Prof. dr. Kurt Biedenkopf

Achtergrond - 9 april 2009

Kurt Biedenkopf. Picture: WikipediaProf. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf has been chairman of the board of regulations since 2003 of the Hertie School of Governance; the first Professional School for Public Policy in Berlin. Next to that he is the founder and chief executive of the Dresden International University.

In 1973 he made his debut on the national political stage as secretary-general of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the highest party function in Germany after chairman of the party. At that time, Biedenkopf was part of the party loyals towards CDU leader Helmut Kohl who appointed Biedenkopf to his function. After differences of opinion, Biedenkopf resigned in 1977.

His resignation also meant a retreat from national politics. Instead, Biedenkopf became a member of the state parliament of North Rhine Westphalia. After losing the state elections, Biedenkopf became the CDU’s state party chairman in 1986. After a year of internal party power play he resigned from this function and in 1988 he put down his state parliament mandate. The fall of the Berlin Wall provided Biedenkopf with the opportunity for a political comeback. He became the CDU’s first candidate on the list for the state parliament elections in Saxony, East Germany. From November 1999 until October 2000, Biedenkopf was prime-minister of the German Senate, the Bundesrat. By many, Biedenkopf was seen as the ultimate representative of East German interests.

On April 18, 2002, Biedenkopf resigned.

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