Heiko Maas

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alternative description
Heiko Maas giving a speech in the Bundestag (2020)
Signature of Heiko Maas

Heiko Josef Maas (born September 19, 1966 in Saarlouis ) is a German politician ( SPD ) and lawyer . He has been Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Merkel IV cabinet since March 2018 .

Before that, from 2013 to 2018 he was Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection , from 2012 to 2013 Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor, Energy and Transport and Deputy Prime Minister of the Saarland , from 1999 to 2012 chairman of the SPD parliamentary group and opposition leader in the state parliament of Saarland and from 1998 to 1999 Minister for Environment, Energy and Transport of the Saarland. From 2000 to 2018 he was chairman of the SPD Saarland , whose top candidate he was in the state elections in 2004 , 2009 and 2012 .

Origin and studies (1966–1989)

Heiko Maas was born as the eldest of three sons of a professional soldier and a seamstress in a Catholic middle-class family in Saarlouis . He grew up Catholic, was an altar boy and was involved in the Catholic youth for several years. According to his own statement, many of the values ​​he got to know there are reflected in his political life. In 1987 Maas passed his Abitur at the Staatliches Realgymnasium in Völklingen .

After completing his military service , he worked for a year as a production assistant at the Ford works in Saarlouis . In 1989 he began studying law at Saarland University , which he completed in 1993 with the first state examination. After the legal traineeship, a. In 1996 he passed the second state examination at the Saarbrücken regional court . He is a member of the IG Metall trade union .


Maas lives separately from his wife Corinna, with whom he has two sons. He has been in a relationship with actress Natalia Wörner since 2016 . He takes part in triathlon competitions. Maas is a Roman Catholic denomination.

SPD politician (1989-today)

State politics in Saarland (1989–2013)

In 1989 Maas joined the SPD as a law student. In 1992 he became chairman of the Saarland Jusos . Funded by Prime Minister Oskar Lafontaine , he entered the Saarland state parliament in 1994. In 1996, Environment Minister Willy Leonhardt appointed him State Secretary in the Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Transport. Maas then succeeded him in 1998.

In September 1999 the Saarland SPD - the top candidate was incumbent Reinhard Klektiven - received 44.4 percent of the votes and 25 of the 51 state parliament mandates after 14 years of sole government ( Lafontaine I , II and III cabinet ). The CDU Saarland with top candidate Peter Müller received 45.5% and 26 of the mandates.

Since all other parties failed to enter the state parliament, the CDU received an absolute majority of the seats. When Maas became the leader of the opposition in the Saarland state parliament ; He waived the transitional allowance customary when leaving the government and described the current legal situation, which would have allowed him to do so, as urgently in need of change.

Maas has been a member of the SPD party executive committee since 2001, and was also a member of the presidium from 2007 to 2011.

In November 2003 he was elected the top candidate of the Saar-SPD for the state elections in 2004 . In this state election the SPD received 30.8% of the vote.

Heiko Maas, 2009

In the state elections on August 30, 2009 , Maas ran again as the top candidate of the SPD. The SPD received 24.5% of the vote (its worst result since the Saarland was founded). The CDU even lost 13 percentage points; the left with the former SPD Prime Minister Lafontaine received 21.3% (after 2.3% in the previous election). After the election, Maas conducted exploratory talks with the Left Party and Alliance 90 / The Greens with the aim of forming a red-red-green state government under his leadership. The Greens later decided to give preference to a Jamaica coalition with the CDU and FDP.

After Peter Müller resigned from the office of Prime Minister, Social Affairs Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) and Maas ran for the office. Although all 27 MPs of the governing coalition were present on August 10, 2011 and the SPD and the Left had only 24 MPs, Maas received 25 votes in the first ballot. Since Kramp-Karrenbauer also got 25 votes, a second ballot was necessary, in which Maas again received 25 votes. Kramp-Karrenbauer received 26 votes and was thus elected Prime Minister.

On January 6, 2012, Kramp-Karrenbauer declared the coalition of the CDU with FDP and Alliance 90 / The Greens ended . Exploratory talks between CDU and SPD to form a new state government failed on January 18, 2012. For the new election on March 25, 2012 , Maas was nominated on January 19, 2012 as a top candidate and thus a challenger to Kramp-Karrenbauer. A state party conference elected him on February 18. In the early elections , the SPD was the second strongest force behind the CDU. According to his statement, Maas recommended coalition negotiations with the CDU before the election.

After the state party congresses of the CDU and SPD had approved the coalition agreement on May 3, 2012, it was signed by Maas and Kramp-Karrenbauer on May 8, 2012. On May 9, 2012, the Saarland state parliament elected the Prime Minister. At the same meeting, the new state government was appointed and sworn in, including Maas as Minister for Economic Affairs, Labor, Energy and Transport. He was also the Deputy Prime Minister.

Federal Politics (since 2013)

Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection (2013-2018)

After evaluating the SPD member survey on the approval of the grand coalition on December 14, 2013, Maas was nominated by the SPD executive committee on the afternoon of December 15, 2013 as future Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection and presented by Sigmar Gabriel . On December 17, 2013, Maas was appointed Federal Minister by Federal President Joachim Gauck and then sworn in in the Bundestag. Stefan Krutten became a successor in the Saarland state parliament on January 15, 2014 .

Federal Foreign Minister (since 2018)

Maas was elected to the Bundestag via the state list in the 2017 Bundestag election. He was defeated by Peter Altmaier in the Saarlouis constituency . After the formation of a new grand coalition, the SPD executive board announced on March 9, 2018 that Maas would be a member of the new government cabinet as foreign minister. On March 14, 2018, he was appointed Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Merkel IV cabinet by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier .

In this position, Maas campaigned for Germany's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2019. In February 2020 , he accused the Syrian regime and the Russian government, in view of its military operations in the context of the Syrian civil war , of violating international humanitarian law and of having committed war crimes in the Idlib governorate .


Criminal law

In February 2014 Maas announced, inter alia. to subject the murder characteristics standardized in the law to a precise examination. In his opinion, these would not correspond to the system of the criminal code. A group of experts is to be set up for this purpose.

After Tuğçe Albayrak's death, a wide public discussion about juvenile delinquency arose . The 22-year-old student was knocked down by a repeat offender and later died from the consequences of her injuries. Maas spoke out against a tightening of juvenile criminal law and demanded more moral courage from the citizens.

In January 2015, after the attack on Charlie Hebdo , Maas announced a catalog of measures against terrorism. provides for a new criminal offense against the financial support of terrorist organizations, for example through donations. Maas was reacting to a resolution of the UN Security Council from September 2014. At the same time, he continued to reject data retention, as this violates fundamental rights.

In March 2016, a first draft for Maas's planned reform of the murder paragraph was published. Accordingly, a reduction in the sentence to up to five years should be possible if the perpetrator acted "out of desperation" in order to "free himself or someone close to him from a seemingly hopeless conflict situation" by means of a "serious insult" ( § 213 ) or "abuse (...) was incited to anger" or was affected by a "comparatively violent emotion". The draft also envisages redefining the murder characteristic of treachery and renaming and clarifying the murder characteristic of low motives as "particularly reprehensible motives".

With regard to streaming media , Maas announced in January 2014 that simply watching videos that someone posted illegally on the Internet was not a criminal offense.

Media laws

Data stealing

On December 18, 2015, Section 202d of the German Criminal Code ( StGB ) came into force. The subject of the crime is data that is not publicly accessible. The purpose is to protect the confidentiality of the data. Critics, including Reporters Without Borders , see this as a threat to journalism. The regulation would deter and criminalize bloggers, whistleblowers and journalists. Journalists and civil rights organizations have filed a constitutional complaint.

Network Enforcement Act

The grand coalition brought the Network Enforcement Act drawn up by Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas into the Bundestag in order to take action against hatred, agitation and false reports on the Internet, according to its own statements. According to media law professor Marc Liesching, the study, which Heiko Maas used as the basis of his actions, is an “assessment of legal laypersons”.

Reporters Without Borders and other critics speak of a “quick shot” and warn that it “could massively damage the basic right to freedom of the press and freedom of expression.” In April 2017, an alliance of business associations, network politicians, civil rights activists, scientists and lawyers came together to protest against the law. In a manifesto , they warned of “catastrophic consequences for freedom of expression”. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression criticized the bill as a threat to human rights. Several authoritarian states refer to the Network Enforcement Act as a model for restricting freedom of expression on the Internet.

Privacy policy

In January 2014, Maas announced that the data retention instrument was on hold for him; the ECJ ruling has to be awaited. After the federal election in 2013, Maas developed into one of the strongest supporters of data retention in the SPD in the course of 2014 and 2015.

In his role as Federal Minister of Justice, Maas presented a draft law in May 2015 that, despite the concerns of numerous constitutional lawyers, provides for the reintroduction of data retention in Germany after an earlier regulation on this was declared unconstitutional by the German Federal Constitutional Court .

At the beginning of October 2015, the European Court of Justice ruled that the data transfer agreement between the EU and the USA violated EU law. Maas welcomed the ruling as it protected the fundamental rights of European citizens.

At the same time, however, he called on the EU Commission to negotiate a new data protection agreement and to enforce European standards. This suggests that Maas is not planning any political activity in this area, although this is one of the most important areas of his ministry.

Quota for women

In a mirror - Interview Maas 2015 explained that he considered a statutory quota for women on the boards of listed companies and boards necessary. He wanted to enforce the 30% quota in supervisory boards as soon as possible.


Maas asked in an interview in June 2015 that national parliaments should vote on the planned Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) with the USA .

Rental policy

The so-called rental price brake is intended to prevent “excessive price increases in urban areas”. Originally this was also intended for new buildings. Only the first rental of newly built apartments has so far been exempt from the rent brake. Maas indicated in July 2014 that he wanted to overturn this planned regulation. Instead, new buildings should generally be excluded from the law so that the willingness to invest in residential construction is maintained. According to critics such as Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , this position is tantamount to a funeral of the rent brake.

The same law stipulates that the broker's fees for a new lease must be borne by the person who appoints the broker ( buyer principle ). Shortly after the law was introduced, Maas had the tenant pay the brokerage fee for renting a house he had rented, although he had appointed the broker, and pointed out that the new law was not yet in force. After the media reported about it, Maas reimbursed the fees.

“Brexit” negotiations

In the debate about the United Kingdom's exit from the EU (“Brexit”), Maas is clearly against the special regulations that the British are calling for. While the United Kingdom to retain some of the four EU freedoms wishes it declines as the free movement ( of persons ) categorically. According to the Federal Foreign Minister, it is important to make the British negotiating partners understand that leaving the EU also has disadvantages. Regardless of the outcome of negotiations between the UK and the EU, he calls for an agreement that guarantees that there are no hard boundary between the European Union belong to Ireland and the British Northern Ireland will give.

Drone armament

In December 2020, Heiko Maas spoke out in favor of arming Bundeswehr drones , which so far have only been used for reconnaissance.

Criticism and controversy

Heiko Maas, 2015

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV) filed a complaint against unknown early 2015 on suspicion of secret betrayal of journalists of the blog Netzpolitik.org after internal documents about the mass analysis of Internet content was quoted as saying. BfV President Hans-Georg Maaßen viewed this as a betrayal of state secrets . After an initial examination, Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range then initiated investigations against the two internet policy bloggers Markus Beckedahl and André Meister in May 2015 . The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry of Justice are said to have been informed.

The public did not find out until the end of July 2015, as the suspects were informed of the trial against them. Critics accused the Attorney General of disregarding the freedom of the press . Thereupon Federal Justice Minister Maas distanced himself from Range by expressing doubts that the published documents are “a state secret, the publication of which would lead to a serious disadvantage for the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany”. On August 4, 2015, Range publicly complained about an “intolerable interference” by politics with the independence of the judiciary. “To exert influence on investigations because their possible outcome does not appear politically opportune” is not to be accepted. The freedom of the press and freedom of expression are not unlimited on the Internet either. It is the job of a free judiciary, not politics, to watch over it. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Minister of Justice put Range into early retirement. Maas said he had told Range that "trust in his office was permanently disrupted".

After this release, several criminal charges were filed against Maas, so that the Berlin public prosecutor's office examined the initial suspicion that the criminal offense had been thwarted. The Association of Federal Judges and Federal Prosecutors at the Federal Court of Justice announced through Federal Judges Harald Reiter and Christian Tombrink in the first press release since the association was founded that there were “indications of an illegal obstruction of the Federal Prosecutor's investigation”. The impression arose "that the ongoing investigations in accordance with the procedural rules were interfered with in order to achieve a certain - politically desired - result, namely through targeted control of the taking of evidence". The chairman of the Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter , André Schulz , was of the opinion that Maas had "publicly discredited the work of the public prosecutor's office and damaged trust in objective criminal prosecution."

Maas has always denied the assertion of the Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range that his State Secretary Stefanie Hubig had given Range the instruction to stop the preparation of an expert opinion to clarify whether Netzpolitik.org had disclosed state secrets or not. On September 2, 2016, two days before the state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Der Spiegel quoted a memo intended to confirm Range's version. The Berlin public prosecutor's office also came to the conclusion in March 2016 that Hubig had given Range a corresponding instruction. The time quoted on February 22, 2017. a corresponding document of the federal prosecutor.




  • Editor: Fearless Lawyers. Judges and prosecutors against Nazi injustice. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-70746-9 .
  • Heiko Maas; with the assistance of Michael Ebmeyer : Stand up instead of ducking away: a strategy against the right . Piper Verlag Munich, 2017, ISBN 978-3-492-05841-4 .

Web links

Commons : Heiko Maas  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) - Jung & Naiv: Episode 183
  2. ^ Presentation of the SPD ministers on spd.de , accessed on March 9, 2018
  3. Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas answers the questions about life. In: chrismon.evangelisch.de. Retrieved October 19, 2016 .
  4. Heiko Maas. The new man. ( Memento from December 14, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: spd-saar.de , June 28, 2009, accessed on December 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Dpa: Taking care of children together: Justice Minister Maas and wife separated. Retrieved October 23, 2019 .
  6. Natalia Wörner about the love for Heiko Maas. In: vip.de
  7. CV on the website of Heiko Maas
  8. Saarbrücker Zeitung of September 11, 1999.
  9. Thomas Holl, Oliver Georgi: Heiko Maas and the long run past yourself. In: FAZ , March 26, 2012
  10. SPD minister "well positioned" . tagesschau.de. December 15, 2013. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved on March 9, 2018.
  11. Chancellor Altmaier defends direct mandate against Maas welt.de, September 24, 2017
  12. Our team in the government , registered on spd.de , March 9, 2018
  13. Appointment of the GroKo ministers , Spiegel.de, March 14, 2018
  14. DIE WELT: Klima: Maas: Germany wants to dedicate itself in the UN Security Council to the risks of climate change . In: THE WORLD . March 28, 2018 ( welt.de [accessed on March 28, 2018]).
  15. Foreign Minister Maas in New York: "We need more United Nations" . In: FAZ.NET . March 28, 2018, ISSN  0174-4909 ( faz.net [accessed March 28, 2018]).
  16. DER SPIEGEL: Maas accuses Russia and Assad regime of war crimes - DER SPIEGEL - politics. Retrieved February 28, 2020 .
  17. ^ Heribert Prantl , Robert Roßmann: Maas wants to reform criminal law for murder and manslaughter. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , February 8, 2014.
  18. Harsher sentences cannot prevent such crimes. In: image . December 1, 2014, accessed December 7, 2014 .
  19. ^ Justice Minister Maas: "AfD not much better than NPD". In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , January 12, 2015.
  20. Life and death of the murderer . Legal Tribune Online. March 26, 2016. Accessed March 9, 2018.
  21. Federal Minister of Justice wants to abolish compulsory life imprisonment for murder . Mirror online. March 25, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  22. Joachim Jahn : Federal Minister of Justice: Streaming is allowed. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . January 8, 2014, accessed January 8, 2014 .
  23. Data stealing. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  24. Appointment. In: Reporters Without Borders for Freedom of Information. May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  25. Freedom of information request: data stealing and collateral damage in the case of freedom of the press. In: netzpolitik.org. January 13, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  26. Network activists against the ban on data stealing. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  27. Data stealing briefly explained. In: IT criminal law. December 18, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  28. Constitutional complaint against “data stealing”: Questions and Answers (FAQ) - GFF - Society for Freedom Rights eV Accessed on May 19, 2017 .
  29. ^ Doubts about the study on the Network Enforcement Act: "Assessments by laypeople" In: heise online. Retrieved May 30, 2017 .
  30. Warning of a quick shot. In: Reporters Without Borders for Freedom of Information. May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017 .
  31. Opinion on the government draft of the law to improve law enforcement in social networks (NetzDG). (PDF) Reporters Without Borders, April 19, 2017, accessed May 19, 2017 .
  32. Business and activists ally against the Maas law . Mirror online. April 11, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  33. ^ "Declaration for freedom of expression" against law by Heiko Maas . The daily mirror. April 11, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  34. Broad alliance against the Facebook law . Time online. April 11, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  35. UN Special Rapporteur: Network Enforcement Act violates human rights. In: netzpolitik.org. June 17, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017 .
  36. Jacob Mchangama, Joelle Fiss: Germany's online Crack Downs Inspire the World's Dictators. In: Foreign Policy. Retrieved November 8, 2019 (American English).
  37. a b c Christian Stöcker: Cowardice takes precedence over freedom. In: spiegel.de. June 20, 2015, accessed June 20, 2014 .
  38. ECJ ruling on data transfer: The USA data port is not safe. In: Tagesschau.de , October 6, 2015
  39. Ralph Bollmann , Inge Kloepfer : “The chlorine chicken will not come”. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. June 15, 2014, accessed June 15, 2014 (interview).
  40. Heiko Maas on the rent brake. ( Memento from September 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: bmjv.de , accessed on September 8, 2014.
  41. Buried rent brake. In: finanzen.de , accessed on September 8, 2014.
  42. “Maas reimburses its tenant brokerage costs.” In: Spiegel Online , November 12, 2014.
  43. Brexit: Heiko Maas rejects special requests from Great Britain. In: The time . August 29, 2018, accessed September 2, 2018 .
  44. ^ Controversy in the grand coalition: Maas for drone armament. In: tagesschau.de . December 20, 2020, accessed December 29, 2020 .
  45. The Attorney General has to go. In: tagesschau.de , August 4, 2015.
  46. Range criticizes his minister's political influence. In: spiegel.de , August 4, 2015
  47. Minister of Justice Maas dismisses Attorney General Range. In: Spiegel Online . August 4, 2015, accessed August 4, 2015 .
  48. Netzpolitik affair: Public prosecutor examines charges against Justice Minister. In: heise online . August 5, 2015, accessed August 5, 2015 .
  49. ^ Bärbel Krauss: Uprising in Karlsruhe. In: stuttgarter-zeitung.de , August 5, 2015.
  50. Holger Schmidt: Federal Judges Association calls for review of the range expulsion. In: SWR , August 5, 2015.
  51. Maas delivers Range to the knife. In: Bundesdeutsche Zeitung , August 6, 2015.
  52. Konstantin von Hammerstein: Investigations against Netzpolitik.org: Note from the Federal Prosecutor's Office incriminates Minister Maas. In: spiegel.de , September 2, 2016
  53. Jost Müller-Neuhof: Affair about "netzpolitik.org" government instructed investigators and later denied it. In: tagesspiegel.de , August 21, 2016
  54. Reinhard Müller: In the right light. In: FAZ.net , September 8, 2016
  55. Internal files encumber Justice Minister Heiko Maas , Zeit Online , February 22, 2017
  56. ^ Central Council of Jews in Germany Kdö.R .: Israel Jacobson Prize: Minister of Justice honored. In: juedische-allgemeine.de. Retrieved May 15, 2016 .
  57. Auschwitz Committee honors Minister of Justice Maas. ( Memento from January 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: web.de , November 2015, accessed on January 17, 2016
  58. Heiko Maas is the best dressed man. ( Memento from January 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: GQ Magazin , January 2016, accessed on January 17, 2016