Parliamentary State Secretary

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A Parliamentary State Secretary ( PStS ) supports a minister or head of government in Germany in fulfilling his governmental tasks . He represents the member of the government externally, e.g. As in the plenary , committees and political groups of the Parliament and public appointments, whereas a civil servant State Secretary him within the authorities in his capacity as head of agency represents.


At the federal level there are currently a total of 36 parliamentary state secretaries in the federal ministries ; at least two per Federal Ministry, at the Federal Ministry of Finance , the Interior, for Building and Home Affairs , for Economics and Energy and at the Foreign Office three each and four for the Federal Chancellor. 19 of them belong to the CDU , 14 to the SPD and three to the CSU . In 2014 there were 34 Parliamentary State Secretaries and 31 in 2013.

In the Federal Chancellery and the Foreign Office , the Parliamentary State Secretaries use the designation " State Minister ". The number of Parliamentary State Secretaries and their distribution among the coalition parties can be determined in the context of coalition negotiations .

Legal status

The legal status of Parliamentary State Secretaries is regulated in the Act on the Legal Relationships of Parliamentary State Secretaries of July 24, 1974 ( ParlStG ). Parliamentary state secretaries are “attached” to members of the Federal Government ( Federal Chancellor and Federal Minister ). That is why they are referred to as “Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Minister”, whereas State Secretaries are referred to as “State Secretary in the Federal Ministry” or “State Minister of the Federal Ministry”. They themselves do not belong to the federal government.

Except for the Federal Chancellor, Parliamentary State Secretaries must be members of the Bundestag ( Section 1 (1) ParlStG). Parliamentary state secretaries, like federal ministers, have a public-law official relationship with the federal government ( Section 1 (3) ParlStG). They are appointed by the Federal President. The Federal Chancellor proposes the appointment, in agreement with the Federal Minister, to whom the Parliamentary State Secretary is to be attached ( Section 2 ParlStG). The parliamentary state secretaries have to take an oath which corresponds to that of the members of the federal government ( Art. 56 Basic Law ; § 3 ParlStG). The Parliamentary State Secretaries can be dismissed by the Federal President at any time on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor , which must be in agreement with the responsible Federal Minister . You can request your dismissal at any time ( Section 4, Paragraph 1, Sentence 1 f.


A Parliamentary State Secretary can represent the Federal Minister in declarations before the Bundestag , the Bundesrat and in meetings of the Federal Government. He also represents him at international level, for example at the European Union , NATO and the United Nations . The Parliamentary State Secretaries are usually also involved in the management of the federal ministries, so they do not only represent the federal minister externally. Parliamentary State Secretaries have an office in the ministry to support them in carrying out their tasks.

The ministers of state at the Federal Chancellery perform certain tasks, such as Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media , Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration , Minister of State for Digitization and Federal Government Coordinator for Bureaucracy Reduction and Better Regulation , in the past also as commissioner for the intelligence services of the federal government (currently a permanent state secretary).


The office of Parliamentary State Secretary was introduced in 1967. Originally, talented young politicians were supposed to qualify for a later ministerial position through this office.

Historically, Minister of State Michael Roth (SPD) held the function of “European Minister of State”, Walter Kolbow (SPD) was the coordinator of German aid in Macedonia and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel (CDU) was the Federal Government's Commissioner for Greece . As Parliamentary State Secretary in 1984, Carl-Dieter Spranger (CSU) was a mediator in the "Grenada Affair".

The parliamentary state secretaries in the Merkel I cabinet (2005–2009) belonged to the parliamentary group or party of the minister concerned. In the Cabinet Merkel II (2009-2013), this was not the case. At the beginning there were 33 parliamentary state secretaries in Merkel III's cabinet . The Federal Chancellor, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure each had three Parliamentary State Secretaries.

Official salaries

Parliamentary state secretaries receive 75 percent of the official salary and the service expense allowance of a federal minister. This in turn receives office salaries in the amount of one and third of the basic salary of salary group B 11 according to the Federal Salary Act . Parliamentary State Secretaries therefore actually receive official salaries according to salary group B 11. They receive monthly:

Salary component Explanation amount
Base salary The basic salary should correspond to salary group B 11, but is significantly below this salary due to multiple non-application of the salary increases to members of the federal government and parliamentary state secretaries . ( Non-AnpG ) € 11,092.04
Diet (MdB) from July 1, 2019; However, the Parliamentary State Secretary only receives half of this amount in accordance with the procedure regulated in Section 29 of the Law on Members of the Representatives :
Offsetting when several payments from public coffers come together (1) In addition to the compensation of the Members of the Bundestag according to Section 11, a member of the Bundestag is entitled to income from an official relationship or from use in the public service, the members' remuneration is reduced by fifty percent according to § 11; however, the amount of the reduction may not exceed thirty percent of the income.
€ 6,755.86
Compensation for expenses
• as PStS
• as Member of the Bundestag
Since parliamentary state secretaries are entitled to a personal company car of the federal government, the expense allowance as a member of the Bundestag is reduced by 25 percent, i.e. € 3,313.57.

174.86 € 3,313.57
total € 21,336.33

With the exception of the expense allowance, these payments are taxable. The state aid , travel and moving costs regulations applicable to federal ministers are to be applied accordingly ( Section 5 (2) ParlStG). The time spent in the office of Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federation is the same as the length of service completed as a civil servant in the federal and state pension law ( Section 11 (2) ParlStG).


Only in a few German states are or were parliamentary state secretaries or comparable officials from time to time. What they all have in common is that they do not belong to the state governments (but see below on Bavaria) and their legal status is based on special laws outside the respective state constitutions:

  • In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , the appointment of parliamentary state secretaries was made possible retrospectively from November 15, 1990. Their legal status is regulated by the Law on the Legal Relationships of Parliamentary State Secretaries (LParlG) of July 18, 1991. According to this, the holders of office must be members of the state parliament; they take part in meetings of the state government in an advisory capacity. Currently (2020) there is only one Parliamentary State Secretary for Western Pomerania with the Prime Minister.
  • In 1986 in North Rhine-Westphalia a law introduced the possibility of appointing parliamentary state secretaries. They have to be members of the state parliament, but do not belong to the state government. Their position is regulated by the law on the office of a Parliamentary State Secretary for special government tasks in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia of March 11, 1986. Currently (2020) there is only one Parliamentary State Secretary at the Minister for Culture and Science.

Similar regulations exist in Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, which do not know the designation Parliamentary State Secretaries, but use the designation State Secretary in an atypical way for officials who do not perform the function of the head of office (which in these countries is regularly the responsibility of ministerial directors as top officials):

  • In Baden-Württemberg can be appointed since 1972. "Political Secretaries". You do not belong to the state government. Their position is regulated in the Law on the Legal Relationships of Political State Secretaries (State Secretaries Act) of 19 July 1972. There are eight people in the current electoral term. The state constitution allows state secretaries to be appointed as additional members of the state government.
  • In Bavaria , state secretaries can be appointed who, like the ministers, have a public-law office, are members of the government and may or may not belong to the state parliament. They are subject to the instructions of the ministers. There are four people in the current electoral term.

Corresponding laws have been repealed in Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein:

  • In Saxony there were parliamentary state secretaries only during the first  legislative period of the Saxon state parliament (1990 to 1994). Their position was regulated by the “Saxon Ministerial Law”. The office was abolished by an amendment to the law of January 12, 1995.
  • In Schleswig-Holstein the office of “Parliamentary Representative” had existed since 1948, which was upgraded in 1971 and renamed “Parliamentary State Secretary” in 1979. Parliamentary state secretaries have not been appointed since 1988. The office was finally abolished by the law amending the State Ministers Act of December 19, 2000.


  • Steffi Menzenbach: The parliamentary - parliamentary state secretaries in the federal and state levels - legal bases, status, functions (=  contributions to parliamentary law . Volume 74 ). Duncker & Humblot , Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-428-14627-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Answer of the Federal Government to the small question of the MPs Sven-Christian Kindler, Ekin Deligöz, Anja Hajduk, other MPs and the parliamentary group BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN - printed matter 18/417 - number of state secretaries and the representatives of the new federal government (printed matter 18/570). In: German Bundestag - 18th electoral term. February 19, 2014, accessed October 28, 2019 (p. 2).
  2. DC Umbach, T. Clemens (Ed.) (2002): Basic Law. Staff comment and manual. Volume II. Art. 38-146 GG, p. 418.
  3. The Financing of Parliamentary State Secretaries - The Most Important Facts. In: Federation of Taxpayers Germany . Retrieved October 23, 2019 .
  4. Martin Greive: There were only so many state secretaries under Kohl. In: Welt Online . December 18, 2013, accessed October 23, 2019 .
  5. Steffi Menzenbach: Briefly noted. In: Parliament No. 45. German Bundestag, 2009, accessed on October 23, 2019 .
  6. Law on the Legal Relationships of Parliamentary State Secretaries (LParlG) of July 18, 1991. In: GVOBl. MV 1991, p. 291. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, service portal , accessed on October 23, 2019 .
  7. Law on the office of a Parliamentary State Secretary for special government tasks in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia of March 11, 1986. In: GV. NW. 1986, p., March 13, 1986, accessed on October 23, 2019 .
  8. Law on the legal relationships of political state secretaries (State Secretaries Act - StSG) of July 19, 1972. In: Gazette 1972, p. 392. Landesrecht BW Bürgerservice, July 21, 1972, accessed on October 23, 2019 .
  9. Article 45 of the constitution of the state of Baden-Württemberg
  10. Small question from the MP Dr. Johann Wadephul (CDU) and response from the state government - Prime Minister: State Secretaries. (PDF) In: Drucksache 15/2502. Schleswig-Holstein State Parliament, February 24, 2003, pp. 7–8 , accessed on October 23, 2019 .
  11. Law amending the State Ministers Act of December 19, 2000. (PDF) In: Law and Ordinance Gazette for Schleswig-Holstein, No. 1/2001. Ministry of the Interior of Schleswig-Holstein, January 18, 2001, pp. 4–6 , accessed on October 23, 2019 .


  1. also abbreviated as “ParlStS” in the BMVg division. PSt is also used. There is no official abbreviation.
  2. This regulation was inserted into the law in 1998 so that Michael Naumann could become Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery, so-called "Lex Naumann"