Election of the third female Bundestag President since 1949: Bärbel Bas

President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas

President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas (German Bundestag/ Tobias Koch)

On 26 October 2021, Bärbel Bas (SPD) was elected President of the German Bundestag. Following Annemarie Renger (SPD, 1972 to 1976) and Professor Rita Süssmuth (CDU/CSU,1988 to 1998), Bärbel Bas is the third woman to hold this office. She has been a Member of the Bundestag since 2009. She has always won a direct seat in her constituency in Duisburg, most recently in the Bundestag elections on 26 September 2021, where she gained 40.3 % of the vote. 

Bärbel Bas was born on 3 May 1968 in Walsum, which became part of the city of Duisburg in 1975. After achieving the entrance qualification for specialised college in 1984, she attended a technical vocational school for one year and began training as an office assistant at the Duisburg Public Transport Company (DVG). As youth and trainee representative, she campaigned from 1986 to 1988 for better training conditions. Having finished her traineeship, she served as a member of the works council and employee representative on the supervisory board at DVG from 1988 to 1998.    

After moving from the personnel department to the DVG’s in-house health insurance fund, she trained from 1994 to 1997 as a social insurance specialist and from 2000 to 2002 as a health insurance administrator. In 2003, she qualified as a trainer. From 2002 to 2006, Bärbel Bas was deputy director of the health insurance provider EVS. From 2007 to 2009 she headed the personnel department at the BKK futur health insurance fund. In 2005, she began evening classes at the Administrative and Business Academy (VWA), obtaining a degree in personnel management in 2007.  

Bärbel Bas became chair of the Young Socialists executive committee in Duisburg in 1990. In 1994, she was elected to Duisburg city council, where she was involved in youth and health policy until 2002. Since 2011, she has been a member of the enlarged executive committee of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag. From 2013 to 2019 she was Parliamentary Secretary of her group and has since 2019 been its deputy chair.