Volker Kauder

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Volker Kauder
Kauder, Volker-8810.jpg
Chairman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group
Incumbent
Assumed office
2005
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Angela Merkel
Member of the Bundestag
Incumbent
Assumed office
1990
Personal details
Born (1949-09-03) September 3, 1949 (age 65)
Hoffenheim, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
(now Germany)
Citizenship German
Nationality  Germany
Political party CDU
Spouse(s) Elisabeth Biechele
Alma mater University of Freiburg
Occupation Politician

Volker Kauder (born 3 September 1949 in Hoffenheim) is a German CDU politician. Since 2005 he has been the parliamentary group leader of the ruling CDU and Christian Social Union in Bavaria in the German Bundestag (lower house). [1] Kauder is frequently referred to as the "right hand" of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and is one of the most prominent politicians of his party and one with the most influence.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

Kauder, a student of the Hegau-Gymnasium in Singen, became a member of Junge Union in the age of 17. In 1991, he became Secretary General of Baden-Würtemberg CDU until the resignation of party chairman Erwin Teufel in 2005.

A trained lawyer, Kauder has been a member of the German Bundestag since 1990, representing the town of Rottweil in southwestern Germany.[4] He became Secretary General of the CDU in early 2005, after his predecessor Laurenz Meyer was forced to quit over payments he had received from his past employment with RWE, the power company.[5] During the 2005 federal elections, he served as the confidante and campaign coordinator of Angela Merkel while spearheading CDU proposals to increase VAT by 2 per cent to fund non-wage labour cost-cutting.[6]

Following his party’s victory in the elections, Kauder was elected chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag. He has since led the group with changing co-chairs from the CSU, Peter Ramsauer (2005-09), Hans-Peter Friedrich (2009-11), and Gerda Hasselfeldt (since 2011). Since 2005, he has served on the Committee on the Election of Judges (Wahlausschuss), which is in charge of appointing judges to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2013 federal elections, Kauder was part of the 15-member leadership circle chaired by Angela Merkel, Horst Seehofer and Sigmar Gabriel.

Political positions[edit]

On foreign policy[edit]

Volker Kauder in the German Bundestag, 2014

In 2014, Kauder stated that the United States – through their military engagement in Iraq – “acquired a special responsibility for the country" and that "[i]t's the Americans' task to deal with security in Iraq."[7]

On LGBT issues[edit]

In an interview with the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau in December 2010, Kauder argued against the right of adoption for homosexual couples, his reasoning being that he doesn't "believe that children would like to get raised in a homosexual partnership".[8] His position regarding this topic was explained by several German media outlets with his closeness to the evangelical organisation Deutsche Evangelische Allianz.[9]

After the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany in May 2013[10] regarding tax benefits for married couples, Kauder expressed that with his party, there will not be any equality of traditionally married couples and homosexual partnerships.[11]

On equal rights and non-discrimination[edit]

Kauder raised eyebrows in January 2005 when he compared draft anti-discrimination legislation to Nazi and Communist laws, arguing that the legislation would require people to hold the same political attitudes.[12] In September 2013, Claudia Roth of the Green Party criticized Kauder for his voting against the criminal liability of rape within a marriage in 1997.[13]

On corruption[edit]

Kauder has voted no on legislative proposals against parliamentary corruption; he did so again in spring 2013.[14]

On weapons exports[edit]

In August 2014, Kauder called for the EU to adopt common arms export regulations, saying there would be an increasing number of European defense companies in future, "especially German-French ones."[15]

On religion[edit]

Kauder is strictly against recognizing Islam as an equal religion within Germany. In an interview with news magazine Der Spiegel, he replied to the question if Islam is a part of Germany with: "No, Muslims are a part of Germany, Islam is not."[16]

In response to increasing numbers of people leaving organized religion, Kauder also criticized the churches in Germany for not proselytizing enough.[17] In 2011, he condemned Turkey’s record on religious freedom and suggested that EU accession talks with Turkey should be suspended until the country supports the rights of Christians to ordain priests.[18]

On a financial transaction tax[edit]

Kauder’s criticism of British opposition to the introduction of a financial transaction tax, to curb speculative trading in financial markets, was seized upon by British media in 2011 as an indication of a dire confrontation between the two governments of Germany and the United Kingdom.[19]

On the NSA surveillance controversy[edit]

Reacting to revelations about NSA surveillance activities in Germany in 2013, Kauder blamed the United States fora "grave breach of trust" and demanded it should drop its "global power demeanor."[20] However, he did not want a publicly accessible investigation into the claims of US surveillance of chancellor Merkel's mobile phone, insisting that only a secretly operating committee can effectively handle the issue.[21]

Other activities[edit]

Recognition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://volker-kauder.de/zur-person/kurz-vita/index.html
  2. ^ Merkels rechte Hand Merkels right hand, article in focus online of 22. of December 2004.
  3. ^ Portrait on n-tv
  4. ^ Patrick Donahue and Arne Delfs (August 13, 2013), Merkel Ally Kauder Says Germany Unable to Stop U.K. Exit From EU Bloomberg.
  5. ^ Suneal Housely (August 19, 2005), German election - the key players Financial Times.
  6. ^ Suneal Housely (August 19, 2005), German election - the key players Financial Times.
  7. ^ John Vinocur (June 23, 2014), The West at its Worst: America is weak, Europe is afraid, and the brutal men in Iraq and Iran all know it. Wall Street Journal.
  8. ^ „Kinder wollen keine homosexuellen Eltern““ in Frankfurter Rundschau online, 19. December 2010, last accessed on 21. Dezember 2010
  9. ^ Laizismus in Deutschland Die religiöse Zumutung, taz.de, 21. December 2010
  10. ^ http://www.bverfg.de/entscheidungen/rs20130507_2bvr090906.html
  11. ^ http://mobil.stern.de/politik/deutschland/nach-bvg-urteil-union-will-steuerliche-gleichbehandlung-fuer-homo-paare-2021874.html
  12. ^ Suneal Housely (August 19, 2005), German election - the key players Financial Times.
  13. ^ FAZ: Roth wirft Union Scheinheiligkeit vor, from 17. September 2013
  14. ^ Gesetz gegen Abgeordneten-Korruption: Ausgebremst vom eigenen Bruder, by Robert Roßmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 8. April 2013
  15. ^ Michelle Martin (August 17, 2014), Senior Merkel ally calls for common European arms export rules Reuters.
  16. ^ "SPIEGEL-GESPRÄCH-Das schmerzt", Der Spiegel, 7 July (19) 
  17. ^ Sinkende Mitgliederzahlen Kauder liest Kirchen die Leviten, sueddeutsche.de, 24. August 2011
  18. ^ Judy Dempsey (February 28, 2011), German Politicians Assail Turkish Leader Over Cultural Remarks International Herald Tribune.
  19. ^ Quentin Peel (November 18, 2011), Cameron and Merkel bury differences Financial Times.
  20. ^ Annika Breidthardt (October 27, 2013), German paper says Obama aware of spying on Merkel since 2010 Reuters.
  21. ^ http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/union-lehnt-untersuchungsausschuss-zu-nsa-spaehskandal-ab-a-930127.html

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Laurenz Meyer
Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany
2005
Succeeded by
Ronald Pofalla
Preceded by
Angela Merkel
Chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group
2005–present
Incumbent