President of the German Bundesrat

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President of the
Bundesrat of the Federal Republic of Germany
Bundesrat Logo.svg
2017-11-16 Michael Müller (Wiki Loves Parliaments 2017 in Berlin) by Sandro Halank.jpg
Michael Müller

since 1 November 2017
Legislative Branch of the
German Federal Government
Seat Berlin, Germany
Appointer Bundesrat of Germany
Term length One year
Constituting instrument German Basic Law
Inaugural holder Karl Arnold
Formation 1949
Website Official Website
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This article is part of a series on the
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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 acts in place of the President of Germany, if the latter is unable to perform his duties, dies or resigns.

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 72nd and current President of the Bundesrat is Michael Müller, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, whose one-year term started on 1 November 2017.


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 all Länder 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.

If the sitting President of the Bundesrat exits his office as Minister President of his state (for example, if he loses a state election, dies or resigns from his office) the new Minister President of that state is elected President of the Bundesrat, but only for the rest of his 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 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

No. Name
State Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Karl Arnold Briefmarke Detail.jpg Karl Arnold
North Rhine-Westphalia 1949 1950 CDU
2 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F011950-0010, Hans Ehard.jpg Hans Ehard
Bavaria 1950 1951 CSU
3 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F046120-0016, Koblenz, "Rittersturz-Konferenz", Kopf.jpg Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf
Lower Saxony 1951 1952 SPD
4 Reinhold Maier.jpg Reinhold Maier
Baden-Württemberg 1952 1953 FDP
5 Paulskirche-ffm015.jpg Georg August Zinn
Hesse 1953 1954 SPD
6 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F046120-0035, Koblenz, "Rittersturz-Konferenz".jpg Peter Altmeier
Rhineland-Palatinate 1954 1955 CDU
7 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F054635-0032, Ludwigshafen, CDU-Bundesparteitag, von Hassel.jpg Kai-Uwe von Hassel
Schleswig-Holstein 1955 1956 CDU
8 Sieveking Kurt 7. CDU-Bundesparteitag.JPG Kurt Sieveking
Hamburg 1956 1957 CDU
9 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg Willy Brandt
Berlin 1957 1958 SPD
10 Bgm Kaisen k.jpg Wilhelm Kaisen
Bremen 1958 1959 SPD
11 F J Roder.jpg Franz Josef Röder
Saarland 1959 1960 CDU
12 Franz Meyers ex Ludwig Erhard 1965 FdG 1.jpg Franz Meyers
North Rhine-Westphalia 1960 1961 CDU
13 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F011950-0010, Hans Ehard.jpg Hans Ehard
Bavaria 1961 1962 CSU
14 Kurt Georg Kiesinger (Nürburgring, 1969).jpg Kurt Georg Kiesinger
Baden-Württemberg 1962 1963 CDU
15 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F030208-0027, Bonn, Landesvertretung Niedersachsen, Diederichs.jpg Georg Diederichs
Lower Saxony 1963 1964 SPD
16 Paulskirche-ffm015.jpg Georg August Zinn
Hesse 1964 1965 SPD
17 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F046120-0035, Koblenz, "Rittersturz-Konferenz".jpg Peter Altmeier
Rhineland-Palatinate 1965 1966 CDU
18 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F025579-0006, Bonn, Bundesratspräsident cropped.jpg Helmut Lemke
Schleswig-Holstein 1966 1967 CDU
19 Klaus Schütz thumb.jpg Klaus Schütz
Berlin 1967 1968 SPD
20 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F034188-0011, Bonn, Heinemann empfängt Oberbürgermeister.jpg Herbert Weichmann
Hamburg 1968 1969 SPD
21 F J Roder.jpg Franz Josef Röder
Saarland 1969 1970 CDU
22 Bgm Koschnick.jpg Hans Koschnick
Bremen 1970 1971 SPD
23 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F023752-0007 Heinz Kühn cropped.jpg Heinz Kühn
North Rhine-Westphalia 1971 1972 SPD
24 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F014898-0006, Alfons Goppel.jpg Alfons Goppel
Bavaria 1972 1973 CSU
25 Hans Filbinger (Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F054633-0026, Ludwigshafen, CDU-Bundesparteitag cropped).jpg Hans Filbinger
Baden-Württemberg 1973 1974 CDU
26 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F046646-0036, Bonn, Empfang für Bundesratsdirektor Dr. Pfitzer.jpg Alfred Kubel
Lower Saxony 1974 1975 SPD
27 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F046940-0003, Bonn, Bundespräsident mit Bundesratspräsident Osswald.jpg Albert Osswald
Hesse 1975 1976 SPD
28 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F077600-0003, Bernhard Vogel cropped.jpg Bernhard Vogel
(born 1932)
Rhineland-Palatinate 1976 1977 CDU
29 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild F021353-0002, Gerhard Stoltenberg.jpg Gerhard Stoltenberg
Schleswig-Holstein 1977 1978 CDU
30 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F054984-0021, Ronald Reagan, Dietrich Stobbe.jpg Dietrich Stobbe
Berlin 1978 1979 SPD
31 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F055059-0030, Köln, SPD-Parteitag, Klose.jpg Hans-Ulrich Klose
(born 1937)
Hamburg 1979 1980 SPD
32 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F054632-0017, Ludwigshafen, CDU-Bundesparteitag, Zeyer.jpg Werner Zeyer
Saarland 1980 1981 CDU
33 Bgm Koschnick.jpg Hans Koschnick
Bremen 1981 1982 SPD
34 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F073460-0009, Bundespressekonferenz, Bundestagswahlkampf, Rau.jpg Johannes Rau
North Rhine-Westphalia 1982 1983 SPD
35 Franz Josef Strauß 1982.jpg Franz Josef Strauß
Bavaria 1983 1984 CSU
36 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F082413-0001, Bremen, CDU-Bundesparteitag, Späth.jpg Lothar Späth
Baden-Württemberg 1984 1985 CDU
37 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F078542-0022, Wiesbaden, CDU-Bundesparteitag, Albrecht.jpg Ernst Albrecht
Lower Saxony 1985 1986 CDU
38 -Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F055060-0007A, Köln, SPD-Parteitag, Börner-2.jpg Holger Börner
Hesse 1986 1987 SPD
39 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F044088-0023, Bonn, Guillaume Untersuchungsausschuss Bundestag.jpg Walter Wallmann
Hesse 1987 1987 CDU
40 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F077600-0003, Bernhard Vogel cropped.jpg Bernhard Vogel
(born 1932)
Rhineland-Palatinate 1987 1988 CDU
41 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F080691-0010, Björn Engholm.jpg Björn Engholm
(born 1939)
Schleswig-Holstein 1988 1989 SPD
42 MomperBrandenburgerTor Dec 1989.jpg Walter Momper
(born 1945)
Berlin 1989 1990 SPD
43 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F079282-0019, Münster, SPD-Parteitag, Voscherau.jpg Henning Voscherau
Hamburg 1990 1991 SPD
44 Alfred Gomolka.jpg Alfred Gomolka
(born 1942)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 1991 1992 CDU
45 Berndt Seite (2009) by Guenter Prust.jpg Berndt Seite
(born 1940)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 1992 1992 CDU
46 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F079276-0010 Lafontaine (cropped).jpg Oskar Lafontaine
(born 1943)
Saarland 1992 1993 SPD
47 Bgm Wedemeier k.jpg Klaus Wedemeier
(born 1944)
Bremen 1993 1994 SPD
48 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F073460-0009, Bundespressekonferenz, Bundestagswahlkampf, Rau.jpg Johannes Rau
North Rhine-Westphalia 1994 1995 SPD
49 DrEdmundStoiber.jpg Edmund Stoiber
(born 1941)
Bavaria 1995 1996 CSU
50 Erwin Teufel 2011.JPG Erwin Teufel
(born 1939)
Baden-Württemberg 1996 1997 CDU
51 Gerhard Schröder (cropped).jpg Gerhard Schröder
(born 1944)
Lower Saxony 1997 1998 SPD
52 Hans Eichel 01.jpg Hans Eichel
(born 1944)
Hesse 1998 1999 SPD
53 Roland Koch 03.jpg Roland Koch
(born 1958)
Hesse 1999 1999 CDU
54 Biedenkopf Geburtstag - a100129 122935TWK - Portrait.jpg Kurt Biedenkopf
(born 1930)
Saxony 1999 2000 CDU
55 Kurt Beck - Deutschlandfest Bonn 2011-3237.jpg Kurt Beck
(born 1944)
Rhineland-Palatinate 2000 2001 SPD
56 Klaus Wowereit 2012-02-24.jpg Klaus Wowereit
(born 1953)
Berlin 2001 2002 SPD
57 Wolfgang Böhmer.jpg Wolfgang Böhmer
(born 1936)
Saxony-Anhalt 2002 2003 CDU
58 Dieter althaus2008.jpg Dieter Althaus
(born 1958)
Thuringia 2003 2004 CDU
59 Matthias-platzeck-ebw-01.jpg Matthias Platzeck
(born 1953)
Brandenburg 2004 2005 SPD
60 PeterHarryCarstensen (Foto Frank Ossenbrink).jpg Peter Harry Carstensen
(born 1947)
Schleswig-Holstein 2005 2006 CDU
61 Harald Ringstorff Jun07.jpg Harald Ringstorff
(born 1939)
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 2006 2007 SPD
62 Ole von Beust 3289.JPG Ole von Beust
(born 1955)
Hamburg 2007 2008 CDU
63 Peter Mueller 08-2006.jpg Peter Müller
(born 1955)
Saarland 2008 2009 CDU
64 Portrait Buergermeister Boehrnsen.jpg Jens Böhrnsen
(born 1949)
Bremen 2009 2010 SPD
65 Hannelorekraft.jpg Hannelore Kraft
(born 1961)
North Rhine-Westphalia 2010 2011 SPD
66 12-07-17-landtagsprojekt-bayern-RalfR-001.jpg Horst Seehofer
(born 1949)
Bavaria 2011 2012 CSU
67 Im Gespräch Sylvia Löhrmann und Winfried Kretschmann (2).jpg Winfried Kretschmann
(born 1948)
Baden-Württemberg 2012 2013 Alliance '90/The Greens
68 Weil, Stephan.jpg Stephan Weil
(born 1958)
Lower Saxony 2013 2014 SPD
69 MJK00898 Volker Bouffier.jpg Volker Bouffier
(born 1951)
Hesse 2014 2015 CDU
70 2017-03-18 Stanislaw Tillich by Sandro Halank–1.jpg Stanislaw Tillich
(born 1959)
Saxony 2015 2016 CDU
71 WLP RLP 9648 Malu Dreyer.jpg Malu Dreyer
(born 1961)
Rhineland-Palatinate 2016 2017 SPD
72 16-09-02-Wahlkampfabschluß in Warnemünde-RR2 4727.jpg Michael Müller
(born 1964)
Berlin 2017 31 October 2018 SPD

See also[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.

External links[edit]