Barbara Anne Hendricks (born 29 April 1952) is a German politician and member of the SPD.

Since 17 December 2013 she has been Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. From 2007 to 2013, she was Federal Treasurer of the SPD, and from 1998 to 2007 she was Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Finance.


Early life and career

Barbara Hendricks was born in Kleve.

After obtaining her Abitur in 1970 at the Johanna Sebus Gymnasium in Kleve, Barbara Hendricks studied History and Social Sciences in Bonn, passing the Staatsexamen examination for high school teachers in 1976. She then worked for the Association for Student Affairs until 1978. After that, until 1981, she was a deputy press secretary at the press office of the Bundestag parliamentary party of the SPD.

In 1980 she was awarded a doctorate based on a thesis entitled Die Entwicklung der Margarineindustrie am unteren Niederrhein [The development of the margarine industry on the lower Rhine]. She was then press secretary of the minister of finance of the state of North Rhine-Westfalia until 1990. In 1991 she was appointed Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Agriculture of the State of North Rhine-Westfalia.


Political career

Early beginning

Barbara Hendricks has been a member of the SPD since 1972 and has been the president of the SPD party organization for the District of Kleve since 1989. From 1984 to 1989 she was a member of the District Council (Kreistag) of the Rural District of Kleve. From 1990 to 2001 she was a member of the party council. From 1987 to 2001 she was a member of the state party executive of the SPD in North Rhine-Westphalia – as from 1996 as treasurer.

Since the 1994 elections, Hendricks has been a member of the Bundestag, where, from October 1995 to November 1998, she was a member of the executive of the SPD parliamentary party. Barbara Hendricks was always elected to the Bundestag via the party list of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Since 2001 she has been a member of the SPD (federal) party executive.

Barbara Hendricks and Angela Merkel in 2013


Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Finance, 1998-2007

Following the German federal election, 1998, on 27 October 1998 Hendricks was appointed Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Finance in the cabinet of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

From 22 November 2005, Hendricks continued in this office in the first cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel – meaning that she was a state secretary under three finance ministers: Oskar LafontaineHans Eichel, and Peer Steinbrück. She left this office on 16 November 2007, after being elected federal treasurer of the SPD.


Treasurer of the SPD, 2007-2013

From October 2007, Hendricks served as SPD federal treasurer, a position in which she administered the party-owned media holding Print and Publishing Society (DDVG) with stakes in regional newspapers such as Hannoversche Allgemeine ZeitungLeipziger Volkszeitungand Märkische Allgemeine.

In the campaign for the German federal election, 2009 Hendricks was a member of the "shadow cabinet" of the SPD candidate for the chancellorship, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, where she was responsible for consumer affairs. In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2013 federal elections, she was part of the 15-member leadership circle chaired by Angela MerkelHorst Seehofer and Sigmar Gabriel.

Until 2014 Hendricks also served as a member of the executive of the SPD Culture Forum, mainly responsible for culture financing.


Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, 2013-present

Since 17 December 2013, Hendricks is Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety in the third cabinet of Angela Merkel.

Hendricks led the German delegations to the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

In early 2015, Hendricks proposed a new draft law that imposes an outright ban on fracking for shale gas in the following years and only allow scientific test drilling under strict conditions to assess the risks and environmental impact. The resulting legislation that passed the cabinet in April 2015 softened her line somewhat, restricting fracking until 2019, after which commercial fracking could only go forward after passing various tough regulatory hurdles. The legislation, however, allows fracking for deep-lying or "tight" gas, a technology that has been used for decades in Germany.


Other activities

- KfW, ex-officio Member of the Board of Supervisory Directors

- Aktion Pro Humanität foundation., Member of the Board of Trustees

- Denkwerk Demokratie, Member of the Advisory Board

- German-Dutch Conference, Member of the Steering Board

- Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation, Member of the Board of Trustees

- Volksfürsorge Deutsche Lebensversicherung AG, Member of the Advisory Board (-2013)

- Federal Agency for Civic Education, Member of the Board of Trustees (2010-2014)


Personal life

Hendricks is openly lesbian.

The object of mass VOTE: Barbara Anne Hendricks.  
German political

Rate the damage it causes (does not cause) the object of VOTE to the European Commonwealth.

Method of ethical VOTE is to choose one of the following  values:

 0 - moral, there is no prejudice to the European community;
-1, -2, -3 - minor damage, harm to the European community;
-4, -5, -6 - damage of medium gravity for the European community;
-7, -8, -9, -10 - substantial damage, harm to the European community.


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