Cabinet of Germany: Wikis


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The Cabinet of Germany (German: Bundeskabinett or Bundesregierung) is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Chancellor and the cabinet ministers.

The details of the cabinet's organization are set down in articles 62 to 69 of the Basic Law. Article 64 Paragraph 2 states that the Chancellor and the ministers must be sworn in when taking office.

The Chancellor is responsible for guiding the cabinet; the Chancellor decides what direction their policies will take and bears the responsibility. The cabinet ministers have the freedom to carry out their duties independently but must follow the Chancellor's directive. This is known as the Ressortprinzip or principle of departmentalization. The Chancellor decides the scope of each minister's duties.

If two ministers disagree on a particular point, the cabinet resolves the conflict by majority vote (Kollegialprinzip or principle of deference).

The Chancellor directs the government's administrative affairs. Details are laid down in the government's Geschäftsordnung (rules for internal procedure) which states, for example, that the cabinet has quorum if at least half of the ministers including the chair are present.


Present German Cabinet

See also Cabinet Merkel II

The current federal cabinet (in office since October 28, 2009), consists of the following Ministers:

Office Incumbent Since Party
Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel 2005 CDU
Federal Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Guido Westerwelle 2009 FDP
Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Dr. Norbert Röttgen 2009 CDU
Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Brüderle 2009 FDP
Federal Minister of Defence Dr. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg 2009 CSU
Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Dr. Kristina Köhler 2009 CDU
Federal Minister for Special Tasks and Head of the Chancellery Ronald Pofalla 2009 CDU
Federal Minister of the Interior Dr. Thomas de Maizière 2009 CDU
Federal Minister of Education and Research Dr. Annette Schavan 2005 CDU
Federal Minister of Health Dr. Philipp Rösler 2009 FDP
Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Ilse Aigner 2008 CSU
Federal Minister of Finance Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble 2009 CDU
Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr. Ursula von der Leyen 2009 CDU
Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs Dr. Peter Ramsauer 2009 CSU
Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel 2009 FDP
Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger 2009 FDP

See also


External links


Simple English


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The Bundesregierung, sometimes called the Bundeskabinett or Federal Cabinet, is the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and it consists of the Chancellor and the Federal Ministers.

The job of the cabinet is listed in the articles 62 to 69 of the constitution. This also has the oath of office that the minister must take.

The Chancellor is responsible for the administrative work of the Federal Government, but the work is delegated to the Head of the Federal Chancellery.

The Chancellor sets the general policy of the Federal Government, and what each ministry should do. The Federal Ministers are responsible for what happens in their own departments, and for making sure that the ministry keeps to the general ideas of the Chancellor. This is known as the departmental principle (German: Ressortprinzip).

If two Federal Ministers disagree about what should be done or about who is to do it or how it is to be done, the Federal Government decides with majority decision . The is called the cooperative principle (German: Kollegialprinzip).

The Federal Minister law (German: Bundesministergesetz) says that a retired member of the Federal Government can have a retirement pension, if they have been a minister for at least two years. Time as a junior minister (US "Undersecretary") who in Germany are called parliamentary permanent secretaries is counted, and so is previous membership of a Land government.

Parliamentary permanent secretaries and state ministers are not members of the Federal Government but do help them in their job.

As a rule, the Federal Cabinet meets in the Federal Chancellery every Wednesday at 9.30 hours.

Current make-up of the Federal Government

Only members of CDU/CSU and FDP are in the current Federal Government . Eleven of the 16 members of the Federal Government are members of the Bundestag.

DepartmentOfficeholderPartyMember of the
German Bundestag
Federal ChancellorDr. Angela MerkelCDUYes
Foreign Office and Deputy Federal ChancellorDr. Guido WesterwelleFDPYes
InteriorDr. Thomas de MaizièreCDUYes
JusticeSabine Leutheusser-SchnarrenbergerFDPYes
FinanceDr. Wolfgang SchäubleCDUYes
Economy and TechnologyRainer BrüderleFDPYes
Work and Social AffairsDr. Ursula von der LeyenCDUYes
Food, Farming and Consumer ProtectionIlse AignerCSUYes
DefenceDr. Karl-Theodor zu GuttenbergCSUYes
Family, Senior Citizens, Women and YouthDr. Kristina KöhlerCDUYes
HealthDr. Philipp RöslerFDPNo
Traffic, Building and Urban DevelopmentDr. Peter RamsauerCSUYes
Environment, Conservation and Nuclear Reactor SafetyDr. Norbert RöttgenCDUYes
Education and ResearchDr. Annette SchavanCDUYes
Federal Minister without Portfolio and Head of the Federal ChancelleryRonald PofallaCDUYes
Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentDirk NiebelFDPYes

Seniority in the Federal Government

§ 22 of the Standing Orders of the Federal Government controls the seniority in meetings of the Federal Government. If the Chancellor is absent, the Deputy Chancellor is the chairman of the Federal Government. If the deputy is also absent, the longest serving or the oldest minister chairs the meeting.

These rules mean that the order of seniority is in this table

Representation order in the German Federal Government
Date of birthDepartment
0Angela MerkelCDUNovember 22nd, 2005July 17th, 1954Federal Chancellor
1Guido WesterwelleFDPOctober 28th, 2009December 27th, 1961Foreign
as Deputy Chancellor
2Wolfgang SchäubleCDUNovember 22nd, 2005
October 28th, 2009
September 18th, 1942Finance
3Thomas de MaizièreCDUNovember 22nd, 2005
October 28th, 2009
January 21st, 1954Interior
4Annette SchavanCDUNovember 22nd, 2005June 10th, 1955Education and Research
5Ursula von der LeyenCDUNovember 22nd, 2005
November 30th, 2009
October 8th, 1958Work and Social Affairs
6Ilse AignerCSUOctober 31st, 2008December 7th, 1964Diet, Farming and Consumer Protection
7Karl-Theodor zu GuttenbergCSUFebraury 10th, 2009
October 28th, 2009
December 5th, 1971Defence
8Rainer BrüderleFDPOctober 28th, 2009June 22nd, 1945Economy and Technology
9Sabine Leutheusser-SchnarrenbergerFDPOctober 28th, 2009July 26th, 1951Justice
10Peter RamsauerCSUOctober 28th, 2009February 10th, 1954Traffic, Building and Urban Development
11Ronald PofallaCDUOctober 28th, 2009May 15th, 1959special tasks (chancellery.)
12Dirk NiebelFDPOctober 28th, 2009March 29th, 1963Economic Cooperation and Development
13Norbert RöttgenCDUOctober 28th, 2009July 2nd, 1965Environment, Conservation and Reactor Safety
14Philipp RöslerFDPOctober 28th, 2009February 24th, 1973Health
15Kristina KöhlerCDUNovember 30th, 2009August 3rd, 1977Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth

Lawyers in the Federal Government

This table lists the number and percentage of members of the federal government who were lawyers. In Germany the time between elections is called a "legislative period". In the United Kingdom this would be called a Parliament or in the United States a Congress

Legislative Period Fully Qualified Lawyers
Number Percentage
1. (1949 – 1953) 6 of 14 42.9 %
2. (1953 – 1957) 5 of 20 25.0 %
3. (1957 – 1961) 7 of 18 38.9 %
4. (1961 – 1965) 8 of 21 38.1 %
7 of 22 31,8 %
5. (1965 – 1969) 7 of 22 31.8 %
6 of 20 30,0 %
6. (1969 – 1972) 4 of 16 25.0 %
7. (1972 – 1976) 8 of 18 44.4 %
4 of 16 25.0 %
8. (1976 – 1980) 4 of 16 25.0 %
9. (1980 – 1983) 8 of 17 47.1 %
8 of 17 47,1 %
10. (1983 – 1987) 8 of 17 47.1 %
11. (1987 – 1990) 9 of 19 47.4 %
12. (1990 – 1994) 6 of 20 33.3 %
13. (1994 – 1998) 9 of 18 50.0 %
14. (1998 – 2002) 3 of 16 18.8 %
15. (2002 – 2005) 6 of 14 42.9 %
16. (2005 – 2009) 6 of 16 37.5 %
17. (2009 –) 7 of 16 43.8 %


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