Federal Minister (Germany)

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In Germany one derives Minister a Federal Ministry on their own responsibility within the guidelines of the Federal Chancellor . Together with the Federal Chancellor, the Federal Ministers form the Federal Government .


Federal ministers are appointed and dismissed by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor . The ministers are following their appointment before the Bundestag on the constitution sworn. You can, but do not have to be, a member of the Bundestag. They are not allowed to carry out any other professional activities during their term of office (in accordance with Article 66 of the Basic Law (GG) and Section 5 of the Federal Ministers ' Act). Their office ends with the dismissal by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor and with each termination of the office of the Federal Chancellor. A requirement of German citizenship for taking office is not regulated by law.

Compulsory departments

In principle, the Federal Chancellor has sole competence to decide on the number of Federal Ministers and their distribution of tasks. However, the Basic Law provides for three federal ministers to be mandatory (mandatory departments):

Official salaries

According to Section 11 of the Federal Ministers Act, federal ministers received official remuneration "in the amount of one and third of the basic salary of salary group B 11 , including allowances generally granted to the basic salary". This would correspond to around EUR 20,000 gross per month. However, due to multiple non-application of the salary increases according to the law on the non-adjustment of official salary and local allowance of the members of the federal government and the parliamentary state secretaries, it is actually around 15,000 euros.

A member of the federal government who has resigned is entitled to a pension "if he has been a member of the federal government for at least four years" (taking into account periods in the office of Parliamentary State Secretary and "previous membership in a state government "), or if it is due to being voted out or resigned Federal Chancellor resigns from office ( Section 15 of the Federal Ministers Act).

Oath of office

The Federal Ministers must take the same oath of office as the Federal Chancellor and the Federal President:

“I swear that I will devote my energies to the well-being of the German people, increase their benefit, prevent damage from them, uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, conscientiously fulfill my duties and do justice to everyone. So help me God. "

The oath can also be taken without religious affirmation.

Feminine form of the official title

In the 1990s, then Minister of Family and Women's Affairs, Ursula Lehr , succeeded in getting the official title of “minister” for female incumbents. Until then, only the generic masculine was used as a designation.

First woman in a federal Cabinet was Elisabeth Ebonlocke (CDU) (Health Minister in the cabinet Adenauer IV (14 November 1961 to 13 December 1962), the Cabinet Adenauer V , the Cabinet Erhard I and in the Cabinet Erhard II ).

The second minister was Käte Strobel (SPD) in the Kiesinger cabinet , who succeeded Elisabeth Schwarzhaupt on December 1, 1966.

During the time of the Schmidt II cabinet, two women each held a ministerial office for the first time. From 1987 to 1991 ( Kohl III cabinet ), two ministries were always led by women for the first time in an entire legislative period.


The following officials have special positions:

  • Minister of Defense : Practice outside of the defense case , the command authority over the armed forces (Art 65a. GG )
  • Federal Minister of Finance : controls the implementation of the budget plans of the other federal ministries and has to approve unscheduled expenditures or budget overruns (Art. 112 GG);
  • Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection : Checks the so-called legal formality of all draft laws and ordinances prepared by other ministries in order to ensure that the legal regulations are compatible with the Basic Law.


"A minister is a civil servant who can give one day's notice."

- Georg Leber , SPD , Federal Minister of Transport (1966–1972), for Post and Telecommunications (1969–1972) and Defense (1972–1978)

See also

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Art. 64 para. 2 GG in conjunction with Art. 56 GG (as of July 25, 2019)
  2. Income calculator of the Federal Office of Administration. Retrieved October 3, 2019 .
  3. Art. 64 GG
  4. Art. 56 GG