Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling
(born November 19
, in Innsbruck
), is a German
politician and entrepreneur. He is the son of the composer Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling
and is married to the author Marie-Luise Schwarz-Schilling
with whom he has two children. He is a devout Catholic
Career before politics
In 1950 Schwarz-Schilling got his abitur
at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Gymnasium
. He continued to study History
and East Asian
Languages and Culture at the Ludwig Maxilian University
. In 1956 he was granted a Ph.D.
for his thesis on Chinese History, "Der Friede von Shan-Yüan 1005 n. Chr. und seine Auswirkungen auf die Beziehungen zwischen dem Chinesischen Reich und dem Liao-Reich der Kitan" (The Peace of Shan Yuan 1005 AD, and its Effects on the Relations between the Chinese Empire and the Liao-Empire of Kitan).
In 1957 he became manager of the battery factory Sonnenschein in Budingen in Hesse, which he remained until 1982.
During this period he began to form an interest in regional politics, joining the Christian Democratic Union in 1960. In 1964 he joined the regional board of the CDU in Hesse. In 1966 Schwarz-Schilling was elected into the regional parliament of Hesse and in 1967 he became the general secretary of the CDU in Hesse. Since 1971 Schwarz-Schilling became involved in national politics, becoming member of several councils: In 1971 he became a member of the Television Council of the ZDF, which he left in 1982. Between 1975 and 1983 he was chairman of the coordination council for Media Politics of the CDU/CSU.
In 1976 Schwarz-Schilling was elected into the Bundestag
and remained a member until 2002. During this time he served as the vice-chairman
of the Small Business Union of the CDU/CSU
between 1977 and 1997. In 1979 he became president of the executive buro of the European Small Business Union, which he left in 1982. Between 1981 and 1982 he was chairperson
of the Research Committee on New Information and Communication Technology of the Bundestag
In 1982 he was appointed Federal Minister for Post and Communication, in the first cabinet Kohl. Although he retained his post for the next three cabinets Kohl, Schwarz-Schilling was never part of Kohl's inner circle and is often regarded as an unremarkable minister. Under his ministry cable television was introduced in Germany and commercial television was allowed to broadcast.
In 1992 Schwarz-Schilling resigned his post in anger at Germany's inaction over atrocities in the then Yugoslavia — rebuffing Chancellor Kohl's protestations that Germany's post-war constitution barred it from stepping in. He told the chancellor he was "ashamed" to belong to such a government, saying he had entered politics in the first place to ensure that atrocities like those perpetrated by the Nazis "never happen again." The Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung later commented that "most notable act in office was leaving it".
As Yugoslavia lurched into chaos, Schwarz-Schilling began to try to mediate between the factions — a role later formalised in the Washington agreement of 1994, and which he held until 2004.
During and after the war, Schwarz-Schilling travelled around the country, trying to resolve disputes and later overseeing the return of some of the 2.2 million refugees — half the population — created by the conflict.
He combined this with the position of CEO of his own corporation, the Dr. Schwarz-Schilling and Partner GmbH.
In 1995 he became chairperson of the sub-committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. In 1998 the sub-committee became a full committee and Schwarz-Schilling became its vice-chairperson, serving until 2002.
International political career
On December 14 2005
, he was confirmed to replace Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon
both as the High Representative
— a post created by the 1995 Dayton Agreement
— and as the EU
's special representative in Bosnia
. On January 31
he was appointed as such. Schwarz-Schilling was nominated by the Bosnian and Serbian
presidents. He has cast his role as that of "advisor" to the country — in contrast to his predecessor Ashdown, who attracted criticism particularly from Bosnian Serbs for relying too heavily on his powers to force through legislation and sack elected officials. But commentators caution that Schwarz-Schilling may find it difficult to use persuasion alone to complete Bosnia and Herzegovina
's transition from wartime anarchy to stable EU member. Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajčák
replaced Christian Schwarz-Schilling - who was originally intended to be the last holder of the post - on 30 June 2007.
- In 1992 Schwarz-Schilling received the Achievement Cross with Star of the Order of Achievement of the Federal Republic of Germany
- In 1995 he became Honorary Doctor of Business Administration of the Bryant College in Smithfield, USA.
- In 2004 he was made an honorary citizen of the town Büdingen
- In 2005 he received the Manfred Wörner Medal for "special meritorious service to peace and freedom in Europe".
- In 2007 he received the Hessian Peace Prize for his efforts to end the atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the war.