On 8 December 2021 Olaf Scholz and his cabinet ministers will be sworn in. With 7 women and 10 men, the government Scholz I will be the first traffic light coalition government at the federal level. While most German Government Ministers are well-known to the general public, some nominations have come as surprise. Find all profiles, Twitter handles, and trends in our overview.
The Chancellor and his deputies
- Olaf Scholz (63, SPD): Chancellor, previously Deputy Chancellor (under Angela Merkel) and Finance Minister, Mayor of Hamburg. Scholz won his constituency (Potsdam) with 34% of votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, twitter)
- Robert Habeck (52, Greens): Deputy Chancellor & Minister of Economy, previously Minister of Agriculture at state level. Chair of the Green Party, won his constituency (Flensburg/Schleswig) with 28% of votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, Harbeck is not on Twitter (is he the new Merkel?)
- Christian Lindner (42, Liberals): Deputy Chancellor & Minister of Finance, previously Chair of the liberal group in the Bundestag. Chair of the Liberal party (FDP), he was elected to the Bundestag through party list votes (“Zweitstimme“) (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
Christian Lindner has been a thought leader on Twitter for quite a while now (find all thought leaders here). Interestingly, the liberals have also won the demographic group of the first voters (18-24) with 23% of the votes in their favour, compared to only 12% back in 2017.
The German Government Ministers of the Social democrats (SPD)
The SPD will hold six ministries. Three ministers had seats at the Merkel Government Cabinet and four of these ministers are actually Members of the Bundestag. Please note that it is not mandatory for a Government Minister to have been elected in the Bundestag. Actually, Olaf Scholz, former Deputy Chancellor was elected to the Bundestag for the first time in 2021.
- Hubertus Heil (49): Minister of Labour and Social Affairs: the only German government minister to retain his seat. He has been a member of the German parliament since 1998, and thus represents a symbol of continuity for the SPD. He won his constituency (Grifhorn-Peine) with an overwhelming 43.7% of votes (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Prof. Dr. Karl Lauterbach (58): Minister of Health, has been an MP in the German Bundestag since 2005 and deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group since 2013. He has also been a member of the Health committee since 2014; this plus his Harvard education as a health economist has qualified him to be in the running throughout coalition talks. He won his constituency (Leverkusen-Köln IV) with 45.6% of votes and will now be in the German government cabinet as the new minister for health . He’s the German MP and government minister with the largest Twitter followership. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Christine Lamprecht (56): Minister of Defense, former Minister for Justice and former Minister on Family affairs, Lamprecht is actually not a Member of the Bundestag. (policy-insider.ai profile, not on Twitter)
- Nancy Faeser (51): Minister of the Interior, former chair of the SPD group in a state Parliament (Hessen), Faeser is unknown at the Federal level and has been elected to the Bundestag for the first time in 2021 through party list votes.
- Svenja Schulze (53): Minister for Economical Cooperation and Development, former Minister of Environment in the Merkel government, was elected to the Bundestag through party list votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Wolfgang Schmidt (51): Head of the Chancellory (ranking as a Cabinet Minister), former state secretary at the Ministry of Finance and close advisor to Olaf Scholz, Schmidt does not hold a seat in the Bundestag.
The German Government Ministers of the Green Party (“Bündnis90/Die Grünen“)
Together with Deputy Chancellor Harbeck, the Greens will have five seats at the Government Cabinet table, held by three women and two men. Four of these are actually Members of the Bundestag with Cem Özdemir having won a direct mandate. As you will see for Ministers from the Greens and the Liberals (below), it is very common for MPs of traditionally smaller parties to be elected through party list votes (see here for more details on the German election system).
- Annalena Baerbock (40): Minister for External Affairs, ran for the Chancellors’ office in 2021, co-chair of the Green Party, hasn’t held any office previously and lost her constituency to Olaf Scholz, hence being elected to the Bundestag through party list votes (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Cem Özdemir (55): Minister for Nutrition and Agriculture, won a direct mandate with 40% of votes. He has previously been chairman of the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure. He is also the only minister with a migration background. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Anne Spiegel (40): Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, former deputy prime minister and minister for family affairs at state level, Spiegel is not a Member of the Bundestag. (policy-insider.ai profile)
- Steffi Lemke (53): Minister for Environment, Nature Protection, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, previously parliamentary manager of the Green group in the Bundestag, was elected to the Bundestag through party list votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
The German Government Ministers of the Liberals (FDP)
As the smallest group in this traffic light coalition, the Liberals will have four seats at the Cabinet table, with Lindner (Finance) being joined by one woman and two men.
It came quite as a surprise that the Liberals could get hold of the Transport ministry which was expected to be taken by the Greens. Interestingly this Ministry was rebranded from “Transport and Digital Infrastructure” to “Transport and Digital Affairs”, with digitalization being one of the focus points of the Liberals’ election campaign.
- Marco Buschmann (42): Minister for Justice, former parliamentary manager of the FDP group in the Bundestag, Buschmann was elected to the Bundestag via party list votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Bettina Stark-Watzinger (53): Minister for Research and Education, former chair of the Committee on Finance of the Bundestag, Stark-Witzinger was elected to the Bundestag via party list votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)
- Volker Wissing (51): Minister for Transport and Digital Affairs, former secretary General of the FDP party and former Minister for Economy, Transport, Agriculture and Viniculture at state level, Wissing was elected to the Bundestag via party list votes. (policy-insider.ai profile, Twitter)