Federal President (Germany)

this article treats the Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany. For further meanings of the term see Federal President.

The Federal President is a head of state of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its political powers are however limited. Its seats are the lock Bellevuein Berlin and the mansion Hammerschmidt in Bonn. In the practice of its tasks the Office of the President of the Federal republic supports it. The Federal President is selected for one term of office by five years by the Presidential Election Council. Following re-election is only once permissible. A later re-electionis not impossible, if another Federal President were intermediate in the office. Present office holder is refuge charcoal burner.

Refuge charcoal burner - 9. Federal President (since 2004 in the office)

table of contents

tasks and powers in the condition structure of the Federal Republic of

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 ID: CDU	VALUE: black	putting: CDU ID: SPD VALUE: talk	putting: SPD ID: FDP VALUE: yellow	putting: FDP


bar: Bundespraes color: CDU width: 20 fontsize: M align: left SHIFTs: (20, - 5) Marks: (LINE, white) from: start till: 12/09/1949 fontsize: S text:Karl_Arnold _ (kommissarisch) from: 12/09/1949 till: 12/09/1959 text:Theodor_Heuss color: FDP from: 12/09/1959 till: 30/06/1969 text:Heinrich_Lübke from: 01/07/1969 till: 30/06/1974 text:Gustav_Heinemann color: SPD from: 01/07/1974 till: 30/06/1979 text:Walter_Scheel color: FDP from: 01/07/1979 till: 30/06/1984 text:Karl_Carstens from: 01/07/1984 till: 30/06/1994 text:Richard_von_Weizsäckerfrom: 01/07/1994 till: 30/06/1999 text:Roman_Herzog from: 01/07/1999 till: 30/06/2004 text:Johannes_Rau color: SPD from: 01/07/2004 till: end to text:Horst_Köhler

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The Federal President has representative tasks in his function as a head of state above all, i.e., he

  • represents the Federal Republic according to international law,
  • authenticates diplomatic representatives and
  • has upFederal level the power of pardon, which it however partly delegated to other federal mechanisms. It can express however no amnesty, because for this a Federal law would be necessary.

In the political one its tasks and powers are mainly settled on the formal level:

  • Signing andAnnouncing the Federals law (by proclamation in the federal law gazette),
  • suggesting the Federal Chancellor for the choice (by the Bundestag) as well as its appointment and/or dismissal,
  • appointment and dismissal of Federal Ministers on suggestion of the Federal Chancellor,
  • appointment and dismissal of Federal High Court Judges, federal officials, officers and NCOs,if nothing else is certain by arrangements and orders,
  • announcing the statement of the defense case and delivery of international-law explanations after beginning of an attack as well as
  • summoning of the party financing commission after the party law

in all these cases is the Federal President above all implementing. Nearlyeveryone this document requires according to the article 58 the Basic Law of the counter signature by a member of the Federal Government. This leads to the fact that sometimes the Federal President also as a federal notary one scoffs.

international-law agency and commitment with regard to foreign policy

novel duke (* 1934)
7. Federal President (1994-1999)
with franz. President
Jacques Chirac (* 1932) (center)

the Federal President closes in the name of the Federal Republic of Germany contracts. It authorizes for this in all rule other federal officials. Such contracts must be ratified by the legislator. Likewise the international-law becomesAcknowledgment of a state or the acknowledgment of diplomats of a State of (Agrément) formally expressed by the Federal President. The political decision for this meets however the Federal Government.

The Federal President undertakes also state visits. Here the problem of the political statements steps those into speeches,down one treats, likewise up.

The Federal President made his first state visit in the office in France regular. Federal President Köhler deviated from this rule, by abstattete its first state visit its native country Poland, of Germany eastern neighbour.

The statement of theDefense case, which takes place upon the request of the Federal Government via Bundestag and Bundesrat, one announces by the Federal President in the federal law gazette. As soon as the case of defense is announced, the Federal President with agreement of the federal daily can make international-law declarations over the existence of the defense case.

Appointment and dismissal of the members of the Federal Government

the Federal President suggest to the Bundestag according to the article 63 a candidate to the choice to the Federal Chancellor. Regularly discussions with the politicians concerned precede the suggestion. Formal-legally the Federal President is free in his suggestion decision.However so far each Federal President suggested the candidate of the coalition victorious with the election to the Bundestag to the Federal Chancellor; everyone of these candidates was then also selected. If the candidate suggested by the Federal President should not be selected, then a two-week period begins, in thatthe Bundestag independently of the suggestion of the Federal President a Federal Chancellor to select can. In each case the Federal President must appoint a candidate selected with absolute majority. A choice with absolute majority comes itself however neither in the two weeks nor in thatfor directly, then the appointment of a minority government is just as possible following third choice phase as the dissolution of the federal daily. In this case a counter signature is not necessary by the Federal Government. For the appointment of a Federal Chancellor a counter signature is necessary in no case.

The Federal President must appoint from the Federal Chancellor the suggesting Federal Ministers. It has here if necessary a formal test right, about whether the suggested Germans is; it possesses however no personnel test right. A relevant unjustified demand of Theodor Heuss, that itself before the appointmentthe Minister of the first cabinet Adenauer a Minister list submit to let wanted, by Adenauer was rejected. This never represented one since that time in question to precedent placed .

Also with the dismissal of a Minister the Federal President does not have a say. It must ofFederal Chancellor met decision formally reconstruct.

The Federal President cannot reject a resignation of the Federal Chancellor; it must dismiss the Federal Chancellor in this case. He must dismiss also in case of successful constructional vote of no confidence the past office holder and appoint again the selecting.

The Federal President can ask a dismissed Federal Chancellor or Federal Minister according to the article 69 of the Basic Law to resume the office business up to the choice of the successor. He handled this usually in such a way. Only important exception was the dismissal from Willy Brandt afterits resignation 1974. Here Brandt had asked with the continuation of the office business to be entrusted. Heinemann corresponded to this desire; thus the vice-chancellor walter cross-eyed just dismissed officiated for some days as a Federal Chancellor. For this request is likewiseno counter signature necessarily.

The Federal President does not have a say during the appointment of the deputy of the Federal Chancellor. This is a decision, which is made and carried out exclusively by the Federal Chancellor.

signing of laws

the Federal President has with the signingof laws a formal test right whether these came condition in accordance with. Parts of the jurisprudence see this even as examination obligation. The existence of a material test right is however far away disputed.

In the past the Federals President have rarely (so far six times),then however under large public attention, laws „continue “, i.e. does not sign. They justified this usually thereby that laws had been duly adopted, contentwise however the Basic Law would contradict.

Thus Federal President von Weizsäcker held 1991 a law for privatisation for thatAir traffic administration for unconstitutional and did not sign the law. This led to the insertion of the article 87 D into the Basic Law, which released it to the legislator whether the air traffic administration is arranged in public or in way under private law. Thereupon the law becameagain decided and finally of Weizsäcker signs.

Federal President Rau signed 2002 after mehrmonatiger examination the Zuwanderungsgesetz, although this had been decided in the Upper House of Parliament in a disputed tuning. There it before requested by Prime Ministers of the CDU/CSU in additionwas not to sign the law connected it its signing with a public explanation, in which it called for clarifying the state of affairs by the Federal Constitutional Court and which took part in the disputed tuning expressly reprimanded. Thereupon of some Lands of the Federal Republic calledFederal Constitutional Court explained the law with 6:2 voices for unconstitutional come to conditions and thus futile.

A similar attitude took Karl Carstens 1981 with the state adhesion State of, novel duke 1994 with the atomic law and refuge charcoal burner 2005 with the air safety law. They made theirConsider the president of Bundestag and Bundesrat opposite clearly.

Altogether the opinion prevails predominantly in the public law teachings that a Federal President may stop a law only with obvious collision with the condition - contentwise or when coming off - (there it notto be zugemutet can to sign an obviously fundamental right-adverse law). Otherwise the statement of the unconstitutionality is task of the Federal Constitutional Court.

dissolution federal daily and legislation state of emergency

real one political powers close up the office holder only in closely outlined exceptional cases. So can it in two cases dissolve the Bundestag: If the suggested candidate for this office should receive a relative majority also in the third ballot only with the choice of the Federal Chancellor, the Federal President has the possibility of appointing him (minority government) orbut the Bundestag to dissolve (article 63 of the Basic Law). In this case the dissolution arrangement does not need a counter signature by the Federal Government, particularly since such is not in the office.

Likewise the Federal President knows the Bundestag after a failed question of confidence (article 68 of the Basic Law)dissolve. This happened in history of the German Federal Republic so far three times:1972 dissolved Gustav Heinemann the Bundestag, 1983 Karl Carstens and 2005 refuge charcoal burner. However this situation in all three cases was consciously caused by the respective government parliamentary factions, around desiredTo make possible new elections. Against Carstens' members of the federal daily an organ complaint exerted dissolution decision . The Federal Constitutional Court came in its judgement to the opinion that the Federal President has to examine, whether the Federal Chancellor actually no more the confidence of the majority thatPossesses members of the federal daily or whether this wants to operate the dissolution of the federal daily abusively, confirmed however in the long run the dissolution of the federal daily.

In case of the lost tuning over the question of confidence is the Federal President upon the request of the Federal Government and with agreement of theUpper House of Parliament authorizes, but does not obligate to explain the legislation state of emergency according to the article 81 of the Basic Law. This case did not arise in the history of the Federal Republic so far yet.

state States of

the Federal President, national anthem, flag, coat of arms is justified, Uniform one, service clothes, Amtstracht of the judges, their use, to arrange as well as acts of state and state funerals if not in each case (reason) the legislator - as for instance with the regulation over the federal flag in article 22 of the Basic Law - became active. These arrangements must in each caseby a member of the Federal Government to be countersigned.

Likewise Federal President Orden and Ehrenzeichen lends, among them the Order of Merit in several stages and the silver laurel leaf.

The national anthem became in exchanges of letters between Federal President Heuss and Bundeskanzler Adenauer 1952 and/or. betweenFederal President von Weizsäcker and Bundeskanzler Kohl 1991 fixed. The respective answer of the Federal Chancellors is interpreted generally as counter signature for the order of the Federal President. This interpretation is supported by the fact that two exchanges of letters in the federal law gazette were published and therebyan quasi-official character received.

These powers do not have a formal-legal basis in the Basic Law or a Federal law. The majority of the public law teachers justifies it therefore with the traditional definition sovereignty von Staatsoberhäuptern over state symbols (“honour sovereignty “).

position in the political everyday life

historical overview

the weak position of the Federal President, which is to be read off particularly from the counter signature obligation and its small material-political powers, is also a reaction to the experiences of the Weimar Republic. During the consultation of the parliamentary advicelarge consent of all involved ones prevailed that again such a outstanding position in the political system to the president should not come like at that time to the realm president (for example Paul von Hindenburg). In particular the emergency decree right (article 48 that Weimar condition), the rightto govern the realm president, in emergency with präsidentiellen issuing at the selected Reichstag past, and the right of the realm president to appoint the realm chancellor (in own political decision and not as in the Federal Republic only in formal reconstructing that), For the political crisis of the Weimar Republic starting from 1930 with chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz of Papen and short is made jointly responsible finally for choice of the federal daily by Schleicher and gliding into the dictatorship under Adolf Hitler. However was the emergency decree right exercised at the beginning of the Weimar Republic by Friedrich Ebert still in predominantly as positively designated way.

The removal of these two important rights was a clear deprivation of power of the president office. An emergency decree right of the executive gives it in thatFederal Republic of no more, even in the legislation state of emergency does not prevail still parliamentary control by the Upper House of Parliament; the appointment and dismissal of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Minister essentially lie in the hand of the federal daily and/or the Federal Chancellor.

To this Schmälerung of the competences became parallelalso the mode of election for the president changes: If the realm president had been directly selected still by the people (1925 and 1932), then the Federal President is selected by only the Presidential Election Council meeting for this purpose. Thus the democratic authentication became of theFederal President more indirectly: It is of the sovereign a selected head of state, but by an elector committee (that for his part however is democratically legitimized) is no longer directly determined. The refusal (again) of the introduction of a step-by-step selection of the Federal President also with the fact is justified that otherwise a disproportion betweenstrong democratic authentication (it would be then apart from the Bundestag the only directly selected constitutional body) and small political power would occur.

However the weak position of the Federal President explains itself additionally also by „the chancellor democracy “, itself in their strongDevelopment in the Adenauers' reign manifested. Thus the reason for the Adenauers' backdowns from the own candidacy is to be seen to the Federal President 1959 - apart from his dislike his potential successor Ludwig Erhard opposite - also in the realization that it as Federal Presidentless influence would have had than Federal Chancellors.

it results political

speeches from this constellation that the Federal President obtains political effect mainly by speeches, which take up or activate social debates. As examples for this are considered the Weizsäcker speech on the occasion of of the40. Anniversary of the completion of the Second World War (1985) and the “jerk speech in such a way specified” novel of duke of 1997 (see Web on the left of). Like no other leading politician the president is independently of the daily politics and can therefore substantially freer thanother politicians topics and time of its expressions determine, which the non-partisanness is obligated (up to Gustav Heinemann let all past presidents their party member shank rest for the duration of the term of office).

The constitutional validity of speeches without „counter signature “is disputed, there oneSpeech in its actual effect a stronger political influence to possibly exercise can than a formal act, for which in almost any case a counter signature is necessary by a member of the Federal Government. The majority of the Staatsrechtler goes however with speeches ofa certain autonomy of the Federal President out, particularly since no formal decisions pleases become and nevertheless among the constitutional bodies ranks the office of the Federal President.

party-political neutrality and political statements

of the office holders always are during his office guidance in oneDilemma, since it acts on the one hand politically (at least however meets political statements), on the other hand however is obligated to the party-political neutrality. The Federals President addressed topics here usually in a rather abstract way (duke jerk speech, Raus globalization criticism), itself in no party-political directionto interpret left, or however the parties altogether attacked (Weizsäckers quotation of the power verse EN and - oblivion of the parties).

Also the fact that the Federals President are usually earned politicians, itself in the party, of that it in the Presidential Election Council, to high-work to have had, give critics reason to the doubt about the party-political independence and neutrality of the Federal President are selected.

The acting Federal President, refuge charcoal burner, is the first office holder, its most important offices not in Germany had and thus really ofoutside into the German policy came. Proponents grant according to him that its speeches are not approximately polished as with other politicians „“, in order to offer to critics no attack region; rather are they open and the problem would designate. It hasitself in addition announced in its term of office already to several current topics to word. Critics reproach to it that he thereby likewise hurt the non-partisanness of the office like the requirement of the noninterference into the daily politics. Refuge charcoal burner seems thereby from thatTo deviate office guidance of its predecessors clearly.

A so far unbroken, unwritten rule is the fact that a former Federal President aims at no more further political offices but if necessary as more elder statesman at the public life participates.

discrete influencing control

the Federal President takes however „behindthe window blinds “quite influence on the daily politics. For this it holds conversations with members of the Federal Government and the federal daily. The boss of the Office of the President of the Federal republic participates in cabinet meetings and reports to the Federal President.

Karitatives commitment

the Federal President takes over a rowof screen rule over of it for meaningfully judged projects. Even if the Federal President is not bound to the assumption of screen rule of its predecessors, it resumes some of it, so the patronage over the German society to the rescue of shipwrecked ones (DGzRS). LikewiseFederal President Preise, under it, lends the German future price and congratulates to anniversaries, e.g. for the 65. Wedding day or the 100. Birthday. Likewise he takes over the honour sponsorship for 7. Child in a family.

choice of the Federal President


the Federal President may belong to the government still another legislative body on federation or regional level according to the article 55 of the Basic Law neither. It may exercise furthermore no other paid office, no trade and no occupation and may neitherto the line still the supervisory board of an enterprise directed toward acquisition belong.

After § 22 of the European electoral law the membership in the European parliament ends with the acceptance of the choice to the Federal President.

candidate selection

the candidate selection in the apron of the actualFederal President choice is strongly coined/shaped of the foreseeable party-political being correct distribution in the Presidential Election Council and appropriate party-tactical considerations. Depending upon initial position the two large parties try to find during (however constituted) a internal-party process a candidate for itself ina majority to the Presidential Election Council to organize leaves. Generally also this takes place already in the apron by means of arrangements between individual parties.

The dominance of party-tactical considerations with the candidate selection (instead of the personality of the possible candidates) and frequent arrangements in the apron, those thoseChoice by the actually responsible committee to the pure formality down-worthy, led to discussions to make a step-by-step selection possible of the Federal President by the people. Proponents argue, a step-by-step selection by the people the entire choice procedure more transparent would make and decisions politicalHinterzimmern into the light of the public bring. Opponents of a step-by-step selection mean that a step-by-step selection the principles of a representative democracy would run contrary and in addition the office of the president too few powers has, in order to be applicable for a step-by-step selection.In addition the office as well as the person of the Federal President in the necessarily becoming election campaign would be damaged.

Presidential Election Council and expiration of the choice

Presidential Election Council

the composition of the Presidential Election Council reflect the federal system of the Federal Republic of Germany: It consists of thatMembers of the Bundestag and just as many electors selected by the 16 state parliaments. Usually it concerns here state parliament delegates and some personalities of the public life, for example out of trade associations or prominent ones, whereby all members of the Presidential Election Council (thus also the representatives outEconomics and Prominenz) with the acceptance of their choice up to meeting the Presidential Election Council immunity enjoy. The President of the Bundestag has the presidency of the Presidential Election Council.

The president is secretly selected by the Presidential Election Council without discussion and. With the choice a candidate those must (absolute) majority of the members of the Presidential Election Council on itself unite; only if this does not succeed to a candidate in two ballots, the relative majority is sufficient in a third ballot. The choice takes place on five years; a unique re-election is possible. Staatsrechtler are predominantly the opinion that the formulation is „following re-election only once permissible “in the article 54 of the Basic Law more than two terms of office of a person permitted, if the coherent times do not exceed ten years in each case. Each German, that is selectable40. Lebensjahr completed and the passive right to vote possesses.

For the introduction of a step-by-step selection a constitutional amendment would be necessary.

swearing-in in

in a common meeting of Bundestag and Bundesrat becomes the new Federal President on the day of the assumption of office (usually that 1. July) of the President of the Bundestag swears in. The oath reads according to the article 56 GG: „I swear that I mean Kraft the well-being of the German people dedicate, its use mehren, damage of him turn, the Basic Law and the laws of the federationprotect and defend, my obligations conscientiously to fulfill and justice against everyone will practice. So truely God help me.“The religious asseveration can be also omitted. The oath must be sworn also as such; a confirmation - like it inPenal code for persons is intended, those for religious reasons an oath to carry out would not like - is not permissible. This obligation is constitutional, since the assumption of the office of the Federal President takes place voluntarily.

Starting from the time of his swearing-in in the Federal President receives a payingof approximately € 213,000 annually, which is disbursed after separating from the office as honouring old up to the end of life.


the agency of the Federal President is noticed by the Upper House of Parliament president, independently of the fact whether the Federal President only temporarily absentor is however incapable of holding office. The agency right finds actually only on parts of the competences of Federal President Anwendung, about if the Federal President on state visit is and quite follows its obligations (with regard to foreign policy), on the other hand however a law frequent to be signed must. In suchCase is signed the law regularly by the deputy of the Federal President.

legal special rights and possibility of the removal from office

privileges in the punishing and civil law

if the Federal President as a witness in a procedure to state is, must he inits dwelling to be heard. This results for the civil proceedings out § 375 exp. 2 ZPO and for the criminal procedure out § 49 StPO.

Who makes itself punishable reviling the Federal President ( § 90 StGB), can criminally onlyare pursued, if the Federal President authorizes the prosecution authorities to it. A compulsion of the Federal President (§ 106 StGB) can be pursued however also without its agreement.

During his term of office Federal President Immunität enjoys. The Federal President cannot be voted out. The only possibility,it its office to relieve, the president accusation before the Federal Constitutional Court is according to the article 61 GG.

president accusation

the president accusation can upon the request of a quarter of the members of the federal daily or the Upper House of Parliament by resolution with a two-thirds majority of Bundestagor Upper House of Parliament at the Federal Constitutional Court to be submitted. After collection of the accusation the Federal Constitutional Court can by provisional arrangement explain that the president at the practice of its office is prevented. It comes in the procedure then to the conclusion, the Federal President has deliberately approximatelythe Basic Law or offended against a Federal law, can it it the office relieve.

The instrument of the president accusation was not so far ever used in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Please you consider also the reference to right topics!

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End of the term of office

since the year 1969 always ended the term of office of the Federal President with expiration 30. June, and its successor stepped its office with beginning of the 1. July on. This rule can however at any time by the prematureCompletion of the office of the Federal President to be interrupted. The office outside of the regularity after five years term of office settled, as the Federal President

  • dies,
  • withdraws (only case: Resignation Heinrich Luebke with effect of the expiration 30. June 1969),
  • its eligibility loses,by
  • according to the article 61 of the Basic Law of its office is relieved (see above).

In this case the Presidential Election Council steps according to the article 54 paragraph4 sentence 1 of the Basic Law at the latest thirty days after the completion of the office together and selects a Federal President, whose term of office begins immediately after the acceptance of the choice. Up to the new election the president of the Upper House of Parliament exercises the powers of the Federal President.

In the case of defense the term of office of the Federal President can extend according to the article 115h of the Basic Law. The term of office of the Federal President or the perception of the powers by the president of the Upper House of Parliament in the case of agency ends in this case nine months after completion of the case of defense.

Each Federal President is discharged traditionally with a large tap caper from his office. So far this rejected only Gustav Heinemann .

seat and national emblem

Standarte des Bundespräsidenten
banner of Federal President
Schloss Bellevue

first - citizens of Berlin - seat is the lock Bellevue,second - Bonn ones - seat the mansion Hammerschmidt. The new, 1998 inaugurated Office of the President of the Federal republic - mentioned by the citizens of Berlin somewhat irreverently Präsidentenei - is in direct neighbourhood to the lock Bellevue. The banner of the Federal President is an equilateral, rotgerändertes,goldfarbenes rectangle, in which the federal eagle, floating, is turned toward the bar. The relationship the width of the red edge to the height of the banner is like 1: 12 (in accordance with the arrangement over the German flags). If the Federal Presidentin Berlin stayed or absent is, without furnishing at the place of residence an official residence (for instance with a state visit), is set, otherwise not that Stander at the lock Bellevue.

marriage wives of the Federals President

since Elly Heuss scarce have themselves the wives thatalso in this - ungewählten - position karitativ engages so far always male Federal President. Traditionally they take over the patronage over the mother recovery work justified by Mrs. Heuss Scarce. From the past president wives particularly mild-talk cross-eyed ( German cancer assistance) and Christiane duke have themselves (Mukoviszidose - donation) begun for ill humans. Since Mrs. Herzog the also publicly represented karitative commitment of the Federal President women was finally in-patriated.

the past presidents of the Federal Republic of Germany


Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany
No. Name (life data) a party beginning of the term of office end of the term of office choice (EN)
1 Theodor Heuss (1884 - 1963) FDP 13. September 1949 12. September 1959 1949/1954
2 Heinrich Luebke (1894 - 1972) CDU 13. September 1959 30. June 1969 1959/1964
3 Gustav Heinemann (1899 - 1976) SPD 1. July 1969 30. June 1974 1969
4 walter cross-eyed (* 1919) FDP 1. July 1974 30. June 1979 1974
5 Karl Carstens (1914 - 1992) CDU 1. July 1979 30. June 1984 1979
6 smelling pool of broadcasting corporations von Weizsäcker (* 1920) CDU 1. July 1984 30. June 1994 1984/1989
7 novel duke (* 1934) CDU 1. July 1994 30. June 1999 1994
8 Johannes Rau (1931 - 2006) SPD 1. July 1999 30. June 2004 1999
9 refuge charcoal burner (* 1943) CDU 1. July 2004 2004

of 7. to 12. September 1949 was Upper House of Parliament president Karl Arnold (1901 - 1958) acting head of state, because there was still no Federal President.

summary of the terms of office

Theodor Heuss (1949-1959)

Theodor Heuss coined/shaped this office as the first Federal President in similar way as KonradAdenauer the office of the Federal Chancellor. The liberal, who had been already in the Weimar Republic member of the realm daily, exercised his office as far as possible non-partisan and could by its democratic and cultural background also abroad confidence into the new democratic(West) Germany recover. Also its intellectual speeches to current points of issue let it become the model for its successors. It rejected a third term of office, for which a change of Basic Law would have been necessary, since it wanted to avoid the creation of one „lex Heuss “.

Heinrich Luebke (1959-1969)

the kind of nominating Heinrich Luebke to the Federal President as replacement for Adenauer withdrawing from its originally planned Federal President candidacy already predestined it to a weak presidency. He tried nevertheless, also as Federal President into thoseTo intervene politics. Partially it failed thereby (also it wanted to submit itself - like Heuss - a Minister list leaves), partially succeeded it to it, about by taking the right up for the Federals President, laws „to stop “, if it approximatelythe Basic Law offend. Frequently only rhetorical mistakes remain nevertheless in memory of its presidency, which led also on journeys abroad to embarrassing situations.

Gustav Heinemann (1969-1974)

although Gustav Heinemann non like all predecessors and successors - alsoan absolute majority in the office selected, he was as adequate Federal President was recognized. Its choice was in as much high political as it took the late in the year the 1969 following social liberals coalition in front. Its deep moral convictions, it 1950 from protestagainst the rearmament to the resignation as Federals Minister of the Interior and to the withdrawal from the CDU had led, made it to a recognized Federal President, who regarded itself as „a citizen president “and which democratic and liberals stressed traditions of Germany. Although it majority conditions infor the Presidential Election Council 1974 a re-election would have made possible, did he without the candidacy for a second term of office.

walter cross-eyed (1974-1979)

the first former deputy Federal Chancellor in the office of the Federal President tried to participate also in his new office politically. ThisUnjustified demand failed however also because of the decided resistance of Federal Chancellor Schmidt, so that walter cross-eyed remained particularly as singing Federal President in memory („high on the yellow car “).

Karl Carstens (1979-1984)

the fifth Federal President of the Federal Republic becamealso as „moving Federal President “admits. Its state-legally most important decision was the dissolution of the federal daily after the intentionally lost question of confidence of Helmut Kohl 1982/83. Against this arrangement of the Federal President some delegates had complained, the Federal Constitutional Court confirmed in a disputedJudgement however Carstens' decision.

smelling pool of broadcasting corporations von Weizsäcker (1984-1994)

smelling pool of broadcasting corporations von Weizsäcker entered as one of the most important Federals President history. Already its speech to 40. Anniversary of the end of war to 8. May 1985 brought it large internationalRespect, in addition, criticism from conservative circles, there it the interpretation 8. May of „the day of the defeat “for „the day of release “shifted. Its partly sharp criticism at the party state can also with a personal distance from Chancellor Kohlare explained. Weizsäcker was 1989 first Federal President since Heinrich Luebke 1964, who was red-elect.

novel duke (1994-1999)

the novel duke acting up to its choice as a president of the Federal Constitutional Court particularly becomes as a president of the jerk speech in the citizen of Berlin hotel Adlon 1997 perception. This speech was an example of its criticism at the political situation in Germany. It justified thereby the idea of the citizens of Berlin speech, which was continued by Federal President Rau. Duke term of office was coined/shaped by thoseAnprangerung of alleged omissions of the policy considering the economic situation. Also another important work of duke began 1997, than it brought the German future price into being.

Johannes Rau (1999-2004)

Johannes Rau continued the citizens of Berlin speechand it held each year. It addressed topics in it like the integration of foreigners and the effects of genetic engineering and globalization. He however essentially avoided attacks on the acting politicians; its - not at all only devaluingmeant - „brother Johannes “it had pointed names already substantially in former times because of its to however probably clearly looks (Evangelist) Gläubigkeit placed and Religiösität received. Others found its life slogan „to reconciling instead of columns “to hold itself by it also during its term of officetried, for the owner of the office for Federal President ideally. Johannes Rau gave a speech as the first Federal President German before the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

refuge charcoal burner (since 2004)

with refuge charcoal burner is for the first time a politician Federal President, thatno other mandate relating to domestic affairs held before. It larger independence and distance from the federal politics were therefore certified. It followed this expectation by its expressions to the daily politics, about by it the agenda 2010 of Federal Chancellor Schröder as „still too little farbeing enough “ designated or the tried transfer of the daily of the German unit publicly criticized. Refuge charcoal burner acts with it differently than its predecessors. This procedure brought in praise („recreating “) for it, also however the criticism, it hurts thereby unwritten laws, thoseso far to Federals President would have applied.

Already in its inaugural speech directly after the choice in the Bundesversamlung knows charcoal burner very rightfully on the fact that the attitude of the Germans must change opposite children clearly. Much praise, in addition, at the same time muchCriticism acted charcoal burners by its expression in that different living conditions belonged in the new and old Lands of the Federal Republic to normality.

Even if refuge charcoal burner maintains this office guidance, then it must be waited for nevertheless whether it thereby the position of the Federal President infundamentally changes political system of the Federal Republic or whether later Federals President their kind of the office practice refuge of charcoal burner predecessors will orient.

Its so far state-legally most important decision was the new elections making possible dissolution of the German federal daily in the year 2005, after Gerhard Schröderthe question of confidence had intentionally lost. Two politicians complained also here against this decision at the Federal Constitutional Court, however, like 1983, were rejected.

In Tutzing before the Evangelist Bavarian regional church the Federal President gave a generally recognized good principle speech to a reality-referred family policy inGermany.

Likewise the commitment of the Federal President for third world states is noticeable, how its journey showed to Africa, where in particular its attendance was in Botswana of importance.


  • Klaus star: The public law of the Federal Republic of Germany. Volume 2: State organs,States function, financial and household condition, state of emergency condition. Beck, Munich 1980, ISBN 3-406-07018-3
  • Eberhard Jäckel, refuge Möller, Hermann Rudolph (Hrsg.): From Heuss to duke - the Federals President in the political system of the Federal Republic. German publishing house, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-421-05221-2
  • Günther Scholz: ThoseFederal President: Biographies of an office. Bouvier, Bonn 1997, ISBN 3-416-02573-3

Web and Wikilinks

Commons: Federal President (Germany) - pictures, videos and/or audio files
Wiktionary: Federal President - word origin, synonyms and translations
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