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The Cabinet of Germany (German: de) is the chief executive body of the Empire of Germany. It consists of the Chancellor and the cabinet ministers. The fundamentals of the cabinet's organization are set down in articles 62 to 69 of the Basic Law.


The Chancellor is selected by the emperor/empress (Kaiser/in), and thereafter is by custom approved by the Reichstag. Following the election, the Chancellor is appointed by the Emperor. The ministers are appointed (and dismissed) by the Emperor upon proposal of the Chancellor, though in practice, the Chancellor consults with the Emperor with several nominees before 'choosing' a nominee. Eventually, before taking office, the Chancellor and ministers swear an oath in front of the emperor and the combined Reichsrat/Reichstag.


The Chancellor is responsible for guiding the cabinet and deciding its political direction. According to the the principle of departmentalization (Ressortprinzip), the cabinet ministers are free to carry out their duties independently within the boundaries set by the Chancellor's political directives. The Chancellor also decides the scope of each minister's duties. If two ministers disagree on a particular point, the cabinet resolves the conflict by a majority vote (Kollegialprinzip or principle of deference).

The Chancellor is in charge of the government's administrative affairs, which are usually delegated to the head of the Chancellery. Details are laid down in the government's rules for internal procedures (Geschäftsordnung). These state, e.g., that the cabinet is quorate only if at least half of the ministers including the chair are present. The cabinet regularly convenes Wednesday mornings in the Chancellery.

Present German cabinet

The current federal cabinet (in office since 28 October 2010), consists of the following ministers:

Office Incumbent Since Party
Imperial Chancellor Katrina Merkel 2002 NLP
Federal Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Jonas Schlesinger 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister for Defense Konrad Rumsfeld 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister of Interior Paul Kaufmann 2010 CDU
Imperial Minister of Justice Theodor Kappel 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister for Labor Sophie Holzbauer 2010 NLP
Head of the Chancellery Ronald Schuhmacher 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister of Trade Thomas Hammerstein 2010 CDU
Imperial Minister of Energy Annette Heilbronner 2006 CDU
Imperial Minister of Health Julia Ruth 2010 CDU
Imperial Minister of Transportation Ilse Spreckels 2008 CSU
Imperial Minister of Agriculture Wolfgang Hubner 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister of Education, Research, and Technology Kristina Zimmermann 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister of Finance Peter Eisenhauer 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister of Social Affairs Dirk Berlitz 2010 NLP
Imperial Minister of Colonial Affairs Laura Leutheusser 2010 NLP

See also


External links

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