Berlin The new Minister for Digital and Transport, Volker Wissing (FDP), is not planning any major personnel changes in his ministry for the time being. The house is no longer called the “Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure”, but the Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV). But at the management level, Wissing relies on continuity.
As the Handelsblatt learned from ministry circles, the remaining civil servant state secretary from the reign of Andreas Scheuer (CSU) will remain in office. Scheuer had brought Michael Güntner, then director of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, to the ministry. The excellent expert on parliamentary operations had previously worked in the Ministry of the Interior.
Wissing is likely to want to fall back on his experience, as he has so far mainly gained administrative experience in Rhineland-Palatinate. The 51-year-old was last Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viticulture there.
The second state secretary position, which has been vacant since the federal election, is filled by Wissing with two confidants. Stefan Schnoor, previously head of the digital department in the Federal Ministry of Economics, will be responsible for central tasks and the new field of digital policy for Wissing. They met in 2001 in the Mainz Ministry of Justice.
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Then there is Hartmut Höppner, currently deputy government spokesman in Mainz. He was previously Wissing’s office manager in the state ministry. Wissing and Höppner have known each other since 2004.
Not only the State Secretary, but also department heads are allowed to stay
Wissing is taking a different path than, for example, Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck. The Green politician and Vice Chancellor is completely rebuilding the ministry and “doing tabula rasa”, as it was called in government circles. He completely replaces the positions of civil servants and parliamentary state secretaries and replaces more than half of the department heads.
The Digital and Transport Minister Wissing, on the other hand, is not planning any changes to the department heads, who are political officials by virtue of their leadership position. According to the ministry, Wissing’s State Secretary Schnorr is currently holding talks with them.
In the next three months, it will then be seen who of the previous leaders could stay. On the other hand, it was said, layoffs are increasingly difficult in the course of a legislative period and are associated with public attention.
In addition, a new structure for the house is still being worked on. What is certain is that two thirds of the previous digital policy department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs will move to the new digital ministry. The majority of the staff and most of the presentations were in the innovation policy sub-department, which, like the areas of digital economy and artificial intelligence (AI), will remain in the Ministry of Economic Affairs. As a result, less than half of the employees change house with the previous head of department Schnoor.
The important area of the Gaia-X data platform also remains in the economic department, whereas Wissing’s house is responsible for the mobility data room and there is talk of a “data law”. However, the focus in the future will continue to be on expanding the fiber optic and cellular networks better than before. Two departments for digital are planned, so far there is one.
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