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, Württemberg-Baden, 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]

Volker Kauder in the German Bundestag, 2014

Social policy[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."[7]

In response to increasing numbers of people leaving organized religion, Kauder also criticized the churches in Germany for not proselytizing enough.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

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."[12] His position regarding this topic was explained by several German media outlets with his closeness to the evangelical organisation Deutsche Evangelische Allianz.[13]

When the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled the unequal treatment of registered civil partnerships and married couples regarding income splitting for spouses unconstitutional in May 2013,[14] Kauder expressed that with his party, there will not be any equality of traditionally married couples and homosexual partnerships.[15]

European integration[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.[16]

In 2012, Kauder criticized the European Central Bank's measures to buy the debt of troubled eurozone states that request a European bailout and fulfill strict domestic policy conditions, arguing that "the ECB has reached the border of what is permitted, also because it is moving into the area of state financing."[17]

In discussions on whether there would be a renegotiation of France's 2015 deadline for bringing its deficit in line with the EU Stability and Growth Pact’s limit of 3 percent, Kauder said in a parliamentary debate that it was "high time that everyone understood that we must uphold the rules that we have adopted as law".[18]

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 the future, "especially German-French ones."[19]

Transatlantic relations[edit]

Reacting to revelations about NSA surveillance activities in Germany in 2013, Kauder blamed the United States for a "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]

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."[22]

Corruption[edit]

Kauder has voted no on legislative proposals against parliamentary corruption; he did so again in spring 2013.[23]

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. ^ "SPIEGEL-GESPRÄCH-Das schmerzt", Der Spiegel, 30 July (19) 
  8. ^ Sinkende Mitgliederzahlen Kauder liest Kirchen die Leviten, sueddeutsche.de, 24. August 2011
  9. ^ Judy Dempsey (February 28, 2011), German Politicians Assail Turkish Leader Over Cultural Remarks International Herald Tribune.
  10. ^ Suneal Housely (August 19, 2005), German election - the key players Financial Times.
  11. ^ FAZ: Roth wirft Union Scheinheiligkeit vor, from 17. September 2013
  12. ^ „Kinder wollen keine homosexuellen Eltern““ in Frankfurter Rundschau online, 19. December 2010, last accessed on 21. Dezember 2010
  13. ^ Laizismus in Deutschland Die religiöse Zumutung, taz.de, 21. December 2010
  14. ^ http://www.bverfg.de/entscheidungen/rs20130507_2bvr090906.html
  15. ^ http://mobil.stern.de/politik/deutschland/nach-bvg-urteil-union-will-steuerliche-gleichbehandlung-fuer-homo-paare-2021874.html
  16. ^ Quentin Peel (November 18, 2011), Cameron and Merkel bury differences Financial Times.
  17. ^ Gareth Jones (September 10, 2012), ECB plan puts independence in question: senior Merkel MP Reuters.
  18. ^ Stephen Brown (April 9, 2014), Merkel ally warns against 'wrong signal' to France on deficit Reuters.
  19. ^ Michelle Martin (August 17, 2014), Senior Merkel ally calls for common European arms export rules Reuters.
  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
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Gesetz gegen Abgeordneten-Korruption: Ausgebremst vom eigenen Bruder, by Robert Roßmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 8. April 2013

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