Merkel’s Team

Cabinet Members in the Shadows

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) eröffnet mit einer Glocke am Montag (24.10.2011) im Konrad-Adenauer-Haus in Berlin die Bundesvorstandssitzung der Partei. Foto: Rainer Jensen dpa/lbn +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Angela Merkel (CDU) and her lesser known ministers, (l-r) Christian Schmidt, Gerd Müller, Herman Gröhe, Barbara Hendricks, Johanna Wanka.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    At the halfway point for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government, an assessment shows that some cabinet ministers are omnipresent and dominate debates, while others are fight insignificance.

  • Facts


    • Angela Merkel leads a coalition government the government her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).
    • The third cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel was sworn in on December 17, 2013.
    • There are 16 ministers, from all the parties of the coalition.
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German politicians like to go on tour in the summer, getting close to ordinary people, listening to them, joining in. If things go well, the process makes them look more human. But if things go wrong, they are left looking exposed.

Take Barbara Hendricks, Germany’s federal minister for environment, nature conservation and nuclear safety. She is a member of the junior coalition partners, the SPD, and recently took a trip through the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. She listened to the fate of the endangered harbor porpoise in the city of Stralsund and learned about trash in the ocean. She rumbled across a farm in a tractor and viewed the “model project for agriculture and animal diversity.” It produced lovely pictures of an organic farm in summer, which is what you would expect from a trip by an environmental minister.

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