Franziska Giffey [ ɡɪfaɪ̯ ] (* 3. May 1978 in Frankfurt (Oder) as Franziska Süllke ) is a German politician ( SPD ). From April 2015 to March 2018 she was District Mayor of Berlin - Neukölln and has been Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth since March 2018 . Since November 2020 she has been chairwoman of the SPD Berlin , whose top candidate she is in the 2021 House of Representatives election .
Origin, occupation and private life
Franziska Giffey is the daughter of an accountant and a car -Meisters. She grew up with her brother in the village of Briesen in the Fürstenwalde district in the GDR . From 1988 to 1997 she was a student at the Werner-Seelenbinder-Gymnasium in Fürstenwalde / Spree .
She started in the winter semester 1997/98 at the Humboldt University of Berlin , a teaching degree in the subjects of English and French . Because of a dysphonia (voice disorder caused by weakness of the larynx ), doctors urgently advised her against becoming a teacher, and she had to drop out of teaching after the second semester of 1998. Due to the voice problems, Giffey decided to study administrative law at the University of Applied Sciences for Administration and Justice (FHVR) in Berlin. In 2001 she obtained the academic degree of Diplom-Verwaltungswirtin (FH) .
In 2000, during her studies, she interned for three months in the office of the District Mayor of Lewisham , Dave Sullivan ( Labor Party ). After graduating, Giffey worked in Berlin in the office of the district mayor of Treptow-Köpenick , Klaus Ulbricht (SPD) , until 2002 . In addition to her subsequent professional activity in the Berlin municipal administration, she completed a degree in European administrative management at the FHVR from 2003 to 2005 . In 2005 she obtained a Master of Arts degree . During her studies, she worked in 2003 in the Representation of the State of Berlin to the European Union in Brussels and in 2005 in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Between 2004 and 2009 she also lectured at various academies and institutes, including the Administrative Academy Berlin , the European School of Governance Berlin and the dbb Academy .
Giffey was European Commissioner for the Berlin district of Neukölln from 2002 to 2010 . From 2005 to 2010 she completed a doctoral degree in political science at the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University of Berlin . She wrote her dissertation on the subject of Europe's path to citizenship - The European Commission's policy on the participation of civil society . In 2010 she was awarded a Dr. rer. pole. PhD .
Giffey joined the SPD in 2007 . In the same year she was elected as a cashier to the board of the SPD Neukölln. On March 17, 2012, she was elected deputy district chairman and on May 9, 2014, she took over the district chairmanship from Fritz Felgentreu . At the district delegate meeting on April 14, 2018, she did not run again for the district chairmanship. Severin Fischer was elected her successor.
As Neukölln district chairwoman, she was a member of the board of the SPD Berlin from 2014 to 2018 . At the state party conference on November 28, 2020, she and Raed Saleh were elected as Berlin state chairmen. Giffey received 89.4 percent of the vote and Saleh received 68.7 percent of the vote. The previous incumbent Michael Müller did not run anymore.
At the federal party conference on December 7, 2019, she was elected to the SPD party executive.
On September 15, 2020, Giffey was nominated as an SPD candidate in the Neukölln 6 constituency for the 2021 House of Representatives election. At the state party conference on April 24, 2021, she was elected the top candidate of the SPD Berlin in the 2021 House of Representatives election with 85.7 percent of the votes.
District councilor for education, school, culture and sport of Berlin-Neukölln
On September 1, 2010, Giffey became city councilor for education, school, culture and sport in the Neukölln district . Since then she has been on leave as a municipal civil servant for the State of Berlin.
District Mayor of Berlin-Neukölln
On April 15, 2015, the district assembly elected Giffey mayor of the Neukölln district after she had been considered a possible successor to the district mayor Heinz Buschkowsky (SPD) for a long time . She describes Buschkowsky as her political role model and mentor. As district mayor, she was also head of the finance and economics department.
Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth
On March 14, 2018, Giffey was appointed Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth in the Merkel IV cabinet. Martin Hikel was her successor as district mayor of Neukölln .
In April 2018, Giffey announced in a media interview that it would bring a “ good daycare law ” into departmental coordination, which should support the federal states in improving the quality of childcare . The draft provides for, among other things, money for a fee exemption (the use for this depends on the countries) as well as changes to the childcare key and language support . Training, working conditions and pay for educators should also be improved. The shortage of skilled workers cannot simply be solved with immigration .
As Federal Minister for Seniors, Giffey co-founded the Concerted Care Action. This includes the nursing training offensive, which is intended to ensure that ten percent more training positions are created for nursing professionals by 2023. However, Giffey received strong criticism from the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions (DBfK) for a video series that was produced as part of the campaign “Make a career as a person!”, Because it shows a depiction of the nursing professions that is unrealistic and violates the self-image and ethos.
Giffey advocates compulsory kindergarten for children from the age of three in order to guarantee early childhood support for every child and to prepare them for school attendance.
She is a critic of the Berlin elementary school reforms passed between 2004 and 2008, with which, among other things, the abolition of pre- primary schools and the lowering of the school age were resolved. In the state of Berlin, children can currently go to school before their 6th birthday. Giffey advocated the abolition of the so-called early schooling, which was gradually implemented with the decision of the Senate meeting in January 2015. Giffey is also in favor of the reintroduction of pre- school classes or preschool in elementary schools in order to better support children who are not yet ready for school.
In addition, Giffey speaks for better pay for teachers and the reintroduction of the tenure of teachers by the state of Berlin, in order to counteract a brain drain teachers in other states. The civil service of teachers was abolished in 2004 in the state of Berlin.
As Neukölln school councilor, Giffey advocated and was responsible for the deployment of security guards at Neukölln schools. The Neukölln district introduced the nationwide unique security guard in front of schools in 2007 after several incidents of violence. With the help of the security guard, the intrusion of non-school people into the school complex is to be prevented.
Giffey has been drawing attention to the issue of immigration of people from Southeastern Europe to Germany, especially to Berlin-Neukölln, since 2011 , among other things in the annual Roma status reports of the Neukölln district office . She made several trips to Bulgaria and Romania to find out about the reasons for migration there. It works to ensure that municipalities and districts receive extensive support and financial resources for local integration projects from the federal and state governments and that integration policy is understood as a joint task of municipalities, federal and state governments. As Neukölln's school councilor, she advocated the establishment of welcome classes and summer schools in which new children receive German lessons and are prepared for regular school attendance.
Review of the doctoral thesis
First check with complaint
In February 2019 it became known that the dissertation supervised by Tanja Börzel (second reviewer was Hartmut Häußermann ) was being checked by the Free University of Berlin due to a suspicion of plagiarism . Giffey had applied for the examination of her doctoral thesis himself after 73 text passages on 49 of the 205 pages of her doctoral thesis had been objected to on the VroniPlag Wiki . Giffey rejected a deliberate plagiarism, stating that she “wrote this work to the best of her knowledge and belief”. According to VroniPlag Wiki, Giffey's doctoral thesis particularly stands out due to the high proportion of arbitrary referencing, in which she deliberately cited incorrect sources.
In April 2019, the political scientist Peter Grottian described the allegations as not as serious as with Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg , but more serious than with Annette Schavan . He advised Giffey to resign from her ministerial office and to ask the Free University of Berlin to withdraw her doctorate. The real problem with the doctoral thesis for him, however, was that Giffey wrote it about her work as European Commissioner for the Neukölln district and did not keep any scientific distance.
On May 5, 2019, VroniPlag Wiki published the result of its review of Giffey's doctoral thesis. They rated 119 text passages on 76 of the 205 pages of Giffey's doctoral thesis as plagiarism. In 72 text passages, they accused Giffey of arbitrary referencing, in which she deliberately cited incorrect sources. For example, when she defined the term civil society, she cited three sources, but adopted the definition from a fourth, unnamed source.
In August 2019, Giffey announced to the SPD party leadership that he wanted to forego her ministerial office if the Free University of Berlin should withdraw her doctorate. For the same reason, she is not running for party leadership .
On October 30, 2019, the Free University of Berlin announced that it would give Giffey a reprimand for her dissertation and not withdraw her doctorate. The university's presidium followed the recommendation of the examining board. The review board checked the quantitative and qualitative relevance of the plagiarized text passages and came to the conclusion that the plagiarized text passages had not become out of hand in quantitative terms and would not have a qualitative impact on the dissertation. Most of them would be in the theoretical part and the empirical main part would be an independent scientific achievement even without the theoretical part. The final report of the review board was initially not published and it was not disclosed which passages in the text were assessed as plagiarism.
Criticism of the first review and re-review
Critics complained that this sanction was not provided for in the examination regulations, which is why the lawyer Volker Rieble spoke of a "given doctorate". VroniPlag Wiki criticized the fact that the 72 text passages suspected of being arbitrarily referenced were not checked by the review panel.
The press also criticized the fact that the first reviewer of Giffey's work, the political scientist Tanja Börzel , was involved in setting up the examination board as chairwoman of the doctoral committee. This allowed the doctor's mother to choose who would control her assessment. According to a report in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , only people with scientific connections to the doctor's mother should have belonged to the university's examination board.
According to an opinion published on August 7, 2020 by the Scientific Parliamentary Service of the Berlin House of Representatives , the Free University of Berlin should not have issued a complaint because there was no legal basis for it. Only in the case of minor acts of deception could unintended sanctions be used. Berlin's governing mayor Michael Müller then rejected calls for the Senate Administration for Science to intervene and the proceedings to be rolled out in his role as Senator for Science.
On October 5, 2020, the AStA of the Free University of Berlin published the final report of the examination board that it had received on the Freedom of Information Act . In the final report, Giffey was accused of plagiarism in 27 text passages. In a statement, the AStA demanded that Giffey's doctoral degree should be withdrawn because it was a matter of misconduct worthy of sanctions and a complaint was not provided for by law. By way of comparison, it was stated that students failed exams if they forgot two quotations and that CDU politician Frank Steffel was also deprived of his doctoral degree, although he would have written off far less. In the opinion of the AStA, it should therefore not be based on proportionality, but rather on the political calculation of the FU leadership. Should Giffey not only take over the office of mayor from Michael Müller, but also the office of science senator, it would be a declaration of bankruptcy for the science location Berlin.
In a report published on October 28, 2020 for the Berlin CDU, the legal scholar Klaus Gärditz believes that the Senate Administration as legal supervisor did not intervene in view of a “conspicuous summation of significant legal violations”. The committee that had suggested to the FU Presidium not to revoke Giffey's doctoral degree was already not responsible. In addition, it disregarded the case law on plagiarism by weighing the contaminated parts of the doctoral thesis against those that were not objected to and recommended a mere complaint, for which there was also no legal basis. The CDU then called for the proceedings to be rolled out.
On September 22, 2020, the Free University of Berlin commissioned the legal scholar Ulrich Battis with an expert opinion on the question of whether a complaint was lawful, even if the Berlin University Act does not expressly regulate this. According to his report published on November 5, 2020, a complaint in less serious cases is appropriate, legally permissible and required according to the principle of proportionality.
The Presidium of the Free University of Berlin declared on November 6, 2020 that after taking note of and assessing the available reports by Battis, Gärditz and the Scientific Parliamentary Service, it was clear that a complaint was only permissible in a less serious case, such as in the final report of the examination board for the Dissertation was not presented and therefore a new examination should be carried out. On November 18, 2020, the FU Berlin started a renewed review of the doctoral thesis.
On November 13, 2020, Giffey announced that she would no longer use her doctorate in the future, but would continue to remain Federal Minister for Family Affairs and also want to run for the Berlin state chairmanship. After her election as Berlin's state chairman and top candidate in the 2021 House of Representatives election, in an interview published on December 3, 2020 with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit , she reaffirmed her decision to stand as a top candidate in the 2021 House of Representatives election and to use her doctorate even if her doctorate was withdrawn to waive regardless of the decision of the Free University of Berlin.
On December 13, 2020, VroniPlag Wiki published an analysis of the final report of the review panel, criticizing the fact that the review panel had ignored 72 passages in the text that were suspected of being arbitrarily referenced. Giffey deliberately cited incorrect sources. For example, she took a text from a certain source and cited twelve other sources as the source instead of this itself.
The new examination board met for the first time on January 25, 2021. Giffey's doctor's mother Tanja Börzel, who, as chairwoman of the doctoral committee, was involved in setting up the first examination board, was not involved in setting up the examination board this time.
- Cabinet Merkel IV , Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth since March 14, 2018
- Franziska Süllke (2009): Strengthening opportunities for citizenship education at local level: the case of Berlin-Neukölln , in: Ditta Dolejšiová, Miguel Ángel Garciá López (ed.): European citizenship - In the process of construction. Challenges for citizenship, citizenship education and democratic practice in Europe , Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, pp. 180–191.
- Franziska Giffey (2010): Europe's way to the citizen - The European Commission's policy on the participation of civil society , dissertation at the Free University of Berlin , online publication .
- Franziska Giffey, Bernd R. Müller (2011): The importance of language skills and the recognition of vocational and school qualifications for integration , in: FPR Family Partnership Law, Journal for Lawyers' Practice , 17th year, edition 10/2011, Pp. 435-439.
- Personal website
- Profile at the Neukölln district office
- Profile at the Ministry of Family
- Profile at the SPD
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|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Süllke, Franziska (maiden name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German politician (SPD)|
|DATE OF BIRTH||May 3, 1978|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Frankfurt (Oder) , GDR|