New Federal Minister of Defence appointed

New Federal Minister of Defence appointed

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is the new Federal Minister of Defence. Michael Müller, Vice President of the Bundesrat, the second chamber of the German parliament, presented her with her certificate of appointment in Berlin. She will take over directly from Ursula von der Leyen.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has joined the Cabinet as Federal Minister of Defence

Photo: Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The German government has a new Federal Minister of Defence: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has taken over from Ursula von der Leyen, who was elected President of the European Commission on Tuesday.

Certificate of discharge handed over

In the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Vice President of the Bundesrat, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller, first presented Ursula von der Leyen with her certificate of discharge. He was acting on behalf of the Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Ursula von der Leyen was part of the Cabinet for 14 years, during which she headed a number of different ministries. "During these years you served Germany and have earned Germany’s respect," said Michael Müller. In her capacity as Federal Minister of Defence, he continued, she worked from the outset to consolidate the German armed forces and initiated the necessary reforms.

Power of command over the Bundeswehr in peace time

The Bundesrat Vice President then presented Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer with her certificate of appointment. She is thus responsible for all troops and has the power of command over the Bundeswehr in peace time. 

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, said Michael Müller, is taking on an office with maximum responsibility for the safety and security of Germany. "Our country needs a strong Bundeswehr and the Bundeswehr needs the strong support of politicians and of society as a whole."

The role of commander in chief of the armed forces is only transferred to the Chancellor if it is announced that Germany is in a state of defence.

Military honours at the Bendlerblock

From 2011 until February 2018 Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer served as state premier of the Saarland. Since December 2018 she has been Chairwoman of the CDU. Following her appointment as minister, the new Federal Minister of Defence was welcomed with military honours at Berlin’s Bendlerblock by her predecessor.