Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Chancellor: Angela Merkel (CDU)

Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel is Germany's chancellor. She is in her fourth term as leader of the German government and in her third at the head of a "grand coalition" between the CDU, its conservative Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD). Merkel says she will not run for chancellor at the next general election in 2021.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of the Interior, Heimat and Construction: Horst Seehofer (CSU)

Seehofer was Bavaria's state premier until he took over the interior portfolio in Merkel's Cabinet. This will be the first time that the vaguely patriotic "Heimat" concept (roughly "homeland") is included in the interior minister's domain. Bavaria, however, has had a state Heimat Ministry for five years. Seehofer remains head of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister for Foreign Affairs: Heiko Maas (SPD)

Former Justice Minister Heiko Maas succeeded his Social Democrat colleague, Sigmar Gabriel, as foreign minister in March. Maas was in charge of the Justice Ministry when the government passed a controversial internet law to combat hate speech online.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Finance Minister: Olaf Scholz (SPD)

Scholz served as mayor of Hamburg before moving to Berlin to take the reins at the Finance Ministry. The Finance Ministry's capture was a significant win for the SPD. Scholz will also serve as vice-chancellor. He had been in Merkel's Cabinet once before, as minister of labor and social affairs from 2007 to 2009.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of Defense: Ursula von der Leyen (CDU)

Von der Leyen has been defense minister since 2013 and kept her job in the new government. This comes despite numerous scandals within the Bundeswehr, Germany's military, that broke since she took over the Defense Ministry. Her relationship with the troops suffered, but Merkel trusts her.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Economic and Energy Affairs Minister: Peter Altmaier (CDU)

Altmaier was Merkel's chief of staff at the Chancellery before his nomination to take over the Economy Ministry. The last time a CDU politician was in the post was half a century before. Altmaier is regarded as extremely loyal to the chancellor.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection: Katarina Barley (SPD)

Katarina Barley took over as justice minister after serving as both minister of family affairs and labor in the previous government. The 49-year-old is a lawyer by training and holds both British and German citizenship.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Hubertus Heil (SPD)

Hubertus Heil succeeded Andrea Nahles, who stepped down to take over as head of the SPD. A member of the Bundestag since 1998, Heil has twice served as the party's secretary general.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister for the Environment: Svenja Schulze (SPD)

Svenja Schulze replaced party colleague Barbara Hendricks, Germany's former minister for the environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety, in March. Schulze previously served as minister for innovation, science and research in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister for Health: Jens Spahn (CDU)

Jens Spahn, 37, is representative of a new political generation within the CDU and seen as a future contender for party leadership. In the last government, he served as the parliamentary state secretary in the Finance Ministry. Prior to that, he helped lead the CDU's health policy in the Bundestag.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of Education and Research: Anja Karliczek (CDU)

Anja Karliczek, a former hotel manager who is relatively unknown, was nominated by Merkel to take over the Education Ministry. She had a lot of money to spend: The ministry's budget was increased by €11 billion ($13.6 billion) to pay for school and university improvements shortly before her appointment.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth: Franziska Giffey (SPD)

Franziska Giffey's elevation from the mayor of Berlin's Neukölln district to cabinet minister was perhaps one of the most eye-catching appointments. Giffey bypassed the Bundestag altogether to ascend into government. But the SPD leadership believed her experience in charge of what has often been described as Berlin's "troubled" district made her the most suitable candidate for the role.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development: Gerd Müller (CSU)

Gerd Müller, 62, retained his post as development minister, which he has held since December 2013. He won the job over fellow CSU member Dorothee Bär, who was also in the running. Bär became the state minister for digital affairs in the chancellery, a newly created job.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: Andreas Scheuer (CSU)

Scheuer, considered a close ally of CSU party head Seehofer, took over the Transport Ministry from party colleague Alexander Dobrindt. He is experienced in the field: From 2009 to 2013, he was parliamentary state secretary in the Transport Ministry. Prior to his latest appointment, he was the CSU's secretary general.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Minister for Food and Agriculture: Julia Klöckner (CDU)

Klöckner previously worked as parliamentary state secretary in the Agriculture Ministry from 2009 to 2011. Between her ministerial stints in Berlin, she was deputy chair of the CDU and headed the CDU in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Ministers under Merkel: Germany's new government

Chief of Staff at the Chancellery: Helge Braun (CDU)

Helge Braun took over from CDU colleague Peter Altmaier as Chancellery head in March. He had previously served in deputy positions in the Chancellery and Education Ministry.

The conservative CDU and CSU formed a "grand coalition" government with the center-left SPD in March 2018. DW takes a look at who's who in Chancellor Angela Merkel's fourth Cabinet.

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