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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:
- List of ministers of the Empire of Germany - an alphabetical list of former ministers
- Ministerrat of the German National Democratic Republic