Federal PresidentEnlarge image Newly elected German President Joachim Gauck (© picture alliance / dpa)
The Federal President (in German: "Bundespräsident") is Germany's head of state. He is the constitutional organ which represents the Federal Republic of Germany both at home and abroad. He does so by making the state - its existence, legitimacy, legality and unity - perceptible in all he does and in every public appearance. This highlights his role as a figure of integration and his monitoring function in his capacity as guardian of the law and the constitution. HIs period of office is five years, he can be reelected only once.
The Federal Convention is the body to elect him. It is made up of members of the German parliament, the Bundestag and an equal number of members selected by the 16 state parliaments.
Joachim Gauck was elected as the 11th German President on 18 March 2012.