West Germany

Biographies of Members of European Parliament (women)



West Germany had eighty-one members of the 1979 European elections of which twelve were women.

Christian Democrats (CDU)
Marlene Lenz (1932-), Northern Rhineland/Westphalia) Interpreter, international Leader of Womens Christian Democrat movement
Renate-Charlotte Heinisch (1937-), Rabbetghe (Lower Saxony) Deputy
Dr Hanna Walz (Hesse) (1918-1997), Deputy and member of previous European Parliament

Bavarian Christian Democrats
Ursula Schleicher (1933), Deputy

Socialist Party/Social Democrats
Dr Katharina Focke (1922-2016), Deputy, former minister
Luise HerkLotz (1918-2009), Former deputy, journalist
Magdalene Hoff (1940-2017) Engineer, town councillor
Heinke Salisch (1941-), Town councillor
Lieselotte Seibel-Emmerling (1932-), Member of Bundestag
Beate Weber (1943-), Municipal Councillor
Heidemarie Wieczorek- Zeul (1942-) Former president of Young Socialists

F.D.P. (Liberal Party)
Mechtild Von Alemann (1937-) Member of Landtag

Marlene Lenz

Marlene Lenz MEP – Germany

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Marlene Lenz was born on July 4, 1932 in Berlin. She was the daughter of Otto and Marieliese (Pohl) and  she became a Certified translator University Heidelberg in 1954 before becoming an Officer with the European Community in Brussels in 1957.

She was Director of women’s affairs for the Christian Democratic Union, Bonn, Germany, general secretary of the Women’s Organization, 1963-1972, a member of the federal executive committee Women Organisation, 1972-1979, and chairman of the European section, since 1979.  She was again General Secretary of the European Union of Women, 1967-1973, vice presidentof the  executive committee from 1975-1981, and a chairman of the political commission, since 1981. She was involved in the inquiry on the Commission on Woman and Society, in the German Parliament from 1977-1979.

She was a founder of the Union Christian Democratic Women in 1978, and a member of the executive committee, since 1978.She was a Member of Cabinet for Jean Rey, Commission of the European Community in 1957. She became a Member of the European Parliament in  1979, and was President of the Committee for Women’s Rights in the European Parliament from 1984-1987. She contributed to  various European organisations in Paris and Bonn from 1954 to 1956.

Renate-Charlotte Heinisch

Renate Charlotte MEP – Germany

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Renate Charlotte Heinisch (born December 15, 1937 in Boxberg) is a German pharmacist and former CDU politician.  Heinisch attended elementary school in Boxberg and the Deutschorden grammar school in Bad Mergentheim, after which she studied pharmacy in Vienna and Würzburg, and she also worked as an intern. At the Institute for Pharmacognosy at the University of Würzburg, she received her doctorate in biopharmacy and then worked as a research assistant. She later worked at the universities in Mainz and Konstanz, at the ETH Zurich and in the pharmaceutical industry at the Mack company in Illertissen, and in 1972 she became self-employed as a pharmacist.

Heinisch held various leading offices in the CDU, for example as chairman of the Boxberg city association and the women’s union in Northern Württemberg and as a board member in the district and district association, from 2000 on in the federal executive committee of the senior citizens’ union. In addition, she was chairman of the European Union in the Main-Tauber district and was a member of several commissions and advisory boards of the Baden-Württemberg state government.

Heinisch was elected to the European Parliament in the European elections in 1994, to which she belonged for an electoral term until 1999. During this time she was Vice-President of the Parliamentary Intergroups “Elderly People” and “Pharmaceutical Products” and a full member of the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education and the Media and the Delegations for Relations with the Countries of South America and Lithuania.

After her time in the European Parliament, she went into local politics and was a member of the district council of the Main-Tauber district from 1999 to 2004. Since 2002 Heinisch has been appointed to the EESC (European Economic and Social Committee) by the Federal Government for the BAGSO (Federal Working Group of Senior Citizens’ Organizations) and was appointed by the Council of the European Union.

From 1987 to 1993 Heinisch was chairwoman of the Baden-Württemberg State Parents ‘Council, after which she founded the Baden-Württemberg parents’ association, which she also chaired. At the same time she was deputy chairwoman of the Federal Parents ‘Council and belonged to the European Parents’ Association and was also involved in school policy. After reunification, she helped set up parenting work in Saxony. She was a member of the State Court of Baden-Württemberg and an honorary judge at the Stuttgart Administrative Court and the Heilbronn Social Court.

Honours include the Badge of Honor of the State of Baden-Württemberg, in 1990; the Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon, 2000; the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class, 2007; the Konrad Adenauer Medal from the CDU, 2012; and the Golden needle of the European Union.

Dr Hanna Walz (Hesse)

The MEP Hanna WALZ during a session in Strasbourg in January 1981.

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Johanna Hanna Walz nee Kregal was born November 1918 in Templin  and died December 17, 1997 in Fulda. She  was a German lawyer and politician ( CDU). After graduating from the Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in Berlin in 1937, Walz began studying law and political science at the universities in Tübingen and Berlin , which she completed in 1940 with the first state examination in law. From 1940 to 1943 she worked as a research assistant at the University of Berlin. In 1941 she married the theologian Dr Hans Hermann Walz, with whom she had three children.

After 1945, Walz worked in the editorial office of the German General Sunday Gazette in Stuttgart. She received her PhD in 1948 at the University of Tübingen and worked as a librarian at the World Council of Churches in Geneva from 1950 to 1954. She worked for a period of time as an assistant to Bishop Johannes Lilje. She then moved to Fulda, where she began her political career.

Walz joined the CDU in 1955, was elected to the party’s state executive committee in 1958 and was deputy state chairwoman of the CDU Hessen from 1967 to 1979. From 1965 to 1975 she was state chairwoman of the Evangelical Working Group of the Hessian Christian Democrats.

Walz was a council member of the city of Fulda from 1956 to 1959. In 1958 she was elected to the Hessian state parliament, to which she belonged until 1969. Here she was primarily involved in cultural and university policy. She was a member of the German Bundestag from 1969 to 1980. She was always drawn into parliament via the Hesse state list.

Walz was a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Western European Union (WEU) from 1970 to 1973. From 1973 to 1984 she was a member of the European Parliament and from 1978 to 1984 she chaired the Committee on Energy and Research.

In 1959 she was a member of the 3rd, 1964 the 4th, 1969 the 5th, 1974 the 6th and 1979 the 7th Federal Assembly.  Honours include the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class , 1973, the Large Federal Cross of Merit, 1978, the Wilhelm Leuschner Medal, 1982, and the Large Federal Cross of Merit with Star, 1984.

Ursula Schleicher

Ursula Schleicher MEP – Germany

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Ursula Schleicher was born in 1933.  The daughter of Adolf Schleicher and his wife Marielies Schleicher. she was born in Lower Franconia . In 1952 she passed her Abitur at the secondary school in Aschaffenburg . After a long stay in Verona (Italy), she studied medicine and cultural studies in Frankfurt am Main from 1954 to 1957 , then from 1957 to 1961 music, majoring in the harp, in Munich.

From 1961 to 1963 she was a harpist at the Seminarios Livros di Musica in Bahia.  Ursula Schleicher has been a member of the CSU since 1965. From 1965 to 1975 she worked as a full-time women’s officer at the CSU. She was a member of the German Bundestag from 1972 to 1980, where she worked on the family committee. [2] During her time as a member of parliament she also worked as a secretary in the Presidium of the German Bundestag . In 1979 she became a member of the European Parliament . From 1979 to 2004 she was a member of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats in the European Parliament . Schleicher was Vice President of the European Parliament from July 1994 to July 1999.

Schleicher held numerous honorary positions. Since 1974 she was a member of the Presidium of the European Movement Germany . From 1980 to 2007 she was Vice President there. Since 1974 she was also the deputy federal chairwoman of the Catholic Workers Movement (KAB).

Schleicher is Roman Catholic ; she speaks English , French , Italian and Portuguese.  Schleicher was a member of a number of committies including: Member of the Bureau of the European People’s Party (1984-2004), Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (now the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety ) (1984–1994), Vice President (1994–1999), Deputy Chairwoman of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (1999-2004), Chair of the inter-parliamentary delegation to the parliamentary cooperation committees for relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (1999-2004), President of the European Women’s Union (1983–1987), Deputy Chairwoman of the CSU Lower Franconia (1985-2005), Deputy Federal Chairwoman of the Paneuropean Union Germany (since 1995), President of the Belgian-Bavarian Society (1997-2004), President of the European Parliamentary Society (1998–2004), since 2004 Honorary President,  , 1979: Commendatore “Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana”, 1983: Bavarian Order of Merit.  

Honours include: 1990: Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1990: Decoration of Honor of the German Medical Association, 1990: Badge of Honor of the VdK Bavaria in gold, 1996: Bavarian Constitutional Medal in Gold, 1996: Medal for special services to Bavaria in a united Europe, 2001: Great Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2001: Bavarian Environmental Medal.

Dr Katharina Focke

Dr Katharina Focke MEP – Germany

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Katharina Focke (8 October 1922 – 10 July 2016) was a German politician and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). She served as Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth from 1972 to 1976.

Focke studied Economics at the University of Zürich and studied English, German, and History at the University of Hamburg. She studied political science at the University of Oklahoma and received a Ph.D. in 1954.[1] She joined the Social Democrats in 1964 and was elected two years later to the Düsseldorf parliament. She was elected to the Bundestag in 1969. Chancellor Willy Brandt selected her to be the Parliamentary Secretary to the Chancellery, where she also dealt with European issues.

In 1972 Focke was put in charge of the Federal Ministry for Youth, Family and Health, a position she held for four years. In the Bundestag, she served from 1969 to 1980. From 1980 until 1989 Focke served at the European Parliament. She lived in Cologne after her retirement and died on 10 July 2016.

Luise Herklotz

Luise Herklotz MEP – Germany

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Luise Herklotz was born on 20th August 1918 in Speyer and died on 25. July 2009. She was a German politician and member of the SPD.

After attending the municipal high school, Herklotz completed a journalistic training with the Speyerer Zeitung from 1935 onwards. She then worked as an editorial secretary and finally as an editor. From 1947 she worked for Die Freiheit in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. In 1948 she helped found the Palatinate Journalists’ Association.

From 1978 to 1992 Herklotz was chairwoman of the Workers’ Welfare Association in Speyer, of which she had been a member since 1946. In July 1984, an investigation was launched against Herklotz on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust. It was investigated whether the association led by her for civic education work had stolen 40,000 to 50,000 DM in state grants with the help of falsified lists of signatures for “ghost seminars” that were not held, and whether these funds were passed on to the SPD and Arbeiterwohlfahrt.

Herklotz joined the SPD in 1946 and soon became chairwoman of the SPD women’s organization in the Palatinate . Later she became a member of the district executive committee of the SPD in the Palatinate and the state committee of Rhineland-Palatinate as well as the central women’s committee of the federal SPD. From 1958 to 1962 she was a member of the party executive. In 1970 he was elected to the party’s control commission. From 1974 to 1978 she was the local chairman of the SPD in her hometown of Speyer.

Luise Herklotz was a member of the state parliament in Rhineland-Palatinate from 1949 to October 5, 1957. The Landtag elected her a member of the second Federal Assembly in 1954 , which re-elected Theodor Heuss as Federal President. She belonged to the German Bundestag from September 24, 1956, when she replaced Hermann Trittelvitz until 1972. From 1966 to 1973 she was also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe . She was later a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984.

On September 6, 2003, the city of Speyer granted her honorary citizenship . In 1973, she was awarded the Cross of Merit, First Class, whose adoption she had in 1969 still rejected, and in June 1984 with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Great Federal Cross of Merit awarded. In 1986 she received the Marie Juchacz plaque from the Arbeiterwohlfahrt, in 1990 the Medal of Merit of the City of Speyer and in 1999 the Order of Merit of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Magdalene Hoff

Magdalene HOFF MEP – Germany

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Magdalene Hoff was born on December 29, 1940 as Magdalene Allwicher in Hagen and died on March 28, 2017. She was a German politician and member of the SPD. From 1979 to 2004 she was a member of the European Parliament for Germany.

After studying civil engineering, Hoff became a member of the SPD in 1971. For this she was elected to the city council of Hagen in 1975 and belonged to it until 1979. From 1984 to 1998 Hoff was a member of the SPD party executive. In addition, from 1988 she was deputy chairwoman in the SPD district of Western Westphalia . For this SPD district, Hoff was district chairman of the Working Group of Social Democratic Women (ASF) from 1982 to 1990. Magdalene Hoff was a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 2004 for the Group of the Party of European Socialists. From 1994 to 1997 she was the first vice-chair of this group and from 1997 to 1999 she was vice-president of the European Parliament. Hoff was also awarded Commander of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Heinke Salisch

Heinke Salisch MEP – Germany

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Heinke Salisch was born on 14 August 1941 in Grevenbroich, Germany. She studied Applied Linguistics in Mainz and graduated in 1965 as a graduate interpreter. Afterwards she was a freelance conference interpreter until 1979. She started her political career in 1971 when she became city councilor in Karlsruhe.

Between July 1979 and July 1995 Salisch was member of the European Parliament. During that period she was member and member of the Bureau of the Socialist Group and of the Group of the Party of European Socialists, she was Vice-Chair of the Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs, member of the Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, member of the Delegation for relations with Latin-America, member of the Committee on Women’s Rights, member of the Delegation for relations with the countries of Central America and the Contadora Group, member of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South America, member of the Committee on Social Affairs, Employment and the Working Environment, member of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Internal Affairs, member of the Delegation for relations with Japan. From 1995 to 2003 she was mayor of Karlsruhe.

Lieselotte Seibel-Emmerling

Lieselotte Seibel-Emmerling MEP – Germany

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Lieselotte Seibel-Emmerling (born February 3, 1932 in Leobschütz ) is a German politician (SPD).

Seibel-Emmerling graduated from secondary school and then studied psychology, sociology and education at the Free University of Berlin . She then worked as a teacher and rector in Nuremberg . At the SPD she was district chairman of the working group of social democratic women in Franconia.

From 1966 to 1980 she was a member of the Bavarian State Parliament . She was initially elected directly in the Nuremberg-Mitte district, then in 1978 in Nuremberg-South. In the state parliament she was consumer spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group. From 1980 to 1989 she then sat in the European Parliament .

In March 2020, she and her husband Alfred Emmerling became members of the VVN-BdA. At the same time they sent a voluntary report to the Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution to protest against the mention of the VVN-BdA in the report for the protection of the constitution. Honours which she has received include: Bavarian Order of Merit, Europe Medal of the Bavarian State Government, Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon, Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class.

Beate Weber

The MEP Beate WEBER during a session in Strasbourg in November 1981.

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Beate Weber-Schuerholz (born December 12, 1943 in Reichenberg ) is a German teacher and politician (SPD). She was a member of the European Parliament from the 1979 European elections until 1990 also acting as chair of the Committee for Environmental Issues, Health and Consumer Protection. Afterward, she was mayor of her hometown Heidelberg for sixteen years (1990-2006).

Weber was born in Reichenberg (Reichsgau Sudetenland , now the Czech Republic ) in 1943 and spent her childhood in Heidelberg and school in Mülheim, Essen and Dortmund. From 1963 to 1966 she studied Russian and English at the interpreting institute of the University of Heidelberg , then until 1968 English and sociology at the Pedagogical University of Heidelberg . From 1968 to 1979 she worked as a primary and secondary school teacher at the International Comprehensive School in Heidelberg and at the Waldparkschule Heidelberg . She is divorced and has a daughter. In 2012 she remarried and took the name Weber-Schuerholz.

Weber has been a member of the SPD since 1970. From 1975 to 1985 she was a member of the Heidelberg City Council . In the first elections to the European Parliament in 1979 she ran on the list of the SPD and was a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1990 , where she was deputy chairman from 1979 to 1984 and from 1984 to 1989 as chairman of the committee on environmental issues, health and safety Consumer protection officiated. In 1990, Beate Weber from Heidelberg elected mayor. She was the first woman in this position in Baden-Württemberg. In 1998 she was re-elected, in 2006 she no longer stood for election. From 1975 to 2001 she was a member and deputy chairwoman of the Federal Party Council of the SPD and from 1994 to 2002 state chairwoman of the social democratic community for local politics (SGK) of Baden-Württemberg. In 1998 she was even traded as a possible candidate for the federal presidency at short notice. Weber has held a considerable number of positions and memberships including:

1992–1993 member of the “Future City 2000 Commission” of the Federal Building Ministry
1993–1996 member of the “Global Independent Commission on Population and Quality of Life” of UNDP and UNESCO
1995–1996 member of the German National Committee HABITAT II of the Federal Ministry of Construction
1996 founding member of the Association for Ecological Economy (VÖÖ)
1996–2002 President of the German Section of the International Institute for Administrative Sciences
1998–2000 Deputy Chairwoman of the Advisory Board of the Central Office for Public Administration of the German Foundation for International Development
2000–2006 member of the board of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
2000–2006 member of the board of the Baden-Württemberg City Council
2001–2006 member of the board of the Sparkassenverb and Baden-Württemberg
since 2001 member of the board of the Theodor Heuss Foundation
2002–2006 member of the board of directors of the municipal joint agency for administrative management (KGSt)
2003–2006 chairwoman of the Committee for Economy and the European Internal Market of the German Association of Cities
2006 member, since 2007 deputy chairwoman of the World Future Council
2008 Chairwoman of the German Society of Friends of the Weizmann Institute
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Ecology and Democracy
1996 Woman of the Year ( Mona Lisa / ZDF )
2000 Freeman of the City of London
2002 Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor, France); Honorary citizen of the South African city ​​of Heidelberg
2003 “Golden Tree” environmental award and “Ambassador for Ecology” from the Foundation for Ecology and Democracy
2007 Medal of Merit from the State of Baden-Württemberg
2007 with Hans Joachim Schellnhuber , Carl H. Schmitt and Jürgen Köhler: German Environment Prize
2009 Silver badge of honor from the State Association of the German Youth Hostel Association, State Association of Baden-Württemberg
2012 Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class
2012 honorary citizen of the city of Heidelberg
2015 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development
In addition Weber has authored a number of books:

Beate Weber: In the roots of democracy. Selected speeches by a female mayor 1990–2006. Mattes, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-930978-99-1 .
Ilona Scheidle: Heidelberg women who made history. Portraits of women from five centuries. Verlag Diederichs, Kreuzlingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-7205-2850-4 , pp. 168-185.
Karl-Horst Möhl: “Die Rote Beate” – 100 caricatures. Beate Weber – 16 years mayor in Heidelberg, we are saving our theater from the sketchbook by Karl-Horst Möhl , Baier, Heidelberg [2006], ISBN 978-3-9810122-7-9 .
Ina Hochreuther: Women in Parliament. Southwest German delegates since 1919. Theiss, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-8062-1012-8 , pp. 232-233.

Heidemarie Wieczorek- Zeul

Heidemarie Wieczorek- Zeul MEP – Germany

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Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (born 21 November 1942 in Frankfurt am Main) is a German politician and a member of the Social Democratic Party since 1965. Wieczorek-Zeul (pronounced VEE‐choreck TSOIL) began her career as a teacher at the Friedrich Ebert School and subsequently served as Chairwoman of the European Coordination Bureau of International Youth Organizations from 1977 to 1979.

Wieczorek-Zeul is a prominent figure of the Social Democrats’ left wing and is often called Red Heidi. From 1974 to 1977, she was the first woman to chair the Jusos (Young Socialists), the youth organisation of the SPD. In this capacity, she represented the party’s then 350,000 members who were under 35. During her time as Juso chief, she drew headlines in 1975 by calling for limit of $2,000 a month on personal income. From 1977 to 1979, she was President of the European Coordination Bureau of International Youth Organisation (a precursor to the modern European Youth Forum).

Wieczorek-Zeul was elected Member of the European Parliament in the 1979 European elections, the first European elections to be held and also the first international election in history. During her time in Parliament, she was part of the Socialist Group. Between 1979 and 1984, Wieczorek-Zeul served as vice-chairwoman of the Committee on External Economic Relations. From 1984 to 1987, she was a member of the Committee on Women’s Rights. In addition to her committee assignments, she was a member of the Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Gulf States.

She has also been a Member of the German Bundestag, 1987–2013. Wieczorek-Zeul first became a member of the Bundestag in the 1987 West German elections, where she joined the Committee on European Affairs. In this capacity, she served as the Social Democrat’s European policy spokeswoman.

After the resignation of party leader Björn Engholm in 1993, she stood for the Social Democrats’ candidacy for the chancellor’s office,[6] but lost to Rudolf Scharping. Scharping won 40% of all votes cast by the party members, Schröder 33% and Wieczorek-Zeul 27%. It was the first time the party members were asked to elect the new party leader directly. From 1993 to 2005, Wieczorek-Zeul served as deputy chairwoman of the SPD, under the leadership of successive chairmen Rudolf Scharping (1993-1995), Oskar Lafontaine (1995-1999), Gerhard Schröder (1999-2004) and Franz Müntefering (2004-2005).

From 2009 to 2013, Wieczorek-Zeul served on the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and as spokesperson of the SPD parliamentary group on the Subcommittee on the United Nations, International Organizations and Globalization.

When Gerhard Schröder (SPD) became Chancellor following the 1998 elections, Wieczorek-Zeul was appointed Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. At the time, her appointment was seen as underlining the importance attached to the issue by the Social Democrat/Green government. In her capacity as minister, Wieczorek-Zeul served as Member of the Broadcasting Board of Deutsche Welle; as Member of Board of Supervisory Directors of KfW; and as Member of the Board of Governors of the World Bank. She also participated in the preparations for the 25th G8 summit in 1999 and the 33rd G8 summit in 2007, both of which were hosted by Germany. In her first years in office, she merged the ‘Deutsche Stiftung für internationale Entwicklung (DSE)’ and the ‘Carl-Duisberg-Gesellschaft (CDG)’ to create InWEnt, an institution with worldwide operations in the field of bilateral development cooperation and international cooperation, with a focus on capacity building.

During a meeting at Utstein Abbey on the west coast of Norway in 1999, Wieczorek-Zeul co-founded (along with fellow development ministers Eveline Herfkens, Clare Short and Hilde Frafjord Johnson) the Utstein Group, a partnership of donor countries working to make the UN development system more effective.

In an effort to make it easier for anti-war critics to back Schröder’s decision to send German Bundeswehr troops to Afghanistan in 2001, Wieczorek-Zeul and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer announced a 256 million marks ($115 million) humanitarian-aid package for Afghan refugees.[12] In October 2001, she joined Schröder on a state visit to Pakistan for meetings with President Pervez Musharraf, where they revived economic assistance to the country in return for its support for the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism and in light of incoming refugee flows from Afghanistan. In 2004, she co-hosted an international donors’ conference on Afghanistan in Berlin, during which Afghanistan received more than $8 billion in pledges for the years 2005 to 2007. By 2007, she called extension for the international armed forces in the country.

In February 2003, Wieczorek-Zeul was one out of three cabinet members taking part in a march against the Iraq War in Berlin. On August 16, 2004, at the 100th anniversary of the start of the Herero and Namaqua Genocide, Wieczorek-Zeul, on behalf of the German government, officially apologized for the first time and expressed grief about the genocide, declaring, “We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility and the guilt incurred by Germans at that time.” In addition, she admitted that the massacres were equivalent to genocide. She ruled out paying special compensation, but promised continued economic aid for Namibia.

Wieczorek-Zeul represented the German government at the funeral services for former Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi of Japan on 8 June 2000 and (alongside Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer) for Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić of Serbia on 16 March 2003.

Second term

Wieczorek-Zeul kept her office after Schröder’s defeat in the 2005 elections and served in the first government Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2005 until 2009. Wieczorek-Zeul initiated the EU’s target of increasing its official development assistance (ODA) from 0.51 percent by 2010 to 0.7 percent of the GDP by 2015 During her time in office, German ODA increased regularly and reached 13.9 billion US$ in disbursements in 2008, taking it to 0.38 percent of GNI.

In October 2007, Wieczorek-Zeul joined Merkel on her first official trip to Africa – including stops in Ethiopia, Liberia and South Africa –, during which they met with Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, John Kufuor and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, among others.

On 26 January 2009, Wieczorek-Zeul and Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel chaired the conference which led to the founding of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Under her leadership, Germany joined Austria and Switzerland in July 2009 in canceling 450 million euros ($630 million) in state export-loan guarantees for Turkey’s Ilısu Dam because Turkish plans to resettle towns and safeguard cultural treasures were not sufficient to meet World Bank standards. Wieczorek-Zeul also served on the Executive Board of the Socialist International (SI).

After Merkel formally launched the World Bank Group’s three-year Gender Action Plan in February 2007, Wieczorek-Zeul served as honorary co-chair (alongside Danny Leipziger) of the High Level Advisory Council on Women’s Economic Empowerment and as Official Champion of the World Bank Group Gender Action Plan. Amid a 2007 leadership crisis at the Bank, Wieczorek-Zeul was a leading figure in the downfall of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the organization. At the time, Germany’s role was central partly because it held the EU presidency and also chaired the bank’s 24-nation Executive Board. Wolfowitz was later replaced by Robert Zoellick.

Alongside Chancellor Merkel, Wieczorek-Zeul co-hosted the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria replenishment conference in Berlin in September 2007. During the conference, donor countries promised nearly $10 billion to the Fund for 2008-2010. In 2008, Wieczorek-Zeul served as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the International Conference on Financing for Development in Doha, Qatar. Between 2008 and 2009, she was part of a High-Level Taskforce on Innovative International Financing for Health Systems, which had been launched to help strengthen health systems in the 49 poorest countries in the world and was chaired by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Robert Zoellick.

Also between 2008 and 2009, Wieczorek-Zeul served as member of the Commission of Experts of the President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, which was chaired by author and Nobel Laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz. The commission had the aim of proposing necessary reforms in the world financial system that would prevent another event like the late-2000s financial crisis.

Since leaving politics, Wieczorek-Zeul has been involved in a number of philanthropic activities, including the following:

German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE), Member (since 2016, appointed ad personam by Chancellor Angela Merkel)
Kofi Annan Foundation, Member of the Electoral Integrity Initiative (EII) (since 2016)
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Member of the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB) (since 2016)
Friends of the Global Fund, Vice-Chair of the Board (since 2013)
International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), Member of the Board of Directors (since 2014)
Christian Liebig Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2010)
Africa Action, Patron (since 2009)
CARE Deutschland-Luxemburg, Member of the Board of Trustees
Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Member of the Committee on Sustainable Development
Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), Member
Health Impact Fund (HIF), Member of the Advisory Board
Neue Gesellschaft/Frankfurter Hefte, Member of the Advisory Board
United Nations Association of Germany (DGVN), Member of the Presidium
Xertifix, Member of the Board of Trustees
Wilhelm Dröscher Prize of the Social Democratic Party, Member of the Board of Trustees
Humanist Union (HU), Member of the Advisory Board (until 2012)
KfW, Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Supervisory Directors (1998-2009)
In addition she has received a number of honours including:

1996 – Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria
2001 – Polio Eradication Champion Award of Rotary International
2003 – Commitment to Development Award (jointly with the other three original members of the Utstein Group: Eveline Herfkens, Clare Short, and Hilde Frafjord Johnson)[11]
2005 – Peter Beier Prize of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland
2007 – Silver Rose Award of Solidar
2011 – Holger Börner Medal

Mechtild Von Alemann

Mechtild Von Alemann MEP – Germany

Read Mechtild Von Alemann's Biography

Mechthild von Alemann (born January 29, 1937 in Seebach, Province of Saxony) is a German politician (FDP). She was a member of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1975 to 1980 and a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984 and from 1989 to 1994. Mechthild von Alemann is the daughter of the businessman Hans Heine von Alemann. She graduated from school in 1955 with a secondary school leaving certificate, then attended an interpreting school and then worked for various companies as a foreign correspondent for English from 1957 to 1960. From 1968 she worked as a librarian for a management consultancy. Von Alemann became a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in 1966. From 1975 she was chairwoman of the FDP local association Düsseldorf -Nord, from 1975 deputy chairwoman of the FDP district association Düsseldorf, and in 1978 became deputy chairwoman of the district association Düsseldorf.

From 1968 to 1975 she was a citizen representative in Düsseldorf. She was elected to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament in the eighth electoral term, and was a member of it from May 28, 1975 to May 28, 1980. At the Federal Representative Assembly of the FDP for the first direct election of the European Parliament , she was elected to second place on the federal list on February 3, 1979 and was a member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984 and from 1989 to 1994, and for the last five years she was the deputy leader of the Liberal parliamentary group (ALDE) .

From 1981 to 1985 she was a member of the Advisory Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation .

Documents about her political activities are in the archive of liberalism of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Gummersbach . She was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class in 1986.Anne-Marie Lizin- Vanderspeeten was born January 5, 1949 and died in October of 2015. Her career as a politician began as a member of the city council of Ben-Ahin from 1970 until 1976. Lizin was elected to be a member of the European Parliament in the year of 1979, being part of the socialist group (Socialiste Parti).

Her career in politics began as a member of the city council of Ben-Ahin from 1970–76. She served on the city council of Huy in 1977 and was an alderman for Huy from 1980–82. In 1983, she was appointed mayor of Huy, holding this position for 26 years. In March 2009 she was forced to resign because of a series of scandals. She was succeeded by Micheline Toussaint.

In 1979, Lizin was elected as a Member of the European Parliament. In her first term, she was part of the committee on energy, research, inquiry into the situation of women in Europe and the delegation for relations with Malta. In her second term from 1984, she was also a member of the committees of delegation for relations with the countries of South America and Eastern Europe.

In 1988, she was elected on to the Belgian government, and served in office for eight years. During her first term, she was appointed as Secretary of State for European Affairs, yet she decided to leave this role in 1992 to initiate the Commission of Inquiry on human trafficking. In 2003, she became President of the Commission for External Relations and Defence of the Belgian Senate. In 2004, she was appointed President of the Senate of Belgium, before finally becoming Senator in July 2007. She was the first female President of the Belgian Senate (2004–07). On 27 January 2009 she was banned from the Socialist party after a corruption case. Outside of her career in Belgian politics, Lizin was the United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty from 1998 to 2004.

Lizin was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), a global non-profit organization that combats child sexual exploitation, child pornography, and child abduction.

In 2008, she created the organisation HOCRINT, an international co-ordination network that fights against honour crimes and forced marriages. She played an active role in the End Human Trafficking Now (EHTN) organisation, sitting on the board till her death.

During her time in politics, Lizin released many publications, her most famous ones being Women of Europe and the Third World, what solidarity? (1983), Social Democracy Tomorrow (1990) and Kosovo Independence Inevitable (1997).

Lizin was widely acclaimed for her devotion to tackling human rights issues. Of particular importance to her were the rights of women across the globe and the need to eradicate human trafficking. Lizin was appointed Commander in the Order of Leopold in 2003 and in 2007 was awarded Knight Grand cross in the Order of Leopold II. Lizin was hospitalized in Paris on 7 October 2015. A few days after being released from hospital in Paris, she died in Hotel Fort at Huy in Belgium on 17 October 2015 at the age of 66.