Dispute over Baerbock’s 40,000 euro grant: the Böll Foundation has delivered its verdict

Green chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock deservedly received her doctoral scholarship from the party-affiliated Heinrich Böll Foundation in the years 2009 to 2012, according to their assessment. Decisions on granting and extending doctoral funding are “not objectionable, even in retrospect,” writes the foundation in a current assessment available at the German Press Agency in Berlin. The foundation had previously reviewed the circumstances of the funding.

Baerbock received a monthly grant of 1050 euros

“Tagesspiegel” and “Bild” reported on the funding in early July. Questions have arisen as to whether Baerbock’s sponsorship violates guidelines that restrict recipients from working or engaging in other activities. Baerbock was state chairman of the Greens in Brandenburg from 2009 to 2013. She herself asked the Böll Foundation for a review.

According to the foundation, Baerbock initially received “immaterial support” from April 2009, which includes support, for example. After giving up her full-time job as a consultant for foreign and security policy at the Bundestag, she also received money from October 2009 until the end of 2012, writes the foundation – a monthly grant of 1,050 euros and a lump sum for research charges of 100 euros per month. From March to December 2012, a family allowance of 155 euros and a child care allowance of an additional 155 euros per month have been added.

After that, Baerbock did not pursue the promotion, the funding ended. The leader of the Greens has not completed her doctoral thesis.

Foundation findings: Baerbock complied with maximum weekly working hours

Baerbock initially worked on a voluntary basis as chairman of the Brandenburg Greens from 2009. In early 2011, she informed the Studienwerk according to the foundation that she had signed a work contract with the party’s state association on January 1 for minor work during her tenure as state president.

As a result, a working time of “maximum 20 hours per month” has been provided. According to the foundation, Baerbock also complied with the requirements of the Studienwerk regarding the maximum weekly working time.

The foundation also examined whether support from Baerbock “due to the extensive voluntary work” would have been ruled out for the state association. A 2010 state association financial report cited in the analysis states: “State presidents work on a voluntary basis, but devote well over 50% of their working time to the state association ; the state office is poorly endowed with two hourly positions.”

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Böll Foundation: “Requirements for doctoral funding” have been fulfilled

The foundation, which is close to the Greens, also sees the current chancellor candidate relieved on this point. “In her written statement dated August 5, 2021, Ms Baerbock confirms that in the years 2009 to 2012 her “concentration during normal working hours was primarily and primarily” for her doctoral project.

“As was customary in the state association at the time, the engagement took place mainly in the late afternoon and evening and on weekends.” Until 2013, she worked mainly on a voluntary basis and in addition to her doctorate for the state association, Baerbock explained.

Even after further examination and in view of new information that has become known, it can be assumed “that the preconditions for the doctoral funding of Ms. Annalena Baerbock have been fulfilled throughout the funding period”, writes the foundation.

“Right from the start, the Studienwerk was fully informed of Ms. Baerbock’s sociopolitical commitment and the demanding honorary position of state president. We are delighted that the scholarship holders are also involved in sociopolitical issues during the funding period. “

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