Peter Altmaier was Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy from 2018 to 2021. Previously he was Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks. He has been a member of the German Bundestag for a total of 27 years and is considered one of the formative heads of the CDU.
Peter Altmaier studied law at Saarland University in Saarbrücken and completed postgraduate studies in “European Integration” in 1986 with a certificate in European Studies. He was research assistant for Public and International Law at Saarland University and later at the European Institute of the Saarland University. In 1990 he became Official of the European Commission and from 1993 to 1994 he was Secretary-General for the Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers.
He has been a member of the CDU since 1976 and had various positions within his party the following years. From 2000 to 2008 for example he was district chairman of the CDU Saarlouis. In 1994, he was elected to the Bundestag for the first time. In the years that followed, he was legal advisor to the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, parliamentary state secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior and first parliamentary secretary of his parliamentary group.
Due to his loyalty and expertise, Altmaier earned great respect from Chancellor Angela Merkel and was soon considered her close confidant. From May 2012 to December 2013, Peter Altmaier was Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety – his central area of responsibility being the implementation of the energy transition. In 2013, Angela Merkel appointed him Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks. These included interdepartmental coordination of the refugee crisis in 2015. After Wolfgang Schäuble was elected the new President of Parliament on 24 October 2017, Altmaier assumed the office of Federal Minister of Finance, and from March 2018 to 2021 he held the office of Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.
In 2004, Altmaier was made a Knight of the French Legion of Honour and in 2006 he became President of the Europa-Union Deutschland, of which he has been Honorary President since 2011.
Due to his long political career, Angela Merkel’s confidant is very well connected. Peter Altmaier is a passionate European who speaks four languages fluently. He is a gifted storyteller who impresses as a speaker with his rhetorical qualities. He enhances his freely delivered lectures with anecdotes and experiences from his long political career.