Cabinet of Germany

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 fundamentals of the cabinet's organization as well as the method of its election and appointment as well as the procedure for its dismissal are set down in articles 62 through 69 of the Grundgesetz (the Basic Law).

In contrast to the system under the Weimar Republic, the Bundestag may only dismiss the Chancellor with constructive vote of no-confidence (electing a new Chancellor at the same time) and can thereby only choose to dismiss the Chancellor with his or her entire cabinet and not simply individual ministers. These procedures and mechanisms were put in place by the authors of the Basic Law to both prevent another dictatorship and to ensure that there will not be a political vacuum left by the removal of Chancellor through a vote of confidence and the failure to elect a new one in his or her place, as had happened during the Weimar period with the Reichstag removing Chancellors but failing to agree on the election of a new one.

If the Chancellor loses a simple confidence motion (without the election of a new Chancellor by the Bundestag), this does not force him or her out of office, but allows the Chancellor, if he wishes to do so, to ask the President of Germany for the dissolution of the Bundestag, triggering a snap election within 60 days (this happened in 1972, 1983 and 2005), or to ask the President to declare a legislative state of emergency, which allows the cabinet to use a simplified legislative procedure, in which bills proposed by the cabinet only need the consent of the Bundesrat (as yet, this has never been applied). The President is however not bound to follow the Chancellor's request in both cases.


The Chancellor is elected by the federal parliament (Bundestag) after being proposed by the President with a majority of all members of the Bundestag (Chancellor-majority). However, the Bundestag is free to disregard the President's proposal (which has, as of 2019, never happened), in which case the parliament must within 14 days elect another individual, which the parties in the Bundestag can now propose themselves, to the post with the same so called Chancellor-majority, whom the President is then obliged to appoint. If the Bundestag fails to do so, on the 15th day after the first ballot the Bundestag must hold one last ballot: If an individual is elected with the Chancellor-majority, the President is obliged to appoint him or her. If not, the President is free to either appoint the individual, who received a plurality of votes on this last ballot, as Chancellor or to dissolve the Bundestag.

Following the election, the Chancellor is appointed by the President. The ministers are appointed (and dismissed) by the President upon proposal of the Chancellor. On taking office the Chancellor and ministers swear an oath in front of the parliament.


The Chancellor is Germany's chief executive leader. Therefore, the whole cabinet's tenure is linked to the Chancellor's tenure: The Chancellor's (and the cabinet's) term automatically ends, if a newly elected Bundestag sits for the first time, or if he or she is replaced by a constructive vote of no confidence, resigns or dies. Nevertheless, apart from the case of a constructive vote of no confidence, which by nature instantly invests a new Chancellor (and a new cabinet), the Chancellor and his or her ministers stay in office as an acting cabinet on the President's request, until the Bundestag has elected a new Chancellor. An acting cabinet and its members have (theoretically) the same powers as an ordinary cabinet, but the Chancellor may not ask the Bundestag for a motion of confidence or ask the President for the appointment of new ministers. If an acting minister eventually leaves the cabinet, another member of government has to take over his or her department.

The Chancellor is responsible for guiding the cabinet and deciding its political direction (Richtlinienkompetenz). According to the principle of departmentalization (Ressortprinzip), the cabinet ministers are free to carry out their duties independently within the boundaries set by the Chancellor's political directives. The Chancellor may at any time ask the President to dismiss a minister or to appoint a new minister; the President's appointment is only a formality, he may not refuse a Chancellors request for dismissal or appointment of a minister. The Chancellor also decides the scope of each minister's duties and can at his own discretion nominate ministers heading a department and so called ministers for special affairs without an own department. He can also lead a departmend himself, if he decides so. The Chancellors freedom to shape his cabinet is only limited by some constitutional provisions: The Chancellor has to appoint a Minister of Defence, a Minister of Economic Affairs and a Minister of Justice and is implicitly forbidden to head one of these departments himself, as the constitution invests these ministers with some special powers: The Minister of Defence is commander-in-chief during peacetime (only in wartime the Chancellor becomes supreme commander), the Minister of Economic Affairs may veto decisions by the Federal Cartel Office and the Minister of Justice appoints and dismisses the Public Prosecutor General. If two ministers disagree on a particular point, the cabinet resolves the conflict by a majority vote (Kollegialprinzip or principle of deference) or the Chancellor decides the case themselves. This often depends on the Chancellor's governing style.

The Chancellor has to appoint one of the cabinet ministers as Vice Chancellor, who may deputise for the Chancellor in his or her absence. In coalition governments the Vice Chancellor is usually the highest ranking minister of the second biggest coalition party. If the Chancellor dies or is unwilling or unable to act as Chancellor after the end of his or her term, until a new Chancellor has been elected, the Vice Chancellor becomes Acting Chancellor until the election of a new Chancellor by the Bundestag, who than has to form a new government. (To date, this has happened once: On 7 May 1974 Chancellor Willy Brandt resigned and declared his refusal to act as Chancellor until his successor's election. Vice Chancellor Walter Scheel was appointed as Acting Chancellor and served until the election of Helmut Schmidt on 16 May.)

The Chancellor is in charge of the government's administrative affairs, which are usually delegated to the Chief of staff of the Chancellery, who is usually also appointed as minister for special affairs. Details are laid down in the government's rules for internal procedures (Geschäftsordnung). These state, for example, that the cabinet is quorate only if at least half of the ministers including the chair (the Chancellor or in his or her absence the Vice Chancellor) are present. The cabinet regularly convenes Wednesday mornings in the Chancellery.

According to established practice, decisions on important armaments exports are made by the Federal Security Council (Bundessicherheitsrat), a cabinet committee chaired by the Chancellor. Pursuant to its (classified) rules of procedure, its sessions are confidential. According to practice, the Federal Government presents an annual report on arms exports, which contains statistical information on export permits issued and gives figures for the types of arms concerned as well as their destination. As a general rule, the Federal Government, if asked, is required to inform the Bundestag that the Federal Security Council has approved a given armaments export transaction or not.[1]

Present German cabinet

The current and 24th federal cabinet of Germany has been in office since 14 March 2018. It currently consists of the following ministers:

Protocol order[2] Office Image Incumbent Party In office Parliamentary State Secretaries[a]
Particular field of responsibilities (where applicable)
1 Bundesadler Bundesorgane
Chancellor of Germany
Angela Merkel. Tallinn Digital Summit Angela Merkel CDU 22 November 2005 – present Annette Widmann-Mauz (StMin)
Migrants, Refugees and Integration
Monika Grütters (StMin)
Culture and Media
Hendrik Hoppenstedt (StMin)
Cooperation between federation and states
Dorothee Bär (StMin)
2 Bundesadler Bundesorgane
Vice Chancellor of Germany
BMF Logo
Federal Minister of Finance
Olaf Scholz - Deutscher Radiopreis 2016 01 Olaf Scholz SPD 14 March 2018 – present Bettina Hagedorn
Christine Lambrecht
3 BMI Logo
Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Homeland
12-07-17-landtagsprojekt-bayern-RalfR-001 Horst Seehofer CSU 14 March 2018 – present Günter Krings
Stephan Mayer
Marco Wanderwitz
4 Auswärtiges Amt Logo
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
2017-11-29-Heiko Maas-Maischberger-5685 Heiko Maas SPD 14 March 2018 – present Niels Annen (StMin)
Michelle Müntefering (StMin)
Michael Roth (StMin)
European affairs
5 Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie Logo
Federal Minister of Economics and Energy
2016-12-06 Peter Altmaier CDU Parteitag by Olaf Kosinsky-9 Peter Altmaier CDU 14 March 2018 – present Thomas Bareiß
Christian Hirte
East German affairs
Oliver Wittke
6 Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz logo
Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection
Katarina Barley-6824 Katarina Barley SPD 14 March 2018 – present Rita Hagl-Kehl
Christian Lange
7 BMAS Logo
Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
2017-06-25 Hubertus Heil by Olaf Kosinsky-4 Hubertus Heil SPD 14 March 2018 – present Annette Kramme
Kerstin Griese
8 BMVG Logo
Federal Minister of Defence
Ursula von der Leyen at NATO in Belgium - 2017 (38215863566) (cropped) Ursula von der Leyen CDU 17 December 2013 – present Thomas Silberhorn
Peter Tauber
9 BMEL Logo
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture
CDU Kloeckner 0070 Julia Klöckner CDU 14 March 2018 – present Hans-Joachim Fuchtel
Michael Stübgen
10 BMFSFJ Logo
Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Pressefoto von Franziska Giffey (cropped) Franziska Giffey SPD 14 March 2018 – present Caren Marks
Stefan Zierke
11 BMG Logo
Federal Minister of Health
2018-02-14 CDU Thüringen Politischer Aschermittwoch-5421 Jens Spahn CDU 14 March 2018 – present Thomas Gebhardt
Sabine Weiss
12 Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur Logo
Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Scheuer Andreas 2017 by Studio Weichselbaumer Andreas Scheuer CSU 14 March 2018 – present Steffen Bilger
Enak Ferlemann
13 Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit Logo
Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
2493ri SPD, Svenja Schulze Svenja Schulze SPD 14 March 2018 – present Florian Pronold
Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter
14 BMBF Logo
Federal Minister of Education and Research
Karliczek, Anja-1612 Anja Karliczek CDU 14 March 2018 – present Michael Meister
Thomas Rachel
15 BMZ Logo
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Müller Gerd 2017 by Büro Dr. Gerd Müller Gerd Müller CSU 17 December 2013 – present Norbert Barthle
Maria Flachsbarth
16 DEgov-BKAmt-Logo
Federal Minister for Special Affairs
Head of the Chancellery
Helge-Braun Helge Braun CDU 14 March 2018 – present
  1. ^ Some Parliamentary State Secretaries are awarded the honorary title Staatsminister (StMin, English: Minister of State) in order to underline the importance of their field of responsibilities. This title does not, however, confer upon them any additional powers.

See also


  1. ^ [2 BvE 5/11, Judgment of 21 October 2014: Right of Bundestag Members to be Informed of Exports of Military Equipment After the Federal Security Council Grants Permits] Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, Press Release No. 91/2014 of 21 October 2014.
  2. ^ German Chancellery (15 March 2018). "Liste der Bundesministerinnen und Bundesminister" [List of Federal Ministers]. Protokoll Inland der Bundesregierung (in German). German Federal Ministry of the Interior. Retrieved 16 March 2014.

External links

Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club

The Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club (ADFC) (German Cyclist’s Association) is a registered cycling association and club for cyclists in Germany.

The founding meeting of the ADFC took place on 27 September 1979 in Bremen, after the idea to establish such an organisation arose during the International Bicycle and Motorbike Exhibition (IFMA) on 18 April 1978. Jan Tebbe from Bremen provided the idea and was the first chairman of the ADFC. Other founders were transportation researchers like Heiner Monheim or Tilman Bracher.

The ADFC is an interest group of cyclists in German towns, particularly in traffic politics. It became known for the bicycle climate test, which was carried out in 1988, 1991, 2003, 2005 and 2012.

The ADFC is a member of the European Cyclists' Federation and the International Mountain Bicycling Association. At the demand of the ADFC a National Cycle Traffic Plan was presented in 2002 for the first time by the Cabinet of Germany.

Andreas Schockenhoff

Andreas Schockenhoff (23 February 1957 – 13 December 2014) was a German politician for the CDU. From 1990 until his death in 2014, he served as a member of the German Bundestag. In the general election in 2013, he was elected the seventh consecutive year as a direct mandate for the federal electoral district Ravensburg in the German Bundestag.

From 2006 until early 2014, Schockenhoff served as coordinator for the Cabinet of Germany, and was responsible for German-Russian cooperation. As distinctive foreign policymaker he was known for his criticism of Putin's government, and supported a more active German role in international crises.Schockenhoff was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He died in Ravensburg, Germany, aged 57.

Cannabis in Germany

Cannabis in Germany is legal for certain limited medical contexts, but illegal for recreational usage, though possession of minor amounts is not always prosecuted.

Christian Social Union in Bavaria

The Christian Social Union in Bavaria (Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern , CSU) is a Christian-democratic and conservative political party in Germany. The CSU operates only in Bavaria while its larger counterpart, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), operates in the other fifteen states of Germany. It differs from the CDU by being somewhat more conservative in social matters. The CSU is considered an effective successor of the Weimar-era Catholic Bavarian People's Party (BVP).At the federal level, the CSU forms a common faction in the Bundestag with the CDU, which is frequently referred to as the Union Faction (die Unionsfraktion). The CSU has had 46 seats in the Bundestag since the 2017 federal election, making it the smallest of the seven parties represented. Until the 2013 federal election, the CDU/CSU formed federal government in coalition with the Free Democratic Party (FDP). The CSU is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and the International Democrat Union. The CSU currently has three ministers in the cabinet of Germany of the federal government in Berlin, including party leader Horst Seehofer who is Federal Minister of the Interior while party member Markus Söder serves as Minister-President of Bavaria, a position that CSU representatives have held from 1946 to 1954 and again since 1957.

Eva Lohse

Eva Lohse (née Müller-Tamm; born 23 January 1956 in Ludwigshafen) is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She was the mayor (Oberbürgermeisterin) of Ludwigshafen from 2002 to 2017.

In addition to her work as Mayor, Lohse served as president of the Deutscher Städtetag from June 2015 to December 2017. The group is the head organization and lobby group for 3400 German cities vis-à-vis the Cabinet of Germany, the German Bundestag, the Bundesrat of Germany, the European Union (EU) and many organizations.

Federal Ministry of Defence (Germany)

The Federal Ministry of Defence (German: Bundesministerium der Verteidigung), abbreviated BMVg, is a top-level federal agency, headed by the Federal Minister of Defence as a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The ministry is headquartered at the Hardthöhe district in Bonn and has a second office in the Bendlerblock building in Berlin.

According to Article 65a of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz), the Federal Minister of Defence is Commander-in-chief of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, with around 253,430 active personnel. Article 115b decrees that in the state of defence, declared by the Bundestag with consent of the Bundesrat, the command in chief passes to the Chancellor.

The ministry currently has approximately 3,730 employees. Of these, 3,230 work in Bonn while around 500 work in the Bendlerblock building in Berlin.

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

The Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is a federal ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany headed by the Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs as a member of the Cabinet of Germany (Bundesregierung). Its first location is on Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin, the second in Bonn.

First Brandt cabinet

The First Brandt cabinet was the government of Germany between 22 October 1969 and 15 December 1972, during the 6th legislature of the Bundestag. Led by the Social Democrat Willy Brandt, the cabinet was a coalition between the Social Democrats (SDP) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). The Vice-Chancellor was the Free Democrat Walter Scheel (FDP).

Fourth Merkel cabinet

The fourth cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel is the current government of Germany, sworn in on 14 March 2018 after Merkel was proposed as Chancellor by President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier and elected on the first ballot. It is the 24th cabinet of Germany (Federal Republic).This government is supported by a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD), as was its immediate predecessor.

German Ethics Council

German Ethics Council (German: Deutscher Ethikrat) (Precursor from June 2001 to February 2008: National Ethics Council) is an independent council of experts in Germany working on the ethical, social, scientific, medical, and legal issues and their consequences for the individuals and the society. Half of the 26 members are proposed by the Cabinet of Germany including the chancellor, while the other half of the 26 members is proposed by the Bundestag. The members of the German Ethics Council are then designated by the President of the Bundestag.

It is host of the 2016 Global Summit of National Ethics/Bioethics Councils in Berlin under the Presidency of 2012-2016 Chair Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen of Cologne University.

German Federal Archives

The German Federal Archives or Bundesarchiv (BArch) (German: Bundesarchiv) are the National Archives of Germany. They were established at the current location in Koblenz in 1952.

They are subordinated to the State Minister of Culture and the Media (as of 2014, Monika Grütters), and before 1998, to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.The institution's 2009 budget amounted to 54.6 million Euro.On December 6, 2008 the Archives donated 100,000 photos to the public, by making them accessible via Wikimedia Commons.

Ijad Madisch

Ijad Madisch (born 1980 in Wolfsburg, Germany) is a German virologist, founder and CEO of the research network ResearchGate and member of the Digital Council (Digitalrat) of the Cabinet of Germany (Bundesregierung).

List of German interior ministers

The Federal Minister of the Interior (German: Bundesminister des Innern) is the head of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Horst Seehofer.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Germany)

The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs (German: Bundesminister des Auswärtigen) is the head of the Federal Foreign Office and a member of the Cabinet of Germany. The current office holder is Heiko Maas. Since 1966, the Foreign Minister has often also simultaneously held the office of Vice Chancellor.

Petra Roth

Petra Roth (born 9 May 1944 in Bremen) is a German politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She was the mayor of Frankfurt am Main from 1995 to 2012. In addition she twice served as president of the Deutscher Städtetag, resuming her previous post there in 2009. The group is the head organization and lobby group for all German cities vis-à-vis the Cabinet of Germany, the German Bundestag, the Bundesrat of Germany, the European Union (EU) and many organizations.

Second Brandt cabinet

The second Brandt cabinet was the government of Germany between 15 December 1972 and 16 May 1974, during the 7th legislature of the Bundestag. Led by the Social Democrat Willy Brandt, the cabinet was a coalition between the Social Democrats (SDP) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). It followed the Cabinet Brandt I. Following Brandt's resignation as Chancellor on 7 May 1974, Vice-Chancellor Walter Scheel (FDP) served as Acting Chancellor for nine days, until the inception of the Cabinet Schmidt I.

Second Merkel cabinet

The second Merkel cabinet was the Government of Germany during the 17th legislative session of the Bundestag following the 2009 federal election, and left office on 17 December 2013. It was preceded in office by the first Merkel cabinet. Led by Chancellor Angela Merkel (the first female chancellor in German history), it was supported by a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

The cabinet served as a caretaker government following the elections on 22 September 2013; which saw the removal of the Free Democratic Party from the Bundestag. Negotiations between the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democratics (SPD) took place to form a new cabinet, and the second Merkel cabinet was succeeded by the Merkel III cabinet on 17 December 2013.

University of Music and Theatre Leipzig

The University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig (German: Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig) is a public university in Leipzig (Saxony, Germany). Founded in 1843 by Felix Mendelssohn as the Leipzig Konservatorium der Musik (Leipzig Conservatory of Music), it is the oldest university school of music in Germany.

The institution includes the traditional Church Music Institute founded in 1919 by Karl Straube (1873–1950). The music school was renamed ″Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy″ after its founder in 1972. In 1992, it incorporated the Theaterhochschule "Hans Otto" Leipzig.

Since the beginning there was a tight relationship between apprenticeship and practical experience with the Gewandhaus and the Oper Leipzig, as well as theaters in Chemnitz (Theater Chemnitz), Dresden (Staatsschauspiel Dresden), Halle (Neues Theater Halle), Leipzig (Schauspiel Leipzig) and Weimar (Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar).

The university of music and theater is one of 365 places chosen in 2009 by the Cabinet of Germany and the Office of the Representative of German Industry and Trade for the campaign Germany - Land of Ideas.

Vice-Chancellor of Germany

The Deputy to the Federal Chancellor (German: Stellvertreter des Bundeskanzlers), widely known as the Vice Chancellor (German: Vizekanzler) of Germany is, according to protocol, the second highest position in the Cabinet of Germany. He is the equivalent of a deputy prime minister in other parliamentary systems.

The 18th and current Vice Chancellor of Germany (Federal Republic) is Olaf Scholz, who was appointed to the position on 14 March 2018 and also serves as the Federal Minister of Finance.

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