Paul Ziemiak

Paul Ziemiak (born 6 September 1985 as Paweł Ziemiak) is a Polish-born German politician of the CDU who has been serving as Secretary General of his party since 8 December 2018, under the leadership of chairwoman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. He is a member of the Bundestag.

Paul Ziemiak
Paul Ziemiak CDU Parteitag 2014 by Olaf Kosinsky-2.jpg
Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Union
Assumed office
8 December 2018
LeaderAnnegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Armin Laschet
Preceded byAnnegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Leader of the Young Union
In office
20 September 2014 – 8 December 2018
National SecretaryConrad Clemens
Philipp Müller
Preceded byPhilipp Mißfelder
Succeeded byTilman Kuban
Member of the Bundestag
Assumed office
24 October 2017
Personal details
Paweł Ziemiak

(1985-09-06) 6 September 1985 (age 35)
Szczecin, Polish People's Republic
  • Polish People's Republic (1985–88)
  • West German/German (1988–)
Political partyChristian Democratic Union
EducationBusiness and Information Technology School

From 2014 until 2018, Ziemiak served as federal chairman of the Junge Union Deutschlands, in this capacity being a part of the CDU leadership under chairwoman Angela Merkel. In the 2017 federal election, he was elected to the Bundestag on the CDU party list.

Early life and careerEdit

Ziemiak was born in Szczecin, Polish People's Republic. He moved to then-West Germany in 1988 with his parents, who wanted to escape the conditions of Communist Poland and the Eastern Bloc. The Ziemiaks were among the around 140,000 Polish citizens who left for Germany in that year, shortly before the Fall of Communism.[1] Claiming partial German descent, they obtained citizenship under Germany's right of return laws and lived for a year in a refugee camp in Massen next to non-western asylum seekers.[2] Ziemiak has said the facility was often visited by the police and that he befriended a Roma family that also lived there.[3] After a year they settled permanently in Iserlohn. Both his parents had been doctors in Poland, but their qualifications were not recognised in West Germany and they had to retrain as interns in German hospitals before obtaining their German licenses and finding employment.[3] Ziemiak grew up bilingual, with parents who were native Polish speakers and who only spoke German as a foreign language. He has said the family was culturally Polish and that Germany only gradually felt like home.[4]

After graduation Ziemiak studied law at the Universität Osnabrück and the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster but failed the first legal exam on both attempts.[5] He then enrolled at the Business and Information Technology School in Iserlohn to study corporate communications.[6]

Since 2005 Ziemiak has been a member of the Catholic fraternity AV Widukind Osnabrück within the CV. Furthermore, he is a member of the Catholic student fraternity KDStV Winfridia (Breslau) Münster.

Political careerEdit

Ziemiak joined the Young Union in 1998, and in 2001 the CDU.[7] From 1999 to 2001 he was the first chairman of the newly founded Children and Youth Parliament of the city of Iserlohn. In 2002 he became a member of the district council of the Junge Union in the Märkischer Kreis. In 2006 he was elected to the state board of the JU NRW. In 2007 he became a member of the executive state board. In 2009 he took over the leadership of the district association of the Junge Union Südwestfalen (South Westphalia). Since 2011 he has been serving as chairman of the CDU Iserlohn and member of the board of the CDU parliamentary group in the council of the city Iserlohn. In addition, he is a member of the district executive committee of the CDU Südwestfalen.

Chairman of the Young Union, 2012–2018Edit

On 25 November 2012 Ziemiak was elected state chairman of the Junge Union NRW[7] and held this office until 15 November 2014. In 2014, he won the vote for the presidency of the Junge Union against Benedict Poettering and won with 63 percent of the vote.[8] It was the first battle candidacy for this position since 1973.[9] Ziemiak thus is a member of the CDU federal board[7] and replaced Philipp Missfelder, who did not run again. On 14 October 2016, Ziemiak was again elected Federal Chairman with 85 percent of the vote.

In February 2017, Ziemiak was a member of the 16th Federal Assembly for the election of the Federal President.

In addition to his political career, Ziemiak worked with consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers until entering parliament.

Member of Parliament, 2017–presentEdit

In the federal election 2017, Ziemiak ran as successor to Ingrid Fischbach in the constituency Herne – Bochum II,[10] but lost to Michelle Müntefering. Nevertheless, he moved to the Bundestag via the state party list.[7] He has since been serving on the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

In the negotiations to form a fourth coalition government under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel following the 2017 federal elections, Ziemiak was part of the working group on families, women, seniors and youth, led by Annette Widmann-Mauz, Angelika Niebler and Katarina Barley.

Secretary General of the CDU, 2018–presentEdit

The new CDU party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer nominated Ziemiak on 8 December 2018 as Secretary General. He was elected on the same day,[11] with 63 percent of the delegates voting for him as the only candidate for the role.[12] At the time of the vote, Ziemiak's nomination was widely interpreted as sign of Kramp-Karrenbauer' willingness to build bridges to the defeated conservatives around her opponents Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn.[13]

Political positionsEdit

Within the CDU, Ziemiak represents the party’s more conservative wing.[14] For example, he has stated that he is opposed to a revision of German criminal law paragraph 219a, which prohibits public advertisement of abortion procedures.[15]

Other activitiesEdit

Corporate boardsEdit

  • Bädergesellschaft Iserlohn mbH, Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Energie AG, Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Stadtwerke Iserlohn GmbH, Member of the Supervisory Board

Non-profit organizationsEdit


  1. ^ Kinne, Philipp. "Wie Paul Ziemiak zum Aufsteiger der Jungen Union wurde". Augsburger Allgemeine (in German). Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  2. ^ "Integration : "Ich sah, wie zerrissen sich viele fühlten" - DER SPIEGEL 39/2015". Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "Abschiebung und Mitleid: Streitgespräch mit Präses Manfred Rekowski und dem JU-Vorsitzenden Paul Ziemiak". (in German). Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  5. ^ Leber, Fabian (19 September 2014). "Zwei wollen Nachfolger von Philipp Mißfelder werden". (in German). Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  6. ^ Robert Roßmann (2014-09-18). "Wie offen soll man die Mutterpartei attackieren?". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2015-01-31.
  7. ^ a b c d Paul Ziemiak, CDU/CSU,
  8. ^ "Paul Ziemiak ist neuer Vorsitzender". Handelsblatt (in German). 2014-09-19. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  9. ^ "Merkel attackiert die AfD". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 2014-09-19. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  10. ^ "CDU stellt Ziemiak mit 97 Prozent für Kreis Herne-Bochum auf". Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). 2016-07-02. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Matthew Karnitschnig (December 8, 2018), New CDU leader’s right-hand pick fuels claims of backroom deal Politico Europe.
  13. ^ Guy Chazan and Tobias Buck (December 9, 2018), AKK victory exposes rift among Germany’s Christian Democrats Financial Times.
  14. ^ Guy Chazan and Tobias Buck (December 9, 2018), AKK victory exposes rift among Germany’s Christian Democrats Financial Times.
  15. ^ "Paul Ziemiak und Kevin Kühnert über Führung, Frauen und ihre Tränen". RP Online. Retrieved 08.12.18. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  16. ^ Members Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).
Party political offices
Preceded by
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union