Germany has a new Federal Government. The governing coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP is headed by the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz as Federal Chancellor and successor to Angela Merkel. We introduce the new head of government and ministers:
The new Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz was Merkel’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Finance Minister during the last parliament. Previously, the qualified lawyer has held office, among others, as Federal Minister of Labour and First Mayor of Hamburg. In other words, Scholz has played an important role in German politics for many years in both a national and international context. Following the victory of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the Bundestag election of September 2021, he has succeeded in forming a coalition of the Social Democrats with the Greens and the liberal FDP.
Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck takes charge of a new economic affairs and climate ministry. The Green politician was Deputy Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s most northerly state, from 2012 to 2017. He became Federal Chair of the Alliance 90/The Greens in 2018. Among other things, he is tasked with making progress towards the new government’s ambitious climate protection goals.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is the first woman at the head of the Federal Foreign Office. During the election campaign she was also the first chancellor candidate in the history of the Greens, which she has led jointly with Habeck since 2018. Baerbock has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2013. As Federal Foreign Minister, she wants, among other things, to support international cooperation in the field of climate change mitigation.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner has been Federal Chair of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) since 2013. In 2017 he led his party back into the Bundestag, where the Liberals had not been represented for the previous four years. Since then he has also been Chair of the FDP Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag. He takes charge of a major department in the new government as head of the Federal Finance Ministry.
As the largest party in the governing coalition the SPD takes a total of six ministries in the new government. Federal Health Minister in the new Federal Government is Karl Lauterbach. He has gained considerable standing among the population during the COVID-19 pandemic, and initially his work will be dominated by the fight against coronavirus. In future, the Federal Interior Ministry will be led by Nancy Faeser, who was previously SPD Chair and Leader of the Opposition in the State Parliament of Hesse. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs remains in the hands of Hubertus Heil, who has been minister here since 2018. The Federal Ministry of Defence will be headed by Christine Lambrecht, who was responsible for justice from 2019 and also the family affairs brief from 2021. The newly created Federal Construction Ministry is led by Klara Geywitz from Brandenburg, who stood as a candidate for the SPD party chair jointly with Federal Chancellor Scholz in 2019. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is headed by Svenja Schulze. She was Federal Environment Ministry in the last government from 2018. Head of the Federal Chancellery with the rank of a minister is Wolfgang Schmidt, a close advisor of Federal Chancellor Scholz and previously State Secretary in the Finance Ministry.
In addition to the economic affairs and climate change brief, the Greens are also taking control of three other ministries. The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is led by Anne Spiegel. She used to be Integration and Family Affairs Minister in Rhineland-Palatinate. Steffi Lemke is Federal Minister for the Environment and Nature Conservation. She was Federal Chief Executive of her party for over ten years and gained considerable experience as a member of the Bundestag. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture goes to Cem Özdemir. He was Chair of the Greens for ten years, has been a member of the Bundestag and the European Parliament – and is now the first Federal Minister with a Turkish immigrant background.
Alongside the finance brief, the FDP will hold three other ministries. FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing is the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. He was previously Deputy Minister President and Economics and Transport Minister in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Federal Justice Ministry goes to Marco Buschmann. He was previously Head of the FDP Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag. Bettina Stark-Watzinger is the new Federal Minister of Education and Research. She is Chair of the FDP in Hesse and has been a member of the Bundestag since 2017.
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