Franziska Giffey is the first-ever female mayor of Berlin

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The German capital Berlin is one of Europe’s most populated cities. It makes an attractive destination in the Old continent to which millions of tourists are drawn every year. It is also viewed as a very open and progressive city. At the end of 2021, Berlin witnessed a truly historical moment when the first-ever female mayor was elected. Just a few days ahead of Christmas, Franziska Giffey assumed office as the Governing Mayor of Berlin.

Giffey was born in Frankfurt (Oder) and  grew up in Briesen, a village located east of the capital Berlin. From 1998 to 2001, she studied administrative law at a Berlin Fachhochschule für Public Administration. She worked at the Berlin Representation to the European Union in Brussels in 2003 and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 2005.

From 2018 until 2021, Giffey was Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. Prior to that, she served as mayor of Berlin’s Neukölln district between 2015 and 2018. Neukölln is one of the twelve boroughs of the German capitals and also one of its most diverse ones. Known for being home to people from all around the world, this buzzing district is known for its international feel, which is also one of Berlin’s trademarks.

Berlin has recently seen a dramatic increase of rent prices, as well as a shortage of available housing. Ever since she assumed the office of the mayor of Berlin, Giffey has been working very hard to address this problem, which is currently considered one of the major issues in the German capital. In her first major speech in Berlin’s House of Representatives in January 2021, Giffey promised more affordable housing. Thanks to her amazing leadership skills, the city is now well on its way to ensuring a more sustainable housing system.

In her speech, Giffey said the goal was to build 20,000 new apartments per year, including 5,000 subsidized apartments for people with lower incomes. She explained that could be done through speeding up approval and planning procedures, among other things. High on Giffey’s list of priorities for Berlin is also making sure the city is a safe place to live in for everyone. The topics of safety and internal security are also being tackled and are very important in order for Berlin to remain an open city whose residents enjoy a very high level of freedom.

Elected amid the coronavirus pandemic, the biggest global crisis in the recent past, Giffey promised ‘’a fresh start’’ for sectors which were hit particularly hard. This committed leader is already making major steps towards creating a greener, more affordable and sustainable city for everyone. (photo credit: Wikimedia)