Biography of Volker Beck
Volker Beck has been a Member of the Bundestag for Cologne since 1994.
Born on 12 December 1960 in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt; widowed (gay life partnership).
He is the Spokesperson for Domestic Policies and Religion for the ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS parliamentary group and executive of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group.
He was legal affairs spokesman for the ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS parliamentary group (1994-2002) and political coordinator of the Working Group on Internal and Legal Affairs, Women and Youth within the parliamentary group’s executive committee (1998-2002) and leading Parliamentary Secretary for the ALLIANCE 90/THE GREENS parliamentary group, a member of the Greens‘ party council and human rights spokesman for the parliamentary group (2002-2013).
In 1980 he passed his Abitur (English equivalent to A Levels). He also completed his civil service duties.
He studied art history, history and German language and literature at the University of Stuttgart.
At the beginning of the 1980s he was politically active in the non-aligned peace movement, joining the Greens in 1985, where he was responsible for gay issues within the Greens parliamentary group in the Bundestag from 1987 to 1990.
In the Bundestag he works towards the strengthening of civil rights, defence of the rule of law, equality before the law and against discrimination of minorities within society. One of the main points of political focus in his work is a domestic security policy which emphasises the rule of law.
He sees the Germans taking on responsibility for their history as vital for them to be able to shape the future; for this reason, he has for years been seeking to ensure compensation for all victims of National Socialism and for a worthy form of remembrance.
From 1991 to March 2004, Volker Beck was spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany (LSVD).
13th – 16th electoral term
As early as the 1990s, he brought the issues of equal rights for homosexual life partnerships and an anti-discrimination law onto the agenda in the Bundestag. During the 13th electoral term (1994-98), as a member of the opposition he was successful in ensuring that Jewish victims of the Nazi regime living in Eastern Europe were able to receive a monthly pension of 250 Deutschmark. The coalition of the CDU/CSU and the FDP in power at the time also took up his proposal to create a separate offence of severe sexual abuse of children (§176 a of the Criminal Code). Already by then, Volker Beck was lobbying for the construction of a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe.
During the 14th electoral term (1994-98), Volker Beck focused in particular on compensation for forced labourers and slave labourers under the Nazi regime and the building of a memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. He was successful in bringing about an act on registered partnerships for same-sex couples and successfully defended the law at the Federal Constitutional Court.
He negotiated the first Immigration Act on behalf of his parliamentary group, along with the anti-terror legislation set in motion by the events of the 11th of September 2001. He was involved in negotiations with the Federal Justice Minister at the time, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, on reform of the law of obligations, tenancy law and civil procedure.
In the 15th electoral term, as leading Parliamentary Secretary, Volker Beck was chief negotiator in the Mediation Committee for his parliamentary group, in regards to the subject of immigration . In this context, he defended the idea of an outward-looking policy, with a strong focus on the rule of law, against the populist proposals being made by the CDU/CSU. He was successful in bringing about a law amending the act on registered partnerships and ensuring a horizontal approach on the anti-discrimination act. Together with Biggi Bender, he is now involved in bringing about a law on genetic diagnostics.
Volker Beck has also backed rule-of-law limits for the Act concerning the Establishment of a Person’s Identity by means of DNA Analysis and reform of the law on the right to assembly in line with the principles enshrined in the Basic Law. He supports strengthening the Bundestag’s right to participate in European Union legislative acts.
In the 16th electoral term, Volker Beck was once again successful in his candidacy as First Parliamentary Secretary of the parliamentary group in the Bundestag. As well as continuing to focus on home and legal affairs, as human rights policy spokesman he was also heavily involved in human rights on a global level.
In the current 17th electoral term, Volker Beck is still First Parliamentary Secretary of the parliamentary group in the Bundestag and is spokesman for Human Rights. His political focuses are the Freedom of Religion an Belief – in Germany, Europe and worldwide, the fight against discrimination (especially in Europe) and the protection of Human Rights Defenders.
Bundestag Bodies – Full member:
Council of Elders, Committee for the Rules of Procedure and Immunity, Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, Commission of the Council of Elders on the Legal Status of Members of the Bundestag
Bundestag Committees – Substitute Member:
Mediation Committee, Committee on Internal Affairs
Memberships on boards of trustees, supervisory boards and in other bodies:
– Hessian Hardship Fund for Victims of National Socialist Injustice, Wiesbaden, (advisory board spokesman)
– Foundation for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin (member of the board of trustees)
– Foundation „Remembrance, Responsibility and the Future“, Berlin (member of the board of trustees)
– Foundation for a German Holocaust Museum, Berlin (member of the board of trustees)
– Working Group on Support for Victims in the Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin (member of the advisory board)
– Leo Baeck Foundation, Potsdam (trustee)
– The American Jewish Committee, Berlin (member of the advisory board)
– Information- and documentation centre for work against racism, Düsseldorf (member of the advisory board)
– Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen (Association of German Foundations), Berlin (member of the parliamentarian advisory board)
– Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation for the Human Rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender People, Berlin (member of the board of trustees)
– Aktion Deutschland Hilft (Germany’s Relief Coalition), Bonn (member of the board of trustees)
– Cologne AIDS support
– Humanist Union, Berlin
– Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany (LSVD), Cologne
– „Against Forgetting – For Democracy“, Berlin
– German Peace Society – Association of Conscientious Objectors, Velbert
– Association for Information and Advice for Nazi Persecutees, Cologne
– Society of Patrons of the Berlin-Schöneweide Forced Labourers
MP, Alliance 90/The Greens
Born on 12 December 1960 in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt; widowed (civil partnership).
Studied history, art history and German language and literature in Stuttgart.
Member of the Alliance 90/The Greens party council from 2002 to 2013; member of the German Bundestag since 1994.
Spokesman on internal affairs and religious policy for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group since 2013; chairman of the German-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group of the German Bundestag since 2014; spokesman on legal policy for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group from 1994 to 2002 and on human rights from 2005 to 2013; political coordinator of the working group on internal and legal affairs, women, youth and petitions within the parliamentary group’s executive committee from 1998 to 2002; first Parliamentary Secretary of the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group from 2002 to 2013.
Membership of Bundestag bodies and parliamentary posts
– Committee on Internal Affairs
– Committee for the Scrutiny of Elections
– Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection
– Committee on the Digital Agenda