Honorary Degree for Oberburgermeister of City of Hannover

Issue date: 24 February 2006

Dr Herbert Schmalstieg The University of the West of England will award Dr Herbert Schmalstieg, CBE, with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at a special ceremony at the Mansion House on Saturday 25 February 2006 at 11.45am. The Honorary degree will be conferred by the Pro-Chancellor, the Rt Hon, the Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Peter Abraham.

The Honorary Degree is awarded in recognition of Dr Schmalstieg's personal distinction as Oberburgermeister of the City of Hannover, and his long and distinguished role in promoting a special relationship between the cities of Hannover and Bristol.

Dr Schmalstieg, a native of the city of Hannover, underwent training in the Hannover municipal savings bank in commercial banking and business economics and later studied advertising and publicity management. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, and a member of the major trade union in Germany representing workers in the service sector. His political career began in the 1960s with the Young Socialists. He became a member of the committee of the divisional association for Hannover city of the Social Democratic party, becoming its deputy chairman in 1973 and its chairman from 1981 to 1987.

Dr Schmalstieg was first elected to Hannover City Council in 1968. In 1972 he was elected to the unpaid position that in England would be called Lord Mayor of Hannover. From 1986 to 1996 Dr Schmalstieg served as a Hannover area representative on the state parliament of Lower Saxony. In 1996 he became the first directly elected professional Lord Mayor of the city of Hannover, and was re-elected to that office in 2001.

From 1973 to 1982 Dr Schmalstieg chaired the Congress of Lower Saxony Cities. From 1972 he was a member of the general committee, and from 1974 a member of the presidium, of the Congress of German Cities, of which he was elected deputy president and, from 1986 to 1989, president.

He is national deputy vice-chairman of the Social Democratic Association for Local Politics, and President of the Union of Socialist Local and Regional Representatives in Europe.

The Federal Republic of Germany has honoured Dr Schmalstieg with the award of the Cross of Merit First Class of the Order of Merit. He has also received the Grand Silver Decoration with Star of the republic of Austria; the Cross of the Order of Isabel la Católica, and the Komandoria Decoration of the Republic of Poland. In the United Kingdom he is a commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in Greece a Commander of the Order of the Phoenix. He is an honorary professor of Tongji University, Shanghai; and an honorary citizen and freeman of the cities of Hiroshima, Poznan, and New Orleans. In 2005 the Embassador of the Republik of France honoured Dr Schmalstieg and made him “Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur”. The City of Shanghai honoured him with the Order called “Golden Magnolia”.
Dr Schmalstieg chairs the supervisory board of Deutsche Messe AG, was formerly a member of the supervisory board of EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH, and is president of the Association of Cities and Regions Hosting International Exhibitions. He is vice-president of the board of the German Savings Banks Association, and vice-chairman of the administration council of the Hannover Municipal Savings Bank.


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