Edmund Stoiber

Edmund Rüdiger Stoiber (born 28 September 1941) is a German politician who served as the 16th Minister President of the state of Bavaria between 1993 and 2007 and chairman of the Christian Social Union (CSU) between 1999 and 2007. In 2002, he ran for the office of Chancellor of Germany in the federal election, but in one of the narrowest elections in German history lost against Gerhard Schröder. On 18 January 2007, he announced his decision to step down from the posts of minister-president and party chairman by 30 September, after having been under fire in his own party for weeks.[1]

Edmund Stoiber
Stoiber in 2010
Minister President of Bavaria
In office
28 May 1993  30 September 2007
Preceded byMax Streibl
Succeeded byGünther Beckstein
Leader of the Christian Social Union
In office
9 October 1999  18 September 2007
Preceded byTheo Waigel
Succeeded byErwin Huber
Personal details
Born (1941-09-28) 28 September 1941
Oberaudorf, Bavaria, Nazi Germany
Political partyCSU
    Karin Stoiber
    (m. 1968)

    Early life

    Stoiber was born in Oberaudorf in the district of Rosenheim in Bavaria. Prior to entering politics in 1974 and serving in the Bavarian parliament, he was a lawyer and worked at the University of Regensburg.

    Education and profession

    Stoiber attended the Ignaz-Günther-Gymnasium in Rosenheim, where he received his Abitur (high school diploma) in 1961, although he had to repeat one year for failing in Latin.[2] His military service was with the 1st Gebirgsdivision (mountain infantry division) in Mittenwald and Bad Reichenhall and was cut-short due to a knee injury. Then Stoiber studied at Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich political science and then, from fall 1962, law. In 1967, he passed the state law exam and then worked at the University of Regensburg in criminal law and Eastern European law. He was awarded a doctorate of jurisprudence, and then in 1971 passed the second state examination with distinction.

    In 1971, Stoiber joined the Bavarian State Ministry of Development and Environment.[3]

    Political career

    Stoiber in 1981

    In 1978, Stoiber was elected secretary general of the CSU, a post he held until 1982/83. In this capacity, he served as campaign manager of Franz-Josef Strauss, the first Bavarian leader to run for the chancellorship, in the 1980 national elections.[3] From 1982 to 1986 he served as deputy to the Bavarian secretary of the state and then, in the position of State Minister, led the State Chancellery from 1982 to 1988. From 1988 to 1993 he served as State Minister of the Interior.

    Minister-President of Bavaria, 1993–2007

    In May 1993, the Landtag of Bavaria, the state's parliament, elected Stoiber as Minister-President succeeding Max Streibl. He came to power amid a political crisis involving a sex scandal, surrounding a contender for the state premiership.[4] Upon taking office, he nominated Strauss' daughter Monika Hohlmeier as State Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs.

    In his capacity as Minister-President, Stoiber served as President of the Bundesrat in 1995/96. In 1998, he also succeeded Theo Waigel as chairman of the CSU.

    During Stoiber's 14 years leading Bavaria, the state solidified its position as one of Germany's richest.[5] Already by 1998, under his leadership, the state had privatized more than $3 billion worth of state-owned businesses and used that money to invest in new infrastructure and provide venture capital for new companies.[6] He was widely regarded a central figure in building one of Europe's most powerful regional economies, attracting thousands of hi-tech, engineering and media companies and reducing unemployment to half the national average.[7]

    Candidate for Chancellor, 2002

    In 2002, Stoiber politically outmaneuvered CDU chairwoman, Angela Merkel, and was declared the CDU/CSU's candidate for the office of chancellor by practically the entire leadership of the CSU's sister party CDU, challenging Gerhard Schröder. At that time, Merkel had generally been seen as a transitional chair and was strongly opposed by the CDU's male leaders, often called the party's "crown princes".

    In the run up to the 2002 national elections, the CSU/CDU held a huge lead in the opinion polls and Stoiber famously remarked that "... this election is like a football match where it's the second half and my team is ahead by 2–0." However, on election day things had changed. The SPD had mounted a huge comeback, and the CDU/CSU was narrowly defeated (though both the SPD and CDU/CSU had 38.5% of the vote, the SPD was ahead by a small 6,000 vote margin, winning 251 seats to the CDU/CSU's 248). The election was one of modern Germany's closest votes.[8]

    Gerhard Schröder was re-elected as chancellor by the parliament in a coalition with the Greens, who had increased their vote share marginally. Many commentators faulted Stoiber's reaction to the floods in eastern Germany, in the run-up to the election, as a contributory factor in his party's poor electoral result and defeat. In addition, Schröder distinguished himself from his opponent by taking an active stance against the upcoming United States-led Iraq War. His extensive campaigning on this stance was widely seen as swinging the election to the SPD in the weeks running up to the election.

    Later political career

    Stoiber subsequently led the CSU to an absolute majority in the 2003 Bavarian state elections, for the third time in a row, winning this time 60.7% of the votes and a two-thirds majority in the Landtag. This was the widest margin ever achieved by a German party in any state.[9]

    Between 2003 and 2004, Stoiber served as co-chair (alongside Franz Müntefering) of the First Commission on the modernization of the federal state (Föderalismuskommission I), which had been established to reform the division of powers between federal and state authorities in Germany. In February 2004, he became a candidate of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder for the presidency of the European Commission but he decided not to run for this office.[10]

    Stoiber had ambitions to run again for the chancellorship, but Merkel secured the nomination, and in November 2005 she won the general election. He was slated to join Merkel's first grand coalition cabinet as Economics minister. However, on 1 November 2005, he announced his decision to stay in Bavaria, due to personnel changes on the SPD side of the coalition (Franz Müntefering resigned as SPD chairman) and an unsatisfactory apportionment of competences between himself and designated Science minister Annette Schavan. Stoiber also resigned his seat in the 16th Bundestag, being a member from 18 October to 8 November.

    Subsequently, criticism grew in the CSU, where other politicians had to scale back their ambitions after Stoiber's decision to stay in Bavaria. On 18 January 2007, he announced his decision to stand down from the posts of minister-president and party chairman by 30 September. Günther Beckstein, then Bavarian state minister of the interior, succeeded him as minister-president and Erwin Huber as party chairman, defeating Horst Seehofer at a convention at 18 September 2007 with 58,1% of the votes. Both Beckstein and Huber resigned after the 2008 state elections, in which the CSU vote dropped to 43,4% and the party had to form a coalition with another party for the first time since 1966.

    Life after politics

    Stoiber was first appointed in 2007 as a special adviser to then-European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to chair the "High level group on administrative burdens", made up of national experts, NGOs, business and industry organizations. Quickly nicknamed the "Stoiber Group", it produced a report in July 2014 with several proposals on streamlining the regulatory process.[11] Stoiber was re-appointed in December 2014 by Jean-Claude Juncker to the same role, from which he resigned after one year in late 2015.

    Since his retirement from German politics in 2007, Stoiber has worked as a lawyer and held paid and unpaid positions, including:[11]

    • Bundesliga Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees
    • Commerzbank, Member of the Central Advisory Board
    • Deloitte Germany, Chairman of the Advisory Board[12] (since 2009)
    • Donner & Reuschel, Member of the Advisory Board[13]
    • FC Bayern Munich, Member of the Supervisory Board
    • German-Russian Raw Materials Forum, Member of the Presidium
    • Hanns Seidel Foundation, Member[14]
    • Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings, Member of the Honorary Senate[15]
    • Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Member of the Board of Trustees
    • Munich Security Conference, Member of the Advisory Council
    • Nürnberger Beteiligungs-Aktiengesellschaft, Member of the Supervisory Board
    • ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Member of the Advisory Board (since 2011)

    Stoiber was a CSU delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2017.[16]

    Political positions

    Foreign policy

    Stoiber and Vladimir Putin in 2000

    In his capacity as Minister-President, Stoiber made 58 foreign trips, including to China (1995, 2003), Israel (2001), Egypt (2001), India (2004, 2007) and South Korea (2007).[17]

    In 2002, Stoiber publicly expressed support for the United States in their policy toward Iraq. During his election campaign, he made clear his opposition to war, and his support for the introduction of weapons inspectors to Iraq without preconditions as a way of avoiding war, and he criticized Schröder for harming the German-American alliance by not calling President George W. Bush and discussing the issue privately.[18] He also attacked German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer for his criticism of the U.S. position.[19]

    Stoiber is known for backing Vladimir Putin and there have been comparisons to Gerhard Schröder. One author called Stoiber a "Moscow's Trojan Horse".[20][21][22] Putin is known to have given Stoiber "extreme forms of flattery" and privileges such as a private dinner at Putin's residence outside Moscow.[23]

    European integration

    Stoiber has been said to be skeptical of Germany's decision to adopt the euro. In 1997, he joined the ministers-president of two other German states, Kurt Biedenkopf and Gerhard Schröder, in making the case for a five-year delay in Europe's currency union.[24] When the European Commission recommended that Greece be allowed to join the eurozone in 1998, he demanded that the country be barred from adopting the common currency for several years instead.[25] He is a staunch opponent of Turkey's integration into the European Union, claiming that its non-Christian culture would dilute the Union.

    At the same time, Stoiber has repeatedly insisted he is a "good European" who is keen, for instance, on forging an EU-wide foreign policy, replete with a single European army.[26] Earlier, in 1993, he had told German newspapers: "I want a simple confederation. That means the nation-states maintain their dominant role, at least as far as internal matters are concerned."[27]

    Economic policy

    While the conservative wing of the German political spectrum, primarily formed of the CDU and CSU, enjoys considerable support, this support tends to be less extended to Stoiber. He enjoys considerably more support in his home state of Bavaria than in the rest of Germany, where CDU chairwoman Angela Merkel is more popular. This has its reasons: Merkel supports a kind of fiscal conservatism, but a more liberal social policy. Stoiber, on the other hand, favors a more conservative approach to both fiscal and social matters, and while this ensures him the religious vote, strongest in Bavaria, it has weakened his support at the national level.

    In 2005, Stoiber successfully lobbied Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceuticals group, to move the headquarters of its Sandoz subsidiary to Munich, making it one of Europe's highest-profile corporate relocations that year as well as a significant boost to Stoiber's attempts to build up Bavaria as a pharmaceuticals and biotechnology center.[28]

    During his time as Minister-President of Bavaria, Stoiber pushed for the construction of a roughly 40-kilometer high-speed magnetic-levitation link from Munich's main station to its airport, to be built by Transrapid International, a consortium including ThyssenKrupp and Munich-based Siemens. After he left office, the German federal government abandoned the plans in 2008 because of spiraling costs of as much as €3.4 billion.[29]

    Domestic policy

    Stoiber, as a minister in the state of Bavaria, was widely known for advocating a reduction in the number of asylum seekers Germany accepts, something that prompted critics to label him xenophobic, anti-Turkish and anti-Islam. In the late 1990s, he criticized the incoming Chancellor Gerhard Schröder for saying that he would work hard in the interest of Germans and people living in Germany. Stoiber's remarks drew heavy criticism in the press.

    When Germany's Federal Constitutional Court decided in 1995 that a Bavarian law requiring a crucifix to be hung in each of the state's 40,000 classrooms was unconstitutional, Stoiber said he would not order the removal of crucifixes "for the time being", and asserted that he was under no obligation to remove them in schools where parents unanimously opposed such action.[30]

    During his 2002 election campaign, Stoiber indicated he would not ban same-sex marriages—sanctioned by the Schröder government—a policy he had vehemently objected to when it was introduced.[31]

    Media policy

    Stoiber has been a staunch advocate of changes in German law that would give more power to owners of private TV channels. In 1995, he publicly called for the abolition of Germany's public television service ARD and a streamlining of its regional services, adding that he and Minister-President Kurt Biedenkopf of Saxony would break the contract ARD has with regional governments if reforms were not undertaken.[32] However, when European Commissioner for Competition Karel van Miert unveiled ideas for reforming the rules governing the financing of public service broadcasters in 1998, Stoiber led the way in rejecting moves to reform established practice.[33]


    Comments on East Germany

    During the run-up to the German general election in 2005, which was held ahead of schedule, Stoiber created controversy through a campaign speech held in the beginning of August 2005 in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. He said, "I do not accept that the East [of Germany] will again decide who will be Germany's chancellor. It cannot be allowed that the frustrated determine Germany's fate." People in the new federal states of Germany (the former German Democratic Republic) were offended by Stoiber's remarks. While the CSU attempted to portray them as "misinterpreted", Stoiber created further controversy when he claimed that "if it was like Bavaria everywhere, there wouldn't be any problems. Unfortunately, not everyone in Germany is as intelligent as in Bavaria." The tone of the comments was exacerbated by a perception by some within Germany of the state of Bavaria as "arrogant".

    Many, including members of the CDU, attribute Stoiber's comments and behavior as a contributing factor to the CDU's losses in the 2005 general election. He was accused by many in the CDU/CSU of offering "half-hearted" support to Angela Merkel, with some even accusing him of being reluctant to support a female candidate from the East. (This also contrasted unfavorably with Merkel's robust support for his candidacy in the 2002 election.) He has insinuated that votes were lost because of the choice of a female candidate. He came under heavy fire for these comments from press and politicians alike, especially since he himself lost almost 10% of the Bavarian vote—a dubious feat in itself as Bavarians tend to consistently vote conservatively. Nonetheless, a poll has suggested over 9% may have voted differently if the conservative candidate was a man from the West, although this does not clearly show if such a candidate would have gained or lost votes for the conservatives.

    BayernLB activities

    When the Croatian National Bank turned down BayernLB's original bid to take over the local arm of Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International, this drew strong criticism from Stoiber, who said the decision was "unacceptable" and a "severe strain" for Bavaria's relations with Croatia. Croatia was seeking to join the European Union at the time. The central bank's board later reviewed and accepted BayernLB's offer of 1.6 billion euros.[34] The investment in Hypo Group Alpe Adria was part of a series of ill-fated investments, which later forced BayernLB to take a 10 billion-euro bailout in the financial crisis.

    European Commission job

    In September 2015, Emily O'Reilly, the European Ombudsman, received a complaint from two NGOs, Corporate Europe Observatory and Friends of the Earth, according to which Stoiber's appointment as special adviser on the Commission's better regulation agenda broke internal rules on appointments.[35]

    Personal life

    Stoiber is Roman Catholic. He is married to Karin Stoiber. They have three children: Constanze (1971), Veronica (1977), Dominic (1980) and five grandchildren: Johannes (1999), Benedikt (2001), Theresa Marie (2005), Ferdinand (2009) and another grandson (2011).

    In his youth, Stoiber played for local football side BCF Wolfratshausen.[36] He is a keen football fan and serves as co-chairman on the advisory board of FC Bayern Munich. Before the 2002 election, FC Bayern general manager Uli Hoeneß expressed his support for Stoiber and the CSU. Football legend, former FC Bayern president and DFB vice president Franz Beckenbauer showed his support for Stoiber by letting him join the German national football team on their flight home from Japan after the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

    Honours and awards

    Stoiber during the conferment Order against the deadly seriousness, 2000
    • 1984: Bavarian Order of Merit
    • 1996: Karl Valentin Order
    • 1996: Grand Order of King Dmitar Zvonimir[37]
    • 1999: Grand Cross of the Order of the Star of Romania
    • 2000: Orden wider den tierischen Ernst
    • 2002: Commander of the Legion of Honour
    • 2003: Officer of the Ordre national du Québec
    • 2004: Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
    • 2005: Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria[38]
    • 2006: Grand Cross of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic[39]
    • 2007: Large Gold Medal of the province of Upper Austria
    • 2007: Honorary degree awarded by the Sogang University[40]
    • 2008: Steiger Award
    • 2009: Order of Merit of Baden-Württemberg


    • Michael Stiller: Edmund Stoiber: der Kandidat. Econ, München 2002, ISBN 3-430-18786-9.
    • Jürgen Roth, Peter Köhler: Edmund G. Stoiber: Weltstaatsmann und Freund des Volkes. Eichborn, Frankfurt 2002, ISBN 3-8218-3584-2.
    • Jule Philippi: Wer für alles offen ist, ist nicht ganz dicht. Weisheiten des Edmund Stoiber. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-499-62248-9 .

    See also

    • List of Minister-Presidents of Bavaria


    1. Jens Hack (18 January 2007). "Bavarian premier Stoiber says to step down early". Reuters. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
    2. Mayer, Christian (2000–2008). "Edmund Stoiber Ein mittelmäßiger Schüler" (in German). wissen.de GmbH. p. 1. Archived from the original on 21 August 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
    3. Erlanger, Steven (12 January 2002). "German Right Backs Bavarian to Run Against Schröder". The New York Times.
    4. Hugh Williamson (17 January 2007), Stoiber crisis threatens Merkel's coalition Financial Times.
    5. Leadership Crisis in Bavaria: Edmund Stoiber To Step Down Spiegel Online, 18 January 2007.
    6. Edmund L. Andrews (14 September 1998), Conservatives Win Decisive Victory in Bavarian Election The New York Times.
    7. Hugh Williamson (1 October 2007), Stoiber steps aside and ends era in Germany Financial Times.
    8. Jess Smee (17 January 2007), Stoiber quits after snooping row The Guardian.
    9. Mark Landler (23 September 2002), Again, Bavaria's Favorite Is Germany's Runner-Up The New York Times.
    10. Overture over for staunch Stoiber Financial Times, 10 June 2004.
    11. Quentin Ariès (15 September 2015), EU watchdog to probe appointment of Juncker adviser Politico Europe.
    12. Advisory Board Deloitte.
    13. Advisory Board Donner & Reuschel.
    14. Board and Members, 2019 Hanns Seidel Foundation.
    15. Honorary Senate Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
    16. Mitglieder bzw. Ersatzmitglieder der 16. Bundesversammlung Landtag of Bavaria, press release of 22 November 2016.
    17. Wolfgang Wittl (3 February 2016), Seehofer fehlt die Lust am Reisen Süddeutsche Zeitung.
    18. Steven Erlanger (9 September 2002), Stance on Bush Policy Could Swing Election in Germany The New York Times.
    19. William Boston (26 February 2002), As Stoiber Looks Past Economy, His Campaign Hits Shaky Ground The Wall Street Journal.
    20. From Schröder to Stoiber? Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 132
    21. "Edmund Stoiber – Moscow's Trojan Horse in the Opposition Camp". Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2009.
    22. The German Election Campaign Has Commenced Archived 14 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine. The Trumpet. 2009
    23. Russia, Germany and Europe's Future Archived 17 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Ron Fraser. The Trumpet. 2008
    24. John Schmid (28 July 1997), Another German Premier Seeks Delay on the Euro International Herald Tribune.
    25. Edmund L. Andrews (8 May 2000), Falling Euro, a Unity Currency, Instead Bolsters Dollar and Pound The New York Times.
    26. Edmund Stoiber, torch-bearer for Germany's right The Economist, 3 August 2000.
    27. Craig R. Whitney (12 November 1993), Kohl Defends European Unity to Doubters The New York Times.
    28. Haig Simonian and Ralph Atkins (26 April 2005), Sandoz to move HQ to Munich Financial Times.
    29. Germany cancels magnetic-levitation train line International Herald Tribune, 27 March 2008.
    30. Stephen Kinzer (23 August 1995), Crucifix Ruling Angers Bavarians The New York Times.
    31. Edmund Stoiber: Bringing Bavaria to Berlin BBC News, 17 June 2002.
    32. Michael Kallenbach (3 April 1995), Public and Private Television at the Crossroads International Herald Tribune.
    33. Peter Chapman (14 October 1998), Poor reception for TV funding policy European Voice.
    34. Zoran Radosavljevic (12 September 2007), BLB gets nod from Croatia to take over Hypo unit Reuters.
    35. Quentin Ariès (30 March 2016), Commissioners request outside help from big hitters Politico Europe.
    36. Das Logo zeigt den Ursprung Archived 2 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine (in German) BCF website – Club history, accessed: 27 June 2009
    37. "Odluka o odlikovanju dr. Edmunda Stoibera Veleredom Dmitra Zvonimira s lentom i Danicom". narodne-novine.nn.hr. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
    38. "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in German). p. 1366. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
    39. "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". www.quirinale.it. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
    40. "Edmund Stoiber ist jetzt Ehrendoktor in Südkorea". 27 March 2007.
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