Since the 1970s Markus Meckel was involved in the opposition in the German Democratic Republic and in 1989 co-founded the Social Democratic Party in the GDR. In April 1990 he became the first democratically elected Foreign Minister of the GDR. As a member of the German Bundestag (1990-2009) he focused on European politics, security issues and Eastern Partnership. He was Vice-Spokesman of the Social Democrats for foreign policy and Spokesman in two commissions dealing with the SED dictatorship and its consequences.
In October 2013 he was nominated President of the German War Graves Commission, which enshrines the remembrance of the war dead by conserving the cemeteries and organizing international workcamps for young people. “Reconciliation above the graves” is the motto of these activities and aims at peace education by creating public awareness of the consequences of war and violence. Working together with other institutions devoted to public remembrance in Germany and abroad, the Volksbund tries to contribute to a common European culture of remembrance.
Furthermore, Mr. Meckel is chairman of the Council of the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship (a body he initiated), co-chairman of the Council of the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation and member of the Advisory Board of European Network Remembrance and Solidarity.