Brigitte Zypries

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Brigitte Zypries (2014)

Brigitte Zypries (born November 16, 1953 in Kassel ) is a German politician ( SPD ). Most recently she was Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in the Merkel III cabinet from 2017 to 2018 .

From 2013 to 2017 she was Parliamentary State Secretary with responsibility for IT , aerospace under her predecessor Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) and from January 2014 coordinator of the federal government for aerospace. From 2002 to 2009 she was Federal Minister of Justice in the Schröder II and Merkel I cabinets . She left the German Bundestag after the 2017 general election.


Zypries' father owned a drugstore in Kassel and later several photo shops with a total of 50 employees. Brigitte Zypries attended the Elisabeth Knipping School in Kassel and graduated from high school , then studied law at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen from 1972 and finished her studies in 1978 with the first state examination in law . During her studies she was a member of the Juso university group and worked for them as a consultant in the AStA ; Zypries also got to know her future cabinet colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the University of Giessen . In 1980 the second state examination followed . During her studies, she and Frank-Walter Steinmeier were part of the editorial team of the left-wing quarterly magazine Democracy and Law (DuR) of the DKP- affiliated Pahl-Rugenstein Verlag .

From 1980 to 1984 she was a research assistant at the University of Giessen and then worked until 1988 as a consultant in the Hessian State Chancellery under Prime Minister Holger Börner . In 1988 she was seconded to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe as a research assistant in the First Senate . In 1991 Zypries moved to the Lower Saxony State Chancellery as Head of the Constitutional Law Division; she was promoted to head of department there in 1997.

Brigitte Zypries has been the editor and columnist of the DUB-Unternehmer-Magazin since 2019 . She has also been the ombudswoman of the Federal Association of German Debt Collection Companies (BDIU) since 2019 . She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the German National Foundation .

Brigitte Zypries is single and childless.


In 1991 Brigitte Zypries joined the SPD. On June 23, 2012 she was elected chairwoman of the SPD sub-district of Darmstadt. She was re-elected on June 28, 2014.

Public offices

From 1997 to 1998 she was State Secretary in the Ministry for Women, Labor and Social Affairs in Lower Saxony.

After the change of government in 1998, she became State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior . During this time she was mainly u. a. deals with collective bargaining in the public service, with the preparation of civil service laws, assistance in the countries of origin for Russian-Germans and competitive sport in Germany. From September 1999 Zypries was chairman of the State Secretaries' Committee to control the federal government's program “Modern State - Modern Administration”. In the summer of 2002, she denied having voted for Indymedia in the course of the controversy surrounding the awarding of the Poldi Award to the Internet network Indymedia , which several offices for the protection of the constitution had classified as left-wing extremist , and of which she was a jury member.

After the federal election in 2002 she became Federal Minister of Justice on October 22, 2002 in the federal government led by Gerhard Schröder . In this office she was also a member of the federal government of a grand coalition led by Angela Merkel from November 22, 2005 to October 27, 2009 . From December 17, 2013 to January 26, 2017, she was Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy . She was responsible for IT, aerospace. From January 27, 2017 to March 14, 2018, she was Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy in the Merkel III cabinet after Sigmar Gabriel moved to the Foreign Ministry .

Member of Parliament

Brigitte Zypries was a member of the German Bundestag from 2005 to 2017 . She had entered the Bundestag as a directly elected member of constituency 186 (Darmstadt) . In the 2005 Bundestag election she received 44.8 percent of the first votes . In the 2009 Bundestag election she was able to defend her direct mandate with just under 35.0 percent. In the federal election on September 22, 2013, with 37.3 percent of the first votes, she achieved a slightly better result than the challengers and thus again the direct mandate. From 2009 to 2013 she served as legal advisor for the SPD parliamentary group. In the 17th German Bundestag, Zypries was one of twelve members of the electoral committee , which at that time directly appointed half of the judges of the Federal Constitutional Court . At the beginning of June 2016, she announced in a letter to her party friends that she would no longer run for the 2017 federal election.

Political positions

Family law

In 2007, the Federal Constitutional Court confirmed Zypries' position that clandestine paternity tests represent a serious violation of the data subject's right to informational self-determination . Zypries therefore presented the Act to Clarify Paternity Independent of the Appeal Procedure , which came into force on April 1, 2008. It enables a legal clarification of paternity without (possible) fathers having to renounce their (possible) child by contesting paternity.

In an article for the magazine for legal policy , she presented a draft law from her ministry, according to which the immigration authorities should be able to take action against the recognition of paternity of a German if he recognizes the child of an unmarried foreigner. Zypries justified the draft law by stating that such recognitions should often only serve to obtain a residence permit for a foreign mother who is obliged to leave the country .

At the end of 2007, Zypries submitted the draft law for amending the law on maintenance , which came into force on January 1, 2008 and which reorganized the primacy of the child's best interests and post-marital responsibility. She commented on the changes brought about by the law with the following statement, among other things: "Once a dentist's wife always a dentist's wife, that no longer applies." According to a survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation , the reform is largely assessed positively.

Criminal law

" Stalking ", the repeated pursuit and harassment of a person, was introduced into the Criminal Code as a criminal offense of " stalking " (Section 238 StGB) during Zypries' tenure and came into force on March 31, 2007.

The attempt to establish a notification requirement for child abuse in accordance with Section 138 of the Criminal Code (StGB) failed in 2003 due to resistance from the child protection centers and from Bündnis90 / Die Grünen .

Copyright and patent law

In 2008 Zypries enforced a legal limit on legal fees in the event of a warning due to minor copyright infringements on the Internet. Previously, cases made headlines where teenagers who posted copyrighted photos on their websites received four-digit legal warnings and legal bills. Since 2008, these warning costs have been limited to a maximum of one hundred euros.

In the European Union , Brigitte Zypries advocated the controversial proposal of the EU Council on the now failed directive for computer-implemented inventions . Critics accused the minister of openly opposing a unanimous decision by the Bundestag, which called on the federal government to support the line of the EU Parliament .


Zypries is particularly committed to combating discrimination against gays and lesbians and advocates further legal equality of same-sex partnerships and marriages. She supports an initiative of the LSVD known as article three , which is committed to an amendment to the third article of the Basic Law. The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) will be passed during her term of office .

Electronic administration

The minister managed to activate access to all current federal law on the Internet and, with the Justice Communication Act, ensured a further expansion of electronic legal transactions ( e-justice ), which, however, is not yet used across the board in all courts.

German law international

In 2008 Zypries signed an “Alliance for German Law” with the major judicial organizations. Its aim is to promote the rule of law and German legal ideas internationally.

Patient rights

During her tenure the legal institution which was first in Germany living wills regulated by the Civil Code. An advance directive is a written advance directive from a person in the event that they can no longer (effectively) declare their will. The so-called living will law more legal certainty with regard to the refusal of life-prolonging or -erhaltender measures in advance of dying (treatment abandonment) was created for all involved. On June 18, 2009, after intensive social and parliamentary discussion, the Bundestag passed the bill, inspired by Zypries and introduced by her parliamentary group colleague Joachim Stünker , which came into force on September 1, 2009.

Civil rights, homeland security and data protection

In 2004 she was given the negative Big Brother Award because, in the opinion of the jury, she should have used the judge's verdict as an opportunity to forego the Great bugging attack altogether.

In the Merkel I cabinet , Zypries came into conflict with Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble several times . Zypries rejected the use of the German armed forces in the interior to fight terrorism or the relaxation of the ban on torture. The authority for the Federal Criminal Police Office to carry out "online searches" was blocked by Zypries until the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2008.

Zypries strived for a balance between civil rights and security, but nevertheless advocated the use of new techniques to fight crime, for example the use of telecommunications data , with the help of which the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on March 11, 2004 in Madrid could be quickly identified. The precautionary storage of this connection data was, however, still controversial. In October 2007 Brigitte Zypries received the Big Brother Award for the second time. It received an award in the "Communication" category "for its draft law to introduce the data retention of telecommunications connection data in Germany ."

In an interview on Deutschlandfunk in November 2007, Brigitte Zypries said in the debate about increasing surveillance: "But the right to informational self-determination only means that citizens must be informed about who is storing what of them."

Bloggers like Markus Beckedahl and Udo Vetter were amazed by Zypries' statement.

Internet blocking

In 2009, Zypries supported the initiative of Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen to block Internet sites to combat child pornography with the Access Barrier Act , which was never applied . In an interview in July 2009, Zypries stated that the locks were in no way intended for censorship; rather, it is "a matter of removing criminal content from the network". She also stated that "without the law, the contracts concluded by Frau von der Leyen with the providers would have been used - with far fewer legal safeguards for Internet users". She justified her support for network blocking as follows:

“There is a group of Internet users who believe that everything is allowed on the Internet, the Internet is a place of unlimited freedom, and every rule violates our identity. That is wrong: My freedom, my right ends in the network where it violates the freedom and rights of others. Fundamental rights such as freedom of expression are just as limited on the internet as they are in the real world. There is no right of the stronger or the more tech-savvy. What is forbidden offline is also forbidden online. This is not censorship, but a simple finding that should also be understandable to legal laypeople. "

As for the position of the Pirate Party , Zypries stated in 2009 that it only expresses an attitude towards life and that discussions are held on an irrational level.




  • Branding in Politics. In: Axel Balzer, Marvin Geilich, Shamim Rafat (eds.): / Politics as a brand - political mediation between communication and staging. Munster 2005.
  • Finally reveal your salaries. In: Cicero - magazine for political culture. June 25, 2004. Ringier Publishing GmbH, Berlin 2004, p. 92.
  • More legal certainty when dealing with living wills. In: Law and Politics. 2005, quarterly. BWV-Berliner-Wissenschafts Verlag GmbH, Münster 2005.
  • We are not in a civil war (deployment of the Bundeswehr inside). In: Frankfurter Rundschau. February 16, 2006. Printing and publishing house Frankfurt am Main, 2006.
  • Freedom is not a risk (civil rights and internal security). In: Frankfurter Rundschau. July 28, 2007. Printing and publishing house Frankfurt am Main, 2007.
  • The dress of our freedom. 1968 took place not only on the street, but also in the law gazette. The year remains a code against state tutelage. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. May 21, 2008.
  • A legal system with a seal of quality. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. October 27, 2008.
  • 90 years of women's suffrage in Germany. History, balance sheet, perspective. In: New legal weekly. Number 47/2008, pp. 3400-3403.
  • (Ed.): Darmstadt. Where it's most beautiful - 66 favorite places. B&S Siebenhaar Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-936962-52-9 .
  • (Ed.): The renaissance of legal policy. Ten years of politics for the social rule of law. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-58275-2 .
  • (Ed.): Constitution of the future. A reader on 60 years of the Basic Law. Vorwärts Buchverlag, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-86602-995-8 .

Web links

Commons : Brigitte Zypries  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Archive link ( Memento from March 5, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ Elisabeth Niejahr , Petra Pinzler , Jens Tönnesmann: Brigitte has to fix it. In: The time . 16th February 2017.
  3. ^ Günter Platzdasch: Steinmeier's youth - What does not belong together. FAZ.NET , September 25, 2008.
  4. Zypries editor of DUB Unternehmer-Magazin , on, accessed on April 26, 2019
  5. Collection agencies unanimously elect Brigitte Zypries as ombudswoman | BDIU Bundesverband Deutscher Inkasso-Unternehmen eV Accessed on October 28, 2019 .
  6. Brigitte Zypries will lead the SPD in future ( Memento from October 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ),, June 23, 2012
  7. Darmstadt SPD is preparing for 2016 - Zypries re-elected ( memento from October 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ),, June 29, 2014
  8. Guido Heinen : Consequences from the Internet Affair , Welt Online , September 19, 2002.
  9. The woman for free trade.
  10. ↑ Handover of the certificate in Bellevue Palace.
  11. ^ Members of the electoral committee., archived from the original on October 19, 2013 ; Retrieved May 12, 2013 .
  12. ^ Journal of Legal Policy, Issue 1/2007, pp. 1 ff.
  13. Harmony Tralala with noble divorce victim in: Die Welt, November 5, 2007
  14. Survey: Consequences of the new maintenance law still unknown , press release by the Bertelsmann Foundation of May 27, 2009
  15. Child abuse: Coalition collects disclosure obligation for confidants. In: Spiegel Online . June 17, 2003. Retrieved June 9, 2018 .
  16. FFII Wiki .
  17. Brigitte Zypries in an interview: “Deeply unjust”. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 25, 2009
  18. Brigitte Zypries: A legal system with a seal of quality. FAZ of October 27, 2008.
  19. Big Brother Award 2004 in the "Politics" category
  20. Brigitte Zypries: Freedom is not a risk. FR July 28, 2007.
  21. ^ Fredrik Roggan: Communication: Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries. Retrieved September 9, 2014 .
  22. Copy of the interview under: Zypries defends data retention , November 9, 2007, Deutschlandfunk
  23. Markus Beckedahl: New interpretation for informational self-determination? July 9, 2011, accessed September 9, 2014 .
  24. Udo Vetter: That just means ... July 9, 2011, accessed on September 9, 2014 .
  25. a b Welt Online: "Clearing the Trash from the network" , July 20th 2009, under .
  26. ^ Minister of Justice Zypries defends web blocking , July 20, 2009, at