Volker Bouffier

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Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (2016)

Volker Bouffier [ ˈfɔlkɐ bʊˈfjeː ] (born December 18, 1951 in Gießen ) is a German politician ( CDU ) and since 2010 Prime Minister of the State of Hesse . Since March 14, 2018, he has been the longest serving Prime Minister in Germany.

Origin, profession

Volker Bouffier in 2013 at a speech on the topic of state financial equalization in the Hessian state parliament

After graduating from the Herderschule in Gießen in 1970 , Bouffier studied law at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen , which he completed in 1975 with the first state examination in law. He passed his second state examination in law in 1977. From 1975 to 1978 he was a research assistant at the chair for public law at the University of Giessen, after which he was admitted to the bar.

In his youth he was a basketball player for MTV Gießen and a youth national player until an accident .

In 1999 the Giessen public prosecutor's office investigated Bouffier on suspicion of betrayal . Between 1997 and 1999, Bouffier advised both the husband and, later, his wife, legally in a divorce proceeding. In August 1999, the preliminary investigation in accordance with Section 153a of the Code of Criminal Procedure was discontinued in return for payment of a sum of 8,000 DM. Since there had been a meeting shortly before between the chief public prosecutor, his staff and the state secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Justice , the opposition in the state parliament set up a committee of inquiry to clarify the circumstances surrounding the termination of the proceedings. While the CDU and FDP exonerated Bouffier, the SPD and Bündnis90 / Die Grünen objected to inappropriate influence.

To this day, Bouffier runs a law firm in Giessen together with the former Interior Minister of Thuringia, Karl Heinz Gasser .

Family and health

Volker Bouffier with his wife Ursula Bouffier at the opening of Documenta 14 on June 10, 2017 in Kassel

Volker Bouffier is a Protestant. He is married to Ursula Bouffier, a trained radiology assistant and former CDU member of the district council, with whom he has two adult sons. His daughter is from his first marriage. Bouffier comes from a political family: his grandfather Robert Ferdinand August Bouffier (1883–1971) was a co-founder of the CDU in Giessen, his father Robert Bouffier (1920–1999), a lawyer, CDU local politician and his sister Karin Bouffier-Pfeffer (* 1958) City councilor in the City of Giessen. His son Frederik Bouffier (* 1990) is a CDU member in the Giessen city council. His mother was a Donauschwäbin from Nova Pazova (Neu-Pasua) in Yugoslavia (now Serbia ), who had to leave the country at the end of the Second World War .

At the beginning of 2019, Volker Bouffier was diagnosed with skin cancer in the area of ​​the nose, which was successfully treated with outpatient radiation and chemotherapy in the Marburg University Hospital . After a final rehabilitation stay in southern Germany of several weeks , he resumed government business in full in May 2019.


Political party

Bouffier was initially involved in the Junge Union , whose Hessian state chairman he was from 1978 to 1984.

Since 1978 he has been a member of the state executive committee of the CDU Hessen and was deputy state chairman from 1991 to June 12, 2010. After Roland Koch withdrew from all political offices, he proposed Volker Bouffier as his successor for the CDU state chairmanship and the office of prime minister. Koch recommended the CDU federal leadership around Chancellor and party leader Angela Merkel Bouffier as his successor in the function of deputy federal chairman. On June 12, 2010 the delegates of the 103rd state party conference elected Bouffier as chairman of the state association of the CDU Hessen. On August 31, 2010, the state parliament elected him Prime Minister of Hesse. On November 15, 2010, Bouffier was elected deputy federal chairman for the first time at the 23rd CDU federal party conference in Karlsruhe with 85.1 percent, and was confirmed in this position on December 4, 2012 in Hanover with 83.0 percent.

From 1987 to February 13, 2004 he was also chairman of the CDU district association in Giessen, whose honorary chairman he has been since then. He was followed by Helge Braun .

At the 105th state party congress, he was nominated as the top candidate for the state election on September 22, 2013 . Under him as the election winner, the first black-green coalition ( Bouffier II cabinet ) was formed in a German state.


Bouffier was a city councilor in Gießen from 1979 to 1993. From 1979 to 1999 he was a member of the district council of the district of Gießen .

Volker Bouffier at an election campaign event of the CDU for the 2017 federal election on September 25, 2017 in Fritzlar

From 1982 to 1987 he was and since 1991 he has been a member of the Hessian state parliament . From 1993 to 1999 he was deputy chairman of the CDU parliamentary group . In 2009 he won his constituency of Giessen II with 42.6 percent of the first votes. In the 2013 state elections , he ran again in the constituency of Gießen II and thus again against Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel , who ran for the first time in his functions as SPD state chairman and top candidate of his party. Nevertheless, Bouffier defended the direct mandate with 46.9 percent to 39.3 percent for Schäfer-Gümbel.

Offices in the Hessian state government

Bouffier appoints the ministers of the black-green coalition

From 1987 to 1991 Bouffier was State Secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Justice of the state government led by Prime Minister Walter Wallmann .

From April 1999 until his election as Prime Minister he was Hessian Minister of the Interior and for Sport in the Cabinets Koch I , Koch II and Koch III . In addition, he was one of the stakeholders of Hesse and the Federal States of the Justice and Home Affairs Council of the EU to.

In the spring of 2010, Roland Koch announced his retirement from all political offices and proposed Volker Bouffier as his successor for the CDU state chairmanship, the office of prime minister and the role of deputy federal chairman. On August 31, 2010, Bouffier was elected Prime Minister by the Hessian state parliament and has since headed the black and yellow cabinet . In the first ballot he received 66 and thus all votes of the CDU- FDP government coalition . 50 MPs voted against him.

In the state elections on September 22, 2013, the CDU emerged as the winner with a slightly improved 38.3 percent. Since the FDP posted heavy losses and only just managed to return to the state parliament with 5.0 percent, the black-yellow coalition lost its government majority. On the other hand, the SPD , together with the Greens , could not achieve the change in policy it wanted , as the left also managed to make the leap into parliament. Bouffier raised his party's claim for the formation of a government and began exploratory talks with both the SPD and the Greens. On November 23, 2013, Bouffier made the Greens around the chairman and top candidate Tarek Al-Wazir an offer to start talks with the CDU to form a black-green coalition. The next day, a small party congress of the Greens decided by a large majority to accept the offer. After the coalition negotiations were concluded, the black-green coalition agreement was approved by the CDU and Greens bodies on December 21, 2013. It is the first black-green coalition in an open country. On January 18, 2014, Bouffier was re-elected as Prime Minister with 62 votes in the state parliament and thus received one more vote than the CDU and the Greens unite. He then appointed the Bouffier II cabinet .

On October 10, 2014, Bouffier was ordinarily elected President of the Federal Council. He held this office from November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2015. Since March 14, 2018, Bouffier has been the longest serving minister-president in Germany.

After the state elections in Hesse in 2018 , Bouffier's previous state government received a narrow one-vote majority despite the CDU's losses due to the good election result of the Greens. After agreeing to continue the cooperation in coalition negotiations, Bouffier was re-elected with 69 votes at the constituent state parliament session on January 18, 2019 and thus achieved exactly the required majority. He then formed the Bouffier III cabinet .

Political positions

Until 2010

Bouffier was considered a loyal colleague of Roland Koch . In domestic politics he advocated the tightening or the use of new surveillance methods. In particular, he spoke out in favor of raster searches , license plate scanners or telecommunications surveillance in crime prosecution, which earned him the nickname "Black Sheriff".

After the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001, he introduced the computer search in Hesse . He also started the voluntary police service and had refugees deported without compromise. He is also committed to online monitoring and data storage. During his tenure as Minister of the Interior, Bouffier modernized the Hessian police force and made them a pioneer in the fight against Internet crime. In 2002 Bouffier stood behind the deputy Frankfurt police chief Wolfgang Daschner , who had threatened the kidnapper and murderer of Jakob von Metzler, Magnus Gäfgen , with torture.

Since 2010

The first result of a cross-party consensus was the negotiations to anchor a debt brake in the Hessian constitution. The CDU, SPD, Greens and FDP spoke out in favor of the debt brake, which was passed in a referendum on March 27, 2011.

In 2011 he spoke out in favor of tax simplifications.

Bouffier rejects the adoption of children by same-sex couples. The well-being of the children is his priority. Although there are same-sex couples who raise children lovingly, many people, across party lines, felt “a certain unease”. "I belong to these people too," he told the mirror . "The question of adoption cannot be answered with one quick shot."

After the negotiations at the Prime Minister's Conference failed, the Bavarian state government met with the Hessian cabinet in Schloss Biebrich on February 5, 2013 and decided to file a lawsuit against the current system of state financial equalization . On March 25, 2013, the state of Hesse and Bavaria filed a lawsuit with the Federal Constitutional Court against the state financial equalization scheme.

Bouffier supports volunteering. In 2011, for example, the state foundation “Together in Hessen” was founded on his initiative. To this day (as of 3/2014) Volker Bouffier is chairman of the board of trustees.

In mid-April 2014, in the course of the Crimean crisis , Bouffier supported a statement by Wolfgang Schäuble in which he had compared the annexation of Crimea with the annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938.


As Minister of the Interior, Bouffier was politically responsible for the actions of the Hessian police during the kidnapping of Jakob von Metzler . Metzler's kidnapper, Magnus Gäfgen , was threatened with torture by the deputy Frankfurt police chief Wolfgang Daschner . In the run-up to the Daschner trial , Daschner claimed to have obtained backing from the Ministry of the Interior for this procedure. The state government denied this and instructed the ministerial officials via SMS not to comment on the reports.

Bouffier has already received two Big Brother Awards in the Politics category for his work as Minister of the Interior . The first “award” in 2002 related to the changes to the Hessian Police Act following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the associated renewed use of the computer search . Originally, this type of search was only permitted in a state of emergency. A Sudanese student from Giessen filed a lawsuit against the new regulation with the Wiesbaden district court and was right at the beginning of February 2002. The Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main confirmed this decision two weeks later, thereby stopping the computer search in Hesse. However, with the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe in April 2006, according to which a preventive police search is not compatible with the Basic Law, Hesse's security and regulatory law has to be re-examined.

Volker Bouffier owes his second Big Brother Award in 2005 to the new regulations of the Hessian police law passed by the state parliament on December 14, 2004. The background to this negative award is, among other things, legal changes to telecommunications surveillance (TKÜ), which allow the use of IMSI catchers to detect the location of a cell phone. The associated preventive monitoring of potential criminals is in contrast to data protection and privacy of a person. A few months earlier, the Federal Constitutional Court had declared a similar regulation in the state of Lower Saxony to be invalid. Furthermore, the DNA analysis of people under 14 years of age is reminded, which according to the law in Hessen may be used on children who have committed a criminal offense of considerable importance and who could do so again in the future. The decision to extend video surveillance is the third reason for the award. The Hessian police are authorized to save the data of controlled persons, for data of third parties only data collection is allowed. However, since a video camera does not know this difference, the jury found this regulation to be “legislative nonsense”, which was implemented despite a previous legal opinion.

On March 29, 2007, the Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen MP Tarek Al-Wazir called for Bouffier's resignation as Interior Minister because he refused to take a stand on the radical right-wing activities of Michel Friedman 's bodyguards. Because Bouffier appointed his fellow party member and then Vice President of the Central Hesse Police Headquarters, Hans Langecker, as President of the Hessian riot police without a prior selection process, the SPD demanded Bouffier's resignation in March 2010. A competitor for the office had previously challenged the selection process at the Hessian Administrative Court and won the vote.

In September 2010 it became known that between 2008 and 2010 contracts for a total of 21 million euros, which should have been put out to tender according to the EU procurement regulation and which fell under the responsibility of the Hessian Ministry of the Interior, had been awarded "by hand" to CDU-affiliated entrepreneurs.

In November 2011 it became known that a preliminary investigation initiated in connection with the investigation into the illegal arrest of Jörg Bergstedt against the then Hessian Minister of the Interior, Volker Bouffier, was moved out of the focus of attention by a file “correction”.

After Halit Yozgat's murder in April 2006 in an Internet café in Kassel, at which Andreas Temme , an employee of the Hessian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, was also present and the only witness who claims not to have heard any shots, Bouffier prevented the police according to a report by the ZDF magazine Frontal to hear other witnesses and to investigate a possible involvement of the intelligence service, because he wanted to ensure the protection of the informants. Bouffier was questioned on September 28, 2012 as part of the NSU investigative committee in the Bundestag . The preliminary investigation against Temme was closed in May 2018 because no intent could be proven.

The State Office for the Protection of the Constitution Hessen must be Temme his time as interior minister information on possible interventions Volker Bouffier in the case of ex-constitutional protector Andreas, the report presented the Hessenschau on June 9, 2020. She quoted from a report published on the same day decision of the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden from from which it emerges that the court granted an urgent application by a journalist in this matter and obliged the state office to answer the questions he had asked (AZ: 2 L 2032 / 19.WI) . The journalist wanted to find out how often Volker Bouffier (CDU), as Minister of the Interior, intervened in the investigation into the Kassel NSU murder . On October 5, 2006, Bouffier had submitted the application from the Kassel public prosecutor's office for permission to testify for sources in the extremist scene managed by Temme. The consequence of this so-called blocking declaration was that the police could not formally question the sources. Instead, they were questioned by employees of the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution .

In January 2015 it became known that Bouffier made lawsuits by the electricity companies and nuclear power plant operators ENBW, E.ON and RWE possible against the state of Hesse. They are demanding damages of around 880 million euros. After the federal government's moratorium, Bouffier threatened the corporations that he would “take action” against the Biblis B nuclear power plant being put back into operation. A letter proves that the then RWE boss had expressly asked the Hessian Prime Minister for this letter. It says: “Minister Pofalla promised to give me (...) a written notification that you will prevent a possible start-up. When can we expect this letter? "


Honorary positions and other functions

In addition to his work as Prime Minister of Hesse, he also holds other offices.

Since 2006 he has been a member of the Friends of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial .


Because he had made a special contribution to the sport, Volker Bouffier was awarded the OFC Silver Badge of Honor in May 2005 by Waldemar Klein , honorary president of the Kickers Offenbach football club. In 2005 Bouffier received the Hessian Order of Merit together with Ministers Karlheinz Weimar and Christean Wagner from Prime Minister Roland Koch . The ministers themselves are entitled to propose the award of the medal, which the opposition took as a reason for criticism. The CDU member of the state parliament, Armin Klein , referred to the fact that in 2005 the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was also awarded to members of the federal government, such as Defense Minister Struck, and that it was common practice to award medals to ministers.

On October 7, 2006, Volker Bouffier received the IOC Trophy “Sports and Community” on the grounds that, as Hessian Minister of the Interior and for Sport, he had done an outstanding job of promoting the development of sport in the municipalities and clubs of his country.

Bouffier has been the recipient of the German Fire Brigade Cross of Honor in gold since April 2012 .

At the 68th Sudeten German Day 2017 in Augsburg , Bouffier was awarded the European Charlemagne Prize of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft .

In 2018, Volker Bouffier received the Federal Cross of Merit with a star and a shoulder ribbon from Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier .


  • Jochen Lengemann : The Hessen Parliament 1946–1986 . Biographical handbook of the advisory state committee, the state assembly advising the constitution and the Hessian state parliament (1st – 11th electoral period). Ed .: President of the Hessian State Parliament. Insel-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-458-14330-0 , p. 218–219 ( hessen.de [PDF; 12.4 MB ]).
  • Jochen Lengemann: MdL Hessen. 1808-1996. Biographical index (= political and parliamentary history of the state of Hesse. Vol. 14 = publications of the Historical Commission for Hesse. Vol. 48, 7). Elwert, Marburg 1996, ISBN 3-7708-1071-6 , p. 84.

Web links

Commons : Volker Bouffier  - Collection of Images
 Wikinews: Volker Bouffier  - in the news

Individual evidence

  1. The end of multiculturalism. "You can't keep silent about something like that ." In: Focus 37/2010, September 13, 2010
  2. Hesse's interior minister pays a fine - investigators stop proceedings for party treason. . In: Berliner Zeitung , August 10, 1999
  3. Christoph Maria Fröhder and Hans Leyendecker: Muzzle for the Public Prosecutor - How politicians hinder the judiciary. ARD exclusive report, September 25, 2002, 9:45 p.m.
  4. ^ Report of the Committee of Inquiry 15/1 of April 4, 2000
  5. ^ Bouffier - Wolf Rechtsanwälte - Notar , accessed on February 8, 2013
  6. ^ "Bouffier, Robert". Hessian biography. (As of February 14, 2016). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS).
  7. ^ Politics Volker Bouffier. “My children are under constant surveillance” Die Welt, August 5, 2011 , accessed on July 30, 2015
  8. Bouffier grandfather for the first time , fnp.de from August 23, 2013 ( memento from September 24, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on July 30, 2015
  9. Bouffier visits Serbia and Albania. On: hessenschau.de, March 4, 2017
  10. Concern about the Prime Minister: Volker Bouffier (CDU) suffers from skin cancer
  11. Bouffier ends skin cancer treatment
  12. Interview with Prime Minister Volker Bouffier
  13. swd / APN / AFP: New Prime Minister in Hesse: Bouffier should be fulfilled . In: Stern, August 31, 2010
  14. CDU wants to negotiate a coalition with the Greens . On: welt.de, November 22, 2013
  15. ^ "Never dreamed of it" - Greens negotiate with CDU in Hesse ( Memento from December 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ). In: Frankfurter Rundschau, November 23, 2013
  16. Five good reasons for black and green in Hessen . On: focus.de, November 22, 2013
  17. a b Gisela Kirschstein, apn, N24: Koch's most loyal colleague is his successor . In: N24, May 25, 2010
  18. 70 percent for the debt brake, FAZ of March 27, 2011
  19. "Kirchhof's tax plan is attractive". Bouffier: Tax cut by five billion euros ( Memento of July 3, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Interview with Michael Bröcker in the Rheinische Post, June 30, 2011
  20. ^ Coalition dispute : Union politicians reject the right to adopt gay couples . In: Spiegel online. June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  21. ^ Members of the Board of Trustees. Landesstiftung Mithaben-in-Hessen, accessed on November 18, 2019 .
  22. welt.de: Interview
  23. spiegel.de: Bouffier confirms the controversial Hitler-Russia comparison
  24. Daschner claims to have had his back for threats of torture . dpa report in: Rhein-Zeitung, November 13, 2004
  25. Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen Hessen: Backing from the Interior Ministry for Daschner? Press release from November 16, 2004
  26. Big Brother Awards: The Big Brother Award in the Politics category goes to the Hessian Minister of the Interior, Mr. Volker Bouffier ( Memento from October 30, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). October 25, 2002
  27. ↑ The court stops raster searches in Hesse ( memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). In: Netzeitung, February 21, 2002
  28. Second instance confirms the end of the raster search ( memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). In: Netzeitung, February 7, 2002
  29. Federal Constitutional Court BvR 518/02 of April 4, 2006 . Guidelines for the resolution of the First Senate of April 4, 2006
  30. Hesse reviews the law on raster search , ddp , 23 May 2006
  31. Big Brother Awards: The Big Brother Award 2005 in the “Politics” category goes to the Interior Minister of the State of Hesse. ( Memento of September 8, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). February 13, 2006
  32. a b c Hessian Ministry of the Interior and for Sport: From the Hessian State Parliament: Interior Minister Volker Bouffier: Hesse has the most modern police law  ( page no longer available , search in web archives ). Press release from December 14, 2004@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.hmdi.hessen.de
  33. Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen: Right-wing extremist police officers are not worthy of Bouffier's opinion in parliament . Press release from March 29, 2007
  34. ^ Frankfurter Rundschau (no date given): Right-wing extremist police officers
  35. ^ SPD suggests Interior Minister Bouffier resigns. HNA.de, March 9, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
  36. ( Page no longer available , search in web archives: clarification required. Greens criticize the award of contracts )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.hr-online.de
  37. ^ Pitt von Bebenburg: Bouffier under pressure - Bergstedt files "corrected". In: Frankfurter Rundschau. Frankfurter Rundschau GmbH, November 24, 2011, archived from the original on August 9, 2016 ; Retrieved April 1, 2017 .
  38. ^ Ulrich Stoll: Brown Terror - Blind State. The trace of the Nazi trio ( Memento from June 29, 2012 in the Internet Archive ). In: ZDF Frontal, June 26, 2012
  39. Investigation against Andreas Temme stopped. In: Frankfurter Rundschau , May 3, 2018.
  40. ^ Hessenschau: NSU murder in Kassel. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution has to answer a question about Bouffier and Temme. June 9, 2020 (accessed June 11, 2020)
  41. MONITOR press release: Politicians are helping nuclear companies to file lawsuits of 882 million euros - Green parliamentary group is considering investigative committee
  42. Hessische Kulturstiftung ( Memento from October 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  43. ^ Website of the credit institute for reconstruction
  44. ^ Deutsches Museum ( Memento from May 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  45. ^ University of Frankfurt / Main ( Memento from April 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  46. ^ Website of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation
  47. ^ Website of the German Sports Aid Foundation
  48. ^ Website of the Fritz Bauer Institute
  49. Frankfurt Airport Foundation website
  50. red / kai: Again patron of the Bad Hersfeld Festival - Prime Minister Bouffier opens the festival . In: hersfelder-zeitung.de . June 2, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2015.
  51. Friends of the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial: Activities 2006: Visit by Interior Minister Bouffier ( memo of July 24, 2008 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on February 11, 2009
  52. FABD: Prime Minister honors party friends: the dispute over Order of CDU politician. In: hr online. May 20, 2005, archived from the original on June 6, 2010 ; Retrieved February 8, 2013 .
  53. Dr. Thomas Bach awards IOC trophy “Sport and Community” to Hesse's Minister of State, Volker Bouffier . Press release from the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), October 6, 2006
  54. Own information on the homepage ( Memento from May 3, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  55. ↑ Awarding of the medal to the Prime Minister on bundespraesident.de, December 13, 2018