Monika Wulf-Mathies

Monika Wulf-Mathies (born 1942) is a German politician, who was European Commissioner for Regional Policy.[1][2]

Monika Wulf-Mathies
Monika Wulf-Mathies.jpg
European Commissioner for Regional Policy
In office
PresidentJacques Santer
Preceded byBruce Millan
Succeeded byMichel Barnier
Personal details
Monika Baier

(1942-03-17) 17 March 1942 (age 78)
Political partySocial Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

Early lifeEdit

Wulf-Mathies was born in the rural town of Wernigerode in 1942 after her family was evacuated from wartime Hamburg.[3]


In 1971, at the age of 29, Wulf-Mathies joined the then German Chancellor Willy Brandt’s office in Bonn.[4] In the government of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, she later led the Federal Chancellery’s department of social affairs.[5]

In 1976, Wulf-Mathies left the chancellor’s office to join the managing board of the public service trade union ÖTV. Four years later, and to many observers’ surprise, she was elected as the first woman ever to lead one of Germany's most powerful unions, succeeding Heinz Kluncker. In this capacity, she also served as president of Public Services International (PSI) from 1989 until 1995.

In 1994, Wulf-Mathies was – again unexpectedly – appointed as one of Germany's two European Commissioners by Chancellor Helmut Kohl; she succeeded Peter Schmidhuber.[6][7] From 1994 until 1998, she served as European Commissioner for Regional Policy in the administration of President Jacques Santer.

After leaving the European Commission, Wulf-Mathies served as Executive Vice President Head of Corporate Public Policy and Sustainability at Deutsche Post from 2001 until 2009, working under the leadership of the company's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel.[8] From 2009 until 2011 she worked as policy advisor to the Board of Management, this time under Frank Appel.

In 2018, Wulf-Mathies was appointed by intendant Tom Buhrow to lead an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at German public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR).[9]

Other activitiesEdit


When Home Affairs Minister Friedrich Zimmermann published memoirs in which he described trying to dampen her negotiating ardour by putting his hand on her knee, Wulf-Mathies demanded and obtained a retraction of the offending work from circulation.[13][14]


  1. ^ Piattoni, Simona; Schönlau, Justus (25 September 2015). Shaping EU Policy from Below: EU Democracy and the Committee of the Regions. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 69. ISBN 978-1-7834-7272-7.
  2. ^ "Was macht eigentlich... Monika Wulf-Mathies". Stern (in German). 26 October 2004. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  3. ^ True pragmatist European Voice, October 30, 1996.
  4. ^ True pragmatist European Voice, October 30, 1996.
  5. ^ True pragmatist European Voice, October 30, 1996.
  6. ^ True pragmatist European Voice, October 30, 1996.
  7. ^ Axel Granzow (September 9, 1994), Weg von der Basis Die Zeit.
  8. ^ Axel Granzow (April 26, 2007), Die „rote“ Cheflobbyistin Handelsblatt.
  9. ^ Monika Wulf-Mathies: WDR will Hinweisen auf sexuelle Übergriffe nachgehen Spiegel Online, April 26, 2018.
  10. ^ Board of Trustees Beethoven Foundation.
  11. ^ Board of Trustees Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES)-
  12. ^ Advisory Board Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie.
  13. ^ True pragmatist European Voice, October 30, 1996.
  14. ^ Wolfgang Hoffmann (May 1, 1992), Im Auftrag des Kanzlers Die Zeit.
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Heinz Kluncker
President of the Public Services, Transport and Traffic Union
Succeeded by
Herbert May
Preceded by
Victor Gotbaum
President of the Public Services International
Succeeded by
William Lucy