Dirk Niebel

Dirk Niebel ( born March 29, 1963 in Hamburg ) is a German politician ( FDP). He was from 2005 to 2009 Secretary General of the FDP. From 2009 to December 17, 2013 he was the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in the Cabinet Merkel II



Niebel grew up as the son of a teacher studied the utility on in middle-class family in Hamburg's Blankenese. The father, Armin Niebel (1926-2013) was a doctorate in economics and a former national rugby player. After separation of the parents Niebel grew up with two sisters on in the mother. After the certificate of education at the secondary school Dockenhuden and subsequent technical college in 1983 at a trade school in Hamburg -Bahr field Niebel spent a year as a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel. There he worked in agriculture and fish farming. Already during the school year 1982 he spent his holidays in the Israeli Kibbutz Kfar Giladi near the Lebanese border.

Studies and career

From 1983 to 1991 Niebel served as a soldier in time. He graduated in 1986 the training NCO, and then at the School of Military Police and Headquarters Service in Sonthofen a staff service training course. When Sergeant course for paratroopers at the Airborne and Air Transport School in Old town, he graduated in 1988 as valedictorian from. Most recently, he was a platoon leader reconnaissance and exploration campaign in the paratroopers of the Airborne Brigade 25 " Black Forest " in Calw. He was a staff sergeant released from active duty in 2008 and transported to several military exercises (including the Garrison Command Berlin) German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, the captain of the reserve. Since 2004 he is with the Special Operations Division in Regensburg mob- ordered and used as a liaison officer to the Airborne Brigade 26 in Saarlouis.

From 1990 he studied at the Department of Employment Services Administration essence of the professional school of the Federal Public Administration and graduated in 1993 with a degree in Public Administration (FH ) from. From 1993 to 1998 he worked as a recruitment agency in the upscale service in a branch of the labor office in Sinsheim, Heidelberg. Most recently he held the post of Administrative Inspector.


As a student Niebel 1977 Member of the Junge Union in 1979 and also the CDU, which in 1981 he left both again. In 1990, he joined the FDP / DVP and was a founding member of the Heidelberg District Association of the Young Liberals. Since 2003, Niebel belongs to the Federal Executive of the FDP and the Board of Trustees of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. On 5 May 2005, the Federal Party elected him at the suggestion of Guido Westerwelle with 92.4 % of the vote for Secretary of the FDP.

Niebel is in favor of a radical reform of the Federal Employment Agency. In its eyes, the federal agency should be responsible only for the administration and payment of insurance benefits unemployment insurance.

Niebel was elected at the 62nd FDP Federal Party in April 2011 as assessor in the Bureau of the FDP. On the 64th FDP national congress on 9 and 10 March 2013 Niebel was not re-elected. His successor in the office of the assessor was Wolfgang Kubicki.

Member of Parliament

From 2004 to 2005 he was a member of the city council of Heidelberg. From 1998 to 2013 he was a member of the German Bundestag. He was 2002-2005 President of the National Group of Baden-Württemberg in the FDP parliamentary group and 1998-2009 spokesperson on labor market policies. Dirk Niebel is always drawn on a state list Baden -Württemberg in the Bundestag. In the general election in 2013 he led the country's list of the FDP Baden -Württemberg as the leading candidate. He is no longer represented in the 18th Bundestag by the failure of his party at the 5 % threshold.

Federal Minister

Niebel took over on 28 October 2009, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in the Cabinet Merkel II During the election campaign had Niebel as FDP General Secretary in accordance with the electoral program of the FDP advocated abolishing the Ministry and to integrate the tasks in the Foreign Ministry. In his focus as ministers Niebel differs from its predecessor Heidemarie Wieczorek -Zeul, the clear emphasis was placed on the multilateral development cooperation, through a stronger focus on economic cooperation, the effect of orientation and involvement of the private sector.

Immediately after taking office Niebel announced his intention to leave the German development aid to the People's Republic of China to expire with the termination of running programs, as the country is economically strong even now. New funding commitments were not made ​​, however, performed internationally binding Altvorhaben to an end.

Under Niebel merged with effect from 1 January 2011, the German Society for Technical Cooperation ( GTZ), the German Development Service ( DED) and the training company InWEnt German Society for International Cooperation ( GIZ). The new 19,000 employee strong organization to 700 normal positions less, but for two managers have more than the individual organizations before. The establishment plan of the federal government by net credited with 300 points, although the number of sites was increased in the ministry itself. The additional posts in the BMZ, which also benefit the field structure in the partner countries should strengthen the governance capability against the implementing organizations. The merger that GIZ is also seen by the opposition as a success. In November 2012 Niebel opened the independent evaluation institute of the German Development Cooperation ( Deval ). The Evaluierungsinistitut is located in Bonn, has 38 posts and is led by Professor Helmut Asche. The establishment of the Institute is part of the structural reform of German development cooperation, which includes the establishment of the Global commitment is to count gGmbH. In January 2012, the BMZ has created under the direction of Dirk Niebel with the commitment Global gGmbH a single entry point for development of supportive commitment.


Niebel's vocation and ministry leadership has been repeatedly criticized from circles of development aid. He Outsmart too little in terms of the development of Third World countries, but especially in the sense of German commercial enterprises.

The constitutional lawyer Hans Herbert von Arnim and the SPD Bundestag member Sascha Raabe threw Niebel ago Report in Munich, to operate in the development ministry nepotism or patronage for party friends. After the occupation of the head of the Global Commitment gGmbH with the former Mayor of the town of Ettlingen, Gabriela Büssemaker, Niebel was reported by Raabe on suspicion of infidelity. The Berlin public prosecutor's office said the charges against Niebel baseless and decided to open a preliminary investigation. In March 2013, the Federal Court, however, the salary classification Büssemakers criticized as " significantly overvalued " and the personnel policy of managed gGmbH principle as " non-economic".

In May 2013 allegations against Niebel expressed due to its personnel policy again. He is said to have set, according to the magazine Television monitor since he took office more than 40 FDP members and employees. The Chairman of the Association of servants of the highest federal authorities ( VBOB ), Hartwig Schmitt Königsberg, spoke of an "unprecedented operation ".

In May 2012, one of Niebel purchased in Afghanistan carpet in service aircraft of the President of the Federal Intelligence Service was introduced to Germany. A declaration at the customs followed only after the mirror had researched the matter. The opposition, but also German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Niebel's behavior. Niebel relied on the fact that carpets from Least Developed Countries like Afghanistan are not dutiable, but regretted the error. The import VAT incurred will he the pension system. The prosecutor saw no signs of criminally relevant behavior.


From 1993 to 1996 he was an honorary judge at the Regional Court of Heidelberg. In 1996 he became honorary assessors of the Committee on Conscientious Objection in the Kreiswehrersatzamt Karlsruhe. In addition, he was from 1999 to 2004 Member of the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics. Since 2000 he is a board member of the German Atlantic Association. From 2003 to 2009 he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty and 2000-2010 Vice- President of the German -Israeli Society. Since 2009 he has been the patron of the German Rugby Federation ( DRV).


Niebel is married and has three sons (* 1993, * 1995 and * 2000 ).