Federal Ministry for Affairs of the Federal Council

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Seat of the former Federal Ministry for Affairs of the Federal Council, Adenauerallee 120/122, Bonn

In 1949 an independent Federal Ministry for Affairs of the Bundesrat was established for the Bundesrat , which from 1957 was called the Federal Ministry for Affairs of the Bundesrat and the Länder .

The Ministry should for a good flow of information between the Federal Council represented countries and the federal government provide. It was located at Adenauerallee 120/122 in Bonn and consisted of three departments:

  • the central department, which was responsible for the Ministry's staff, budget, press work and similar organizational tasks,
  • the Political Department, which maintained liaison with the Bundestag , the Bundesrat and the state representations , prepared a restructuring of the federal territory and took over the organization of aid in emergency areas, and
  • the legal department, which was responsible in particular for the delimitation of responsibilities between the federal government and the states and between laws requiring approval and laws not requiring approval.

In 1969 the Ministry was dissolved by the new Brandt government as part of a restructuring of the ministries together with the expellees and the Treasury . The responsibilities of the ministry were transferred to the Federal Chancellery , aid in emergency areas to the interior and, de facto, later to the ministry of defense .

A task similar to that of the Federal Council Minister at the time is now assigned to the Federal Chancellor's Minister of State for federal-state coordination , which has been CDU politician Hendrik Hoppenstedt since March 14, 2018 (as of April 2020).

Federal Council Minister 1949 to 1969

During his work as Federal Council Minister, Hans-Joachim von Merkatz was twice briefly at the head of another Federal Ministry . First as Federal Minister of Justice 1956–1957 (his predecessor Fritz Neumayer was dismissed by Konrad Adenauer for reasons of age) and later as Federal Minister for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims from 1960–1961 after Theodor Oberländer had resigned.

No. Surname Life dates Political party Beginning of the term of office Term expires Term of office
in days
Federal Minister for Affairs of the Federal Council
1 Heinrich Hellwege 1908-1991 DP September 20, 1949 May 26, 1955 2074
2 Hans-Joachim von Merkatz 1905-1982 DP May 26, 1955 October 29, 1957 887
Federal Minister for Affairs of the Bundesrat and the Länder
2 Hans-Joachim von Merkatz 1905-1982 DP (until 1960)
CDU (from 1960)
October 29, 1957 December 13, 1962 1871
3 Alois Niederalt 1911-2004 CSU December 14, 1962 November 30, 1966 1447
4th Carlo Schmid 1896-1979 SPD 1st December 1966 October 21, 1969 1055

Official State Secretaries

The Federal Council Ministry only had a state secretary for a time, so von Merkatz was entrusted with the administration of the state secretary from 1949–1952 and Ripken from 1951 to 1954 was only “leading ministerial official”.


  • Heinz Hoffmann (editor): The Federal Ministries 1949–1999. Designations, official abbreviations, responsibilities, organizational structure, management personnel (=  materials from the Federal Archives . Issue 8). Wirtschaftsverlag NW GmbH, Bremerhaven 2003, ISBN 3-86509-075-3 , p. 411-416 .