Catherine Trautmann

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Catherine Trautmann (2014).

Catherine Trautmann (born January 15, 1951 in Strasbourg ; born Argence ) is a French politician ( PS ). She was mayor of Strasbourg from 1989 to 1997 and again from 2000-01; French Minister of Culture from 1997 to 2000 ; as well as from 1989 to 1997 and from 2004 to 2014 member of the European Parliament .


She completed her studies at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the University of Strasbourg II with a thesis in the field of Coptic religious history, language and literature as a master’s degree .

Political activity at the national level

Within the Parti socialiste (PS), Catherine Trautmann had been a member of the national council since 1987. In the 1986 parliamentary elections, she entered the National Assembly for the Bas-Rhin department , to which she was a member until 1988. During this time she was also a member of the French delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe . In May 1988 she appointed Prime Minister Michel Rocard State Secretary for Elderly and Disabled Citizens, a newly created office in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor. After one and a half months, however, this position was split up into a State Secretariat for the elderly and one for the disabled, so Trautmann left the government again.

After Catherine Trautmann succeeded in re-entering the National Assembly in the 1997 parliamentary elections , she was appointed Minister for Culture and Communication to the Jospin cabinet . Until 1998 she was also the press spokeswoman for the government. In the course of a government reshuffle in March 2000, the ministry was given to Catherine Tasca .

Political activity in Strasbourg

Mayor Trautmann (2nd from right) with Sven von Ungern-Sternberg and Rolf Böhme , 1989

Trautmann was elected to the municipal council of Strasbourg in 1983, which had been ruled by mayors from center-right parties without interruption since 1945. In the local elections in 1989, she stood up as the top candidate of the PS for the re-establishment of a tram . Their rival, the incumbent Marcel Rudloff of the bourgeois UDF , spoke out against it for a metro. In the first ballot, Trautmann only came second, but in the second ballot she defeated Rudloff with 42.7 to 36.3 percent. Trautmann thus became the first socialist mayor of the Alsatian capital. With their electoral victory, the tram project was implemented, which plays an important role in enhancing the cityscape of Strasbourg. In addition to her mayor's office, Trautmann was chairwoman of the Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg , an association of municipalities consisting of Strasbourg and its suburbs.

In the local elections in June 1995, she was re-elected in the first ballot with 52.5%. In March 1997, Trautmann approved the party congress of the right-wing extremist Front National in Strasbourg, but at the same time organized an important counter-rally, the success of which earned her recognition at national level within the party. When the Gauche plurielle won the parliamentary elections in 1997 , she moved to the national government as minister of culture. She then left her functions at the municipal level to her party colleague and previous deputy, Roland Ries, on the condition that she would take over these official duties on her return.

Trautmann in 2006

In fact, when Trautmann left the government, Ries initially refused to let her do the official business. Instead, he tried to bring about a change in the balance of power within the local party organization in his favor. In the end he gave in. The first secretary of the PS in the Bas-Rhin department, Jean-Claude Petitdemange, turned away from the local leadership and ran in the local elections in March 2001 with an independent list. As a result of these rivalries within the party, there was a loss of prestige for the PS in the Strasbourg population. In the first ballot, Trautmann only came second behind Fabienne Keller from the UDF - RPR civil list . Petitdemange also qualified with 12% for the second ballot, so that there was a three-way race that divided the left electorate. The incumbent finally lost 40.4 to 50.85 percent of the bourgeois applicant Keller, who thus became the new mayor. Then Catherine Trautmann took over the chairmanship of the PS and thus the role of the opposition leader in the local council.

In the 2008 local elections, Trautmann left the top candidacy to PS Roland Ries. However, she was re-elected as a councilor and also a vice-president of the Communauté urbaine de Strasbourg . The Eurométropole de Strasbourg emerged from this at the beginning of 2015 , and Trautmann became its vice-president.


Video presentation (English) / (French)

Trautmann was elected to the European Parliament for the first time in the 1989 European elections , where she sat in the Social Democratic Group , she was re-elected in the 1994 European elections , and in 1997 she resigned from the mandate that was incompatible with her ministerial office in Paris.

In the 2004 European elections , she received another mandate in the European Parliament. She was a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy , from 2007 its Vice-Chair, and also a delegate for relations with Canada. In the European elections in 2009 , Catherine Trautmann was re-elected as the top candidate of the Socialist Party in the constituency of Eastern France (Est) . During this legislative period she was a member of the Fisheries Committee and delegate for relations with the United States, and from 2012 onwards she was again a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

Further offices and honors

In 2014 she was appointed European coordinator for the trans-European transport corridor “North Sea – Baltic Sea” by the European Commission and confirmed in this position in 2018.

For 2019 Trautmann was awarded the European Railway Award .

Web links

Commons : Catherine Trautmann  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. ^ Website of the European Parliament
  2. Commission appoints new coordinators for TEN-T Core Network Corridors , September 14, 2018