Habeck becomes Vice Chancellor, Özdemir prevails against Hofreiter

Berlin The Greens have settled their power struggle for the ministerial posts of a future traffic light government. Late on Thursday evening, the Greens federal manager Michael Kellner announced the personnel with which the party wants to enter into a coalition with the SPD and FDP.

Accordingly, Greens leader Robert Habeck will be Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection. Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock is the first woman in this position to take over the Foreign Ministry. Both decisions had been expected that way.

The appointment of Cem Özdemir as Minister of Agriculture and Food comes as a surprise. The personnel caused a dispute behind the scenes, as with Özdemir a realo ousted the party left and previous favorite for this post, Anton Hofreiter. This is now empty.

In order to balance the balance of power between the wings, parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt also fell through the grid in the end. In their place, the party left Anne Spiegel from Rhineland-Palatinate takes over the family ministry. You are unlikely to have had any on the slip.

As the second party left, Steffi Lemke takes over the Ministry of the Environment. The previous Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth will also become Minister of State for Culture and Media in the Chancellery.

Now the Greens base has until the beginning of December to vote on the personal details and the coalition agreement.

The Greens’ personnel sheet: a brief portrait of the future ministers

Robert Habeck – Vice Chancellor, Economy and Climate Protection

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is of central importance to the Greens. From here Robert Habeck will steer the transformation of the industry towards climate neutrality. The phase-out of coal by 2030, the massive expansion of renewable energies and billions in climate investments fall into his area of ​​responsibility.

Whether the traffic light actually takes the 1.5-degree path is largely due to whether the Habeck succeeds. It is therefore almost impossible for the 52-year-old to have four quiet years.

Not only industrial and fossil energy associations will be watching the minister closely. Habeck’s own warehouse also expects results. After all, it was he who turned the Greens from opposition to government.

What speaks for him is that he can look back on a lot of experience. Habeck was Minister for Energy Transition, Environment, Agriculture and Digitization in Schleswig-Holstein for six years. In this task he was not too bad to travel through the villages and to advertise energy lines and wind turbines in order to reduce resistance. He will also be able to use this power of persuasion in his new role.

The fact that Habeck also became Vice Chancellor could be due to the disappointing election result of the Chancellor candidate Baerbock. Although the Greens got the best result in their history, they fell far short of expectations – also because of serious mistakes by Baerbock in the election campaign, for example around the plagiarism allegations against their book, unreported additional income and incorrect information in the résumé.

Annalena Baerbock – Foreign Minister

After around 20 years, the Foreign Ministry is to be run by a Green again. The Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock is following in the footsteps of Joschka Fischer and is the first woman to hold this post.

The Greens see the department as an opportunity to advance climate policy issues on a European or global level. In addition, the party is striving for a foreign policy that again represents more clearly European values ​​towards countries such as China, Turkey and Russia.

International politics is not new territory for the 40-year-old: Among other things, she studied international law. So far, Baerbock’s strengths have been to explain complex political concepts in an understandable way. As Foreign Minister, she would have to master rather confident appearances in delicate situations.

How much influence Baerbock can actually exert on this post is still completely open. The actually prestigious ministry has lost its reputation and influence in recent years.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) made foreign policy her area of ​​responsibility. Whether in Europe, the refugee crisis or in Russia policy – the Chancellery usually had the last word here. If it stays that way, Baerbock would have to prevail against soon-to-be Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), whose party has a less critical stance on Russia, for example.

Cem Özdemir – Agriculture and Food

His appointment comes as a surprise. Özdemir is first and foremost a foreign policy maker. Most recently he was chairman of the transport committee. The agricultural sector would be a new area with many challenges for him. Rising societal expectations for animal welfare and sustainability, changing eating habits and tightening environmental regulations are just some of the issues that he has to address.

Özdemir is one of the most prominent Greens, but his reputation in the party has suffered in recent years. The Realo is not exactly considered a team player. Nevertheless, he prevailed against the party left Anton Hofreiter, who was actually intended for the Ministry of Transport. But that now goes to the FDP.

The Swabian with Turkish roots stands to some extent for a bit of diversity in the government. In the first row of the Greens there is no one with a migration background – that doesn’t go well with the party’s claim to ensure more diversity.

Özdemir moved into the Bundestag in 1994, later sat in the EU Parliament and returned to the Bundestag in 2013. For ten years, until the beginning of 2018, he was party leader of the Greens. During this time in particular, he advocated a rapprochement between the Greens and the economy.

The 55-year-old is particularly popular among the population. In the federal elections he was elected to the Bundestag in his Stuttgart constituency with a result of around 40 percent.

Steffi Lemke – Environment and consumer protection

The 53-year-old from Dessau is the parliamentary manager and spokeswoman for nature conservation policy in the Green parliamentary group. The graduate agricultural engineer entered the Bundestag for the first time in 1994. Between 2002 and 2013 she was the political federal manager of her party. In 2013 she moved into the Bundestag for the second time.

Lemke writes about herself that the massive environmental destruction in the Bitterfeld region accompanied her childhood in the GDR, “just like a state that wanted to determine my personal life”. Today’s problems are different, but in some cases have remained similar, including the climate crisis and the overexploitation of nature.

Lemke is no stranger to the environment. The topic of biodiversity and the avoidance of further pandemics are particularly important to her. She considers the corona pandemic to be man-made and a “catastrophe with an announcement”. The destruction of nature is the cause of this pandemic, she said a year ago. It was known “that this was going to happen”, but the problem had been neglected.

Anne Spiegel – Family Minister

The news may have surprised her herself: that she should leave the traffic light government in Rhineland-Palatinate to take over a government office at the Berlin traffic light. Spiegel, 40, is now Environment Minister in Mainz, but was previously Integration and Family Minister in Rhineland-Palatinate. Spiegel has thus ousted parliamentary group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt, who had been acted as family minister.

Politics is not something abstract, it changes the reality of life in a very concrete way, writes Spiegel, who as a child “absolutely wanted to become a penguin researcher”, on her website. As a mother of four, the issue of reconciling family and work is not only a political issue, it also moves her personally.

The empowerment of women and families is a particular focus of her work. During the election campaign, the Greens repeatedly emphasized how important it is to them to strengthen the rights of families and children.

More: Alliance of great promises: This is what the new coalition for taxes, growth and climate brings – the big Handelsblatt traffic light check

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