After her swearing in as the new Federal Minister of Defence in the German Bundestag, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has made it clear that she is proud of the German armed forces. The soldiers of the Bundeswehr stand for the security of our country and defend our freedom.
In her first government statement, Kramp-Karrenbauer spoke of her respect for the performance of the soldiers and staff of the Bundeswehr. But she also expressed her respect for the responsibility of the members of the German Bundestag towards the Bundeswehr as a parliamentary army.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took her oath of office before the German Bundestag during a special session in the Paul Löbe Building, because the plenary chamber in the Reichstag building is being renovated during the summer break.
Firmly united with Europe and NATO
The Bundeswehr is a key element of security at the present time. As such, it serves peace in a united Europe. But Germany also remains firmly anchored in NATO. NATO is a guarantor of our security.
Kramp-Karrenbauer will strive to achieve the NATO target of 2% of GDP, agreed in Wales in 2014. She initially committed to the goal of increasing the defence budget to 1.5% of gross domestic product by 2024.
More funding for equipment
The Minister of Defence made it clear that the increase in expenditure does not represent an arms build-up, but rather an improvement in the equipment of the armed forces. The Bundeswehr should fulfil the tasks allocated to it by parliament.
Kramp-Karrenbauer pointed out that the Bundeswehr is once again growing in terms of personnel and equipment. This turnaround which has started should be continued. The objectives set out in the Bundeswehr white paper showed an ambitious path. However, this path serves the security of our country. This also requires reliable funding.
Kramp-Karrenbauer made it clear that the Bundeswehr comes from the centre of our society, and that there is no place for extremists in the armed forces.