absence. The three together constitute the Präsidium of the Bundesrat.

The 73rd and current President of the Bundesrat is Daniel Günther, the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, whose one-year term started on 1 November 2018.

Election[edit]

The President of the Bundesrat usually is elected in October of a given year, and serves from November 1 until the 31 October in the year that follows. The Basic Law merely provides, in Article 52.1, that "the Bundesrat elects its President for one year". However, in practice the position rotates among the states equally, in accordance with a predetermined order. The order in which the position rotates from one Land to another is altered periodically and is determined by population, the presidency descending in order from the most populous states to the least. This rotation is a constitutional convention known as the “Königstein agreement” (Königsteiner Vereinbarung), having been formulated at a 1950 seating in Königstein im Taunus, Hessen.

The Königsstein agreement also states that, if the sitting President of the Bundesrat exits his office as Minister President of his or her state (for example, if they loses a state election, dies or resigns from his office) the new Minister President of that state is elected President of the Bundesrat subsequently, but only to complete his or her predecessors term; the last time this occurred was in April 1999, when Hans Eichel, President of the Bundesrat and Minister President of Hesse, had lost the 1999 Hesse state election and his successor Roland Koch served the end of his term until October 1999. The current order of rotation of the presidency of the Bundesrat - related to the number of inhabitants, from highest to lowest - is as follows:

  1. North Rhine-Westphalia
  2. Bavaria
  3. Baden-Württemberg
  4. Lower Saxony
  5. Hesse
  6. Saxony
  7. Rhineland-Palatinate
  8. Berlin
  9. Schleswig-Holstein
  10. Brandenburg
  11. Saxony-Anhalt
  12. Thuringia
  13. Hamburg
  14. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
  15. Saarland
  16. Bremen

Deputy to the Federal President[edit]

Article 57 of the Basic Law provides that:

If the Federal President is unable to perform his duties, or if his office falls prematurely vacant, the President of the Bundesrat shall exercise his powers.

If the office of the Federal President falls vacant, the President of the Bundesrat fills in as acting head of state. If the president resigns, dies, or is removed from office, a successor is elected within thirty days.

Three Presidents of the Bundesrat have served as acting head of state:

  1. Karl Arnold (from 7 September 1949 to 12 September 1949 after he was elected as President of the Bundesrat and before Theodor Heuss was elected as the first President of Germany. With a tenure of only six days he is yet the shortest serving head of state in German history)
  2. Jens Böhrnsen (from 31 May 2010 to 30 June 2010 after the resignation of Horst Köhler and before the election of Christian Wulff)
  3. Horst Seehofer (from 17 February 2012 to 18 March 2012 after the resignation of Christian Wulff and before the election of Joachim Gauck)

If the Federal President is abroad on a state visit the President of the Bundesrat does not assume all of the Federal President's responsibilities but may "deputise" for him or her, performing on the Federal President's behalf merely those tasks that require his or her physical presence, such as the signing of documents.

List of presidents[edit]

Political Party

  CDU   SPD   CSU   FDP   Green

President of the Bundesrat Took office Left office Time in office Party State
1
Karl Arnold
Arnold, KarlKarl Arnold
(1901–1958)
7 September 19498 September 19501 year, 1 dayCDUNorth Rhine-Westphalia
2
Hans Ehard
Ehard, HansHans Ehard
(1887–1980)
8 September 19507 September 1951364 daysCSUBavaria
3
Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf
Kopf, HinrichHinrich Wilhelm Kopf
(1893–1961)
7 September 19516 September 1952365 daysSPDLower Saxony
4
Reinhold Maier
Maier, ReinholdReinhold Maier
(1889–1971)
7 September 19526 September 1953364 daysFDPBaden-Württemberg
5
Georg August Zinn
Zinn, GeorgGeorg August Zinn
(1901–1976)
7 September 19536 September 1954364 daysSPDHesse
6
Peter Altmeier
Altmeier, PeterPeter Altmeier
(1899–1977)
7 September 19546 September 1955364 daysCDURhineland-Palatinate
7
Kai-Uwe von Hassel
Hassel, KaiKai-Uwe von Hassel
(1913–1997)
7 September 19556 September 1956365 daysCDUSchleswig-Holstein
8
Kurt Sieveking
Sieveking, KurtKurt Sieveking
(1897–1986)
7 September 195631 October 19571 year, 54 daysCDUHamburg
9
Willy Brandt
Brandt, WillyWilly Brandt
(1913–1992)
[a]
1 November 195731 October 1958364 daysSPDBerlin
10
Wilhelm Kaisen
Kaisen, WilhelmWilhelm Kaisen
(1887–1979)
1 November 195831 October 1959364 daysSPDBremen
11
Franz Josef Röder
Röder, FranzFranz Josef Röder
(1909–1979)
1 November 195931 October 1960365 daysCDUSaarland
12
Franz Meyers
Meyers, FranzFranz Meyers
(1908–2002)
1 November 196031 October 1961365 daysCDUNorth Rhine-Westphalia
13
Hans Ehard
Ehard, HansHans Ehard
(1887–1980)
1 November 196131 October 1962364 daysCSUBavaria
14
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Kiesinger, KurtKurt Georg Kiesinger
(1904–1988)
1 November 196231 October 1963364 daysCDUBaden-Württemberg
15
Georg Diederichs
Diederichs, GeorgGeorg Diederichs
(1900–1983)
1 November 196331 October 1964364 daysSPDLower Saxony
16
Georg August Zinn
Zinn, GeorgGeorg August Zinn
(1901–1976)
1 November 196431 October 1965364 daysSPDHesse
17
Peter Altmeier
Altmeier, PeterPeter Altmeier
(1899–1977)
1 November 196531 October 1966364 daysCDURhineland-Palatinate
18
Helmut Lemke
Lemke, HelmutHelmut Lemke
(1907–1990)
1 November 196631 October 1967364 daysCDUSchleswig-Holstein
19
Klaus Schütz
Schütz, KlausKlaus Schütz
(1926–2012)
1 November 196731 October 1968365 daysSPDBerlin
20
Herbert Weichmann
Weichmann, HerbertHerbert Weichmann
(1896–1983)
1 November 196831 October 1969364 daysSPDHamburg
21
Franz Josef Röder
Röder, FranzFranz Josef Röder
(1909–1979)
1 November 196931 October 1970364 daysCDUSaarland
22
Hans Koschnick
Koschnick, HansHans Koschnick
(1929–2016)
1 November 197031 October 1971364 daysSPDBremen
23
Heinz Kühn
Kühn, HeinzHeinz Kühn
(1912–1992)
1 November 197131 October 1972365 daysSPDNorth Rhine-Westphalia
24
Alfons Goppel
Goppel, AlfonsAlfons Goppel
(1905–1991)
1 November 197231 October 1973364 daysCSUBavaria
25
Hans Filbinger
Filbinger, HansHans Filbinger
(1913–2007)
1 November 197331 October 1974364 daysCDUBavaria
26
Alfred Kubel
Kubel, AlfredAlfred Kubel
(1909–1999)
1 November 197431 October 1975364 daysSPDLower Saxony
27
Albert Osswald
Osswald, AlbertAlbert Osswald
(1919–1996)
1 November 197520 October 1976354 daysSPDHesse
28
Bernhard Vogel
Vogel, BernhardBernhard Vogel
(born 1932)
3 December 197631 October 1977321 daysCDURhineland-Palatinate
29
Gerhard Stoltenberg
Stoltenberg, GerhardGerhard Stoltenberg
(1928–2001)
1 November 197731 October 1978364 daysCDUSchleswig-Holstein
30
Dietrich Stobbe
Stobbe, DietrichDietrich Stobbe
(1938–2001)
1 November 197831 October 1979364 daysSPDBerlin
31
Hans-Ulrich Klose
Klose, HansHans-Ulrich Klose
(born 1937)
1 November 197931 October 1980365 daysSPDHamburg
32
Werner Zeyer [de]
Zeyer, WernerWerner Zeyer [de]
(1929–2000)
1 November 198031 October 1981364 daysCDUSaarland
33
Hans Koschnick
Koschnick, HansHans Koschnick
(1929–2016)
1 November 198131 October 1982364 daysSPDBremen
34
Johannes Rau
Rau, JohannesJohannes Rau
(1931–2006)
1 November 198231 October 1983364 daysSPDNorth Rhine-Westphalia
35
Franz Josef Strauß
Strauß, FranzFranz Josef Strauß
(1915–1988)
1 November 198331 October 1984365 daysCSUBavaria
36
Lothar Späth
Späth, LotharLothar Späth
(1937–2016)
1 November 198431 October 1985364 daysCDUBaden-Württemberg
37
Ernst Albrecht
Albrecht, ErnstErnst Albrecht
(1930–2014)
1 November 198531 October 1986364 daysCDULower Saxony
38
Holger Börner
Börner, HolgerHolger Börner
(1931–2006)
1 November 198624 April 1987174 daysSPDHesse
39
Walter Wallmann
Wallmann, WalterWalter Wallmann
(1930–2013)
15 May 198731 October 1987169 daysCDUHesse
40
Bernhard Vogel
Vogel, BernhardBernhard Vogel
(born 1932)
1 November 198731 October 1988365 daysCDURhineland-Palatinate
41
Björn Engholm
Engholm, BjörnBjörn Engholm
(born 1939)
1 November 198831 October 1989364 daysSPDSchleswig-Holstein
42
Walter Momper
Momper, WalterWalter Momper
(born 1945)
1 November 198931 October 1990364 daysSPDBerlin
43
Henning Voscherau
Voscherau, HenningHenning Voscherau
(1941–2016)
1 November 199031 October 1991364 daysSPDHamburg
44
Alfred Gomolka
Gomolka, AlfredAlfred Gomolka
(born 1942)
1 November 199119 March 1992139 daysCDUMecklenburg-Vorpommern
45
Berndt Seite
Seite, BerndtBerndt Seite
(born 1940)
15 May 199231 October 1992169 daysCDUMecklenburg-Vorpommern
46
Oskar Lafontaine
Lafontaine, OskarOskar Lafontaine
(born 1943)
1 November 199231 October 1993364 daysSPDSaarland
47
Klaus Wedemeier
Wedemeier, KlausKlaus Wedemeier
(born 1944)
1 November 199331 October 1994364 daysSPDBremen
48
Johannes Rau
Rau, JohannesJohannes Rau
(1931–2006)
1 November 199431 October 1995364 daysSPDNorth Rhine-Westphalia
49
Edmund Stoiber
Stoiber, EdmundEdmund Stoiber
(born 1941)
1 November 199531 October 1996365 daysCSUBavaria
50
Erwin Teufel
Teufel, ErwinErwin Teufel
(born 1939)
1 November 199631 October 1997364 daysCDUBaden-Württemberg
51
Gerhard Schröder
Schröder, GerhardGerhard Schröder
(born 1944)
1 November 199727 October 1998360 daysSPDLower Saxony
52
Hans Eichel
Eichel, HansHans Eichel
(born 1944)
1 November 19987 April 1999157 daysSPDHesse
53
Roland Koch
Koch, RolandRoland Koch
(born 1958)
30 April 199931 October 1999184 daysCDUHesse
54
Kurt Biedenkopf
Biedenkopf, KurtKurt Biedenkopf
(born 1930)
1 November 199931 October 2000365 daysCDUSaxony
55
Kurt Beck
Beck, KurtKurt Beck
(born 1944)
1 November 200031 October 2001364 daysSPDRhineland-Palatinate
56
Klaus Wowereit
Wowereit, KlausKlaus Wowereit
(born 1953)
1 November 200131 October 2002364 daysSPDBerlin
57
Wolfgang Böhmer
Böhmer, WolfgangWolfgang Böhmer
(born 1936)
1 November 200231 October 2003364 daysCDUSaxony-Anhalt
58
Dieter Althaus
Althaus, DieterDieter Althaus
(born 1958)
1 November 200331 October 2004365 daysCDUThuringia
59
Matthias Platzeck
Platzeck, MatthiasMatthias Platzeck
(born 1953)
1 November 200431 October 2005364 daysSPDBrandenburg
60
Peter Harry Carstensen
Carstensen, PeterPeter Harry Carstensen
(born 1947)
1 November 200531 October 2006364 daysCDUSchleswig-Holstein
61
Harald Ringstorff
Ringstorff, HaraldHarald Ringstorff
(born 1939)
1 November 200631 October 2007364 daysSPDMecklenburg-Vorpommern
62
Ole von Beust
Beust, OleOle von Beust
(born 1955)
1 November 200731 October 2008365 daysCDUHamburg
63
Peter Müller
Müller, PeterPeter Müller
(born 1955)
1 November 200831 October 2009364 daysCDUSaarland
64
Jens Böhrnsen
Böhrnsen, JensJens Böhrnsen
(born 1949)
1 November 200931 October 2010364 daysSPDBremen
65
Hannelore Kraft
Kraft, HanneloreHannelore Kraft
(born 1961)
1 November 201031 October 2011364 daysSPDNorth Rhine-Westphalia
66
Horst Seehofer
Seehofer, HorstHorst Seehofer
(born 1949)
1 November 201131 October 2012365 daysCSUBavaria
67
Winfried Kretschmann
Kretschmann, WinfriedWinfried Kretschmann
(born 1948)
1 November 201231 October 2013364 daysGreenBaden-Württemberg
68
Stephan Weil
Weil, StephanStephan Weil
(born 1958)
1 November 201331 October 2014364 daysSPDLower Saxony
69
Volker Bouffier
Bouffier, VolkerVolker Bouffier
(born 1951)
1 November 201431 October 2015364 daysCDUHesse
70
Stanislaw Tillich
Tillich, StanislawStanislaw Tillich
(born 1959)
1 November 201531 October 2016365 daysCDUSaxony
71
Malu Dreyer
Dreyer, MaluMalu Dreyer
(born 1961)
1 November 201631 October 2017364 daysSPDRhineland-Palatinate
72
Michael Müller
Müller, MichaelMichael Müller
(born 1964)
1 November 201731 October 2018364 daysSPDBerlin
73
Daniel Günther
Günther, DanielDaniel Günther
(born 1973)
1 November 2018Incumbent199 daysCDUSchleswig-Holstein

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Otto Suhr of the SPD in Berlin was elected President of the Bundesrat in July 1957 but died in August, before his term of office began.

References[edit]


External links[edit]