A Changing Society
At the end of the 1960s, massive student protests took place in Germany and in other Western European countries. Even more so than Marburg, Frankfurt became the center of the student movement. The protests demanded that the State governments and the Federal power implement internal reforms. Even though the student movements broke up after a few years, the following years saw the creation of new groups which obtained more influence over politics and the society.
Conflicts, such as the use of nuclear power or the construction of Runway 18 (West) at Frankfurt International Airport, which were of importance not only in Hessen but also beyond its borders, shaped political and social life in Hessen just as much as progress in research and science. Hessen, for example, was not only one of the first Federal States to introduce new information and communication technologies, but also to appoint a data protection officer. In 1985, Hessen experienced the formation of the very first red-green coalition at state level in Germany, with Joschka Fischer becoming the first ever minister of the Green Party. The government broke up in 1987 and was replaced by a governing coalition of CDU and FDP as a result of the early elections.
The Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Reunification Process
After the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Hessian State Government took up ties with neighboring Thuringia which had always been very close. Under Prime Minister Walter Wallmann, Hessen, with its Aid Program for Thuringia, became one of the engines of the rebuilding process in Eastern Germany.
In 1991, the electorate voted once more in favor of a coalition of the SPD and the Green Party, which took up office in 1995. Hans Eichel became Prime Minister of Hessen. Since 1999, Roland Koch had occupied the position of the Hessian Prime Minister. At the beginning, his government consisted of a coalition of CDU and FDP, however, in 2003 the CDU managed to obtain the absolute majority. In 2009 Koch again formed a coalition of CDU and FDP.
Roland Koch resigned from the office of Prime Minister on August 31, 2010. The same day, the Hessian Parliament voted for Volker Bouffier, hitherto Minister of the Interior, to take over the position of Prime Minister and the members of parliament expressed their confidence in the State Government.
Ready for future challenges
In the era of globalization, the country is facing entirely different challenges from when it was founded. Under Prime Minister Volker Bouffier and with a dedicated government program, the State Government is committed to dealing with the fundamental economic, political and social changes taking place all over the world, in order to ensure that Hessen will continue down a successful path in the future.