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Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (born 9 August 1962), often referred to as AKK,[1] is a German politician serving as General Secretary of the CDU since 2018. She was Minister-President of Saarland from 2011 to 2018[2], making her the first woman to lead the government of Saarland and only the fourth woman to govern a German state.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer 2 par Claude Truong-Ngoc janvier 2015.jpg
General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union
Assumed office
26 February 2018
Leader Angela Merkel
Preceded by Peter Tauber
Minister President of the Saarland
In office
10 August 2011 – 28 February 2018
Deputy Christoph Hartmann
Peter Jacoby (Acting)
Heiko Maas
Anke Rehlinger
Preceded by Peter Müller
Succeeded by Tobias Hans
Leader of the Christian Democratic Union in the Saarland
Assumed office
28 May 2011
Preceded by Peter Müller
Minister for Labour, Prevention, Family and Social Affairs of the Saarland
In office
10 November 2009 – 9 August 2011
Prime Minister Peter Müller
Preceded by Gerhard Vigener (Labour and Social Affairs)
Herself (Family and Women)
Succeeded by Monika Bachmann
Minister of Education, Culture, Family and Women of the Saarland
In office
3 September 2007 – 10 November 2009
Prime Minister Peter Müller
Preceded by Klaus Sessler (Education)
Herself (Family and Women)
Succeeded by Klaus Sessler (Education)
Karl Rauber (Culture)
Minister of the Interior, Family, Women and Sport of the Saarland
In office
6 October 2004 – 3 September 2007
Prime Minister Peter Müller
Preceded by Herself (Interior and Sport)
Regina Görner (Women)
Succeeded by Klaus Meiser
Minister of the Interior and Sport of the Saarland
In office
13 December 2000 – 6 October 2004
Prime Minister Peter Müller
Preceded by Klaus Meiser
Succeeded by Herself (Interior, Family, Women and Sport)
Member of the Landtag of Saarland
In office
5 September 1999 – 1 March 2018
Personal details
Born (1962-08-09) 9 August 1962 (age 56)
Völklingen, West Germany (now Germany)
Political party Christian Democratic Union
Alma mater Saarland University
University of Trier


Early life and educationEdit

A headmaster’s daughter,[3] Kramp-Karrenbauer is from a Catholic family. She initially wanted to be a midwife and considered becoming a teacher,[3] but in 1984 began studying political science and law at University of Trier and Saarbrücken, earning a master in political science in 1990.[4] From 1991 to 1998 she served as a policy officer for CDU Saarland, and in 1990 advised Peter Müller in his capacities as head of the CDU parliamentary group in the Landtag of Saarland and as Minister-President.

Political careerEdit

In 1998, Kramp-Karrenbauer replaced another lawmaker in the Bundestag for about seven months before losing that seat in the national elections the same year.[3]

Between 2000 and 2004, Kramp-Karrenbauer served as State Minister on Internal Affairs in the government of Minister-President Peter Müller; she was the first woman to hold that office in Germany.[5]

In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2009 federal elections, Kramp-Karrenbauer was part of the CDU/CSU delegation in the working group on education and research policy, led by Annette Schavan and Andreas Pinkwart.

Minister President of Saarland, 2011–2018Edit

In January 2011, Kramp-Karrenbauer was named as successor to Müller, who went on to become a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.[5]

In January 2012, Kramp-Karrenbauer ended a coalition that included the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and blamed the party for “dismantling itself.”[6] She said that her three-party coalition – including the Greens as well as the FDP and her own CDU – had lost the necessary “trust, stability and capacity to act” with the liberals. Under Kramp-Karrenbauer’s leadership, the CDU won the state election shortly after, in what was widely regarded the first electoral test of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s crisis-fighting policy since the beginning of the European debt crisis;[7] meanwhile, the FDP was ejected from the state parliament after taking just 1.2 percent.[6]

On the national level, Kramp-Karrenbauer also served as Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Germany for Cultural Affairs under the Treaty on Franco-German Cooperation between 2011 and 2014. She continues to be a member of the German-French Friendship Group set up by the German Bundesrat and the French Senate. As one of the state's representatives at the Bundesrat, she serves on the Committee on Cultural Affairs; the Committee on Foreign Affairs; and on the Committee on Defence.

Kramp-Karrenbauer was a CDU delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2012 and 2017. In the negotiations to form a so-called Grand Coalition (Große Koalition) following the 2013 federal elections, she was part of the CDU/CSU delegation’ leadership team.

Under Kramp-Karrenbauer’s leadership, the CDU won 40.7 percent of the vote in the 2017 state elections, up from 35.2 percent in 2012.[8] On the national level, in the negotiations to form a fourth coalition government under Merkel, she led the working group on education policy, alongside Stefan Müller, Manuela Schwesig and Hubertus Heil.

General Secretary of the CDU, 2018–presentEdit

In February 2018, Kramp-Karrenbauer was nominated by Angela Merkel as the new Secretary General of the CDU.[4] In that capacity, she is to manage the party and oversees election campaigns.[9] On 26 February 2018, Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected as General Secretary at the CDU party conference and received 98.87 percent of the delegate votes.[10]

Political positionsEdit

Kramp-Karrenbauer is widely perceived as a centrist within the CDU.[4]

When the Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz submitted a motion for a mandatory women's quota for supervisory boards to the Bundesrat in 2012, Kramp-Karrenbauer joined the state governments controlled by the Social Democrats and voted in favor of the draft legislation; in doing so, she supported an initiative opposed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governments controlled by the CDU.[11]

Amid her party’s campaign for the 2013 federal elections, Kramp-Karrenbauer suggested Germany return to a top income tax rate above 50 percent, setting off a fierce debate within her party. In her view, Chancellor Angela Merkel's predecessor Gerhard Schröder had gone too far by reducing the top rate to 42 percent from 53 percent in the 1990s.[12] In May 2014, she was among leading members of Merkel’s CDU who called for reductions to offset the fiscal drag – the automatic increases in the tax take that occur as inflation and income growth push wage-earners into higher tax brackets.[13]

When the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in favor of tax equality to same-sex couples in 2013, Kramp-Karrenbauer voiced her concerns about also granting full adoption rights for same-sex couples."[14] In 2015, she caused a public controversy by arguing that "if we open up [the definition of marriage] to become a long-term responsible partnership between two adults, then other demands can't be ruled out, such as a marriage between close relatives or between more than two people."

Other activitiesEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Kramp-Karrenbauer is married and has three sons.[16] Her husband Helmut, a mining engineer, stayed home to bring up their children as she pursued her political career.[4] Kramp-Karrenbauer has lived her whole life in Puettlingen.[3]

An avid reader and self-described AC/DC fan,[17] Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks French and continues to take lessons to improve her command of the language.[18]


  1. ^ Angela Merkel Starts Grooming Successors, and One Stands Out, The New York Times
  2. ^ Saarland. "Ministerpräsident -". 
  3. ^ a b c d Michelle Martin (February 26, 2018), Unassuming "Mini-Merkel" in pole position to succeed German chancellor Reuters.
  4. ^ a b c d Guy Chazan (February 21, 2018), ‘Mini-Merkel’ moves up to Germany’s political big league Financial Times.
  5. ^ a b Siobhán Dowling (January 25, 2011), Letter from Berlin: Germany's New Generation of Female Political Leaders Der Spiegel.
  6. ^ a b Anthony Czuczka and Brian Parkin (April 16, 2012), Merkel Seen Turning to Euro Bond-Backing SPD to Win in 2013 Bloomberg News.
  7. ^ Anthony Czuczka and Brian Parkin (March 26, 2012), Merkel’s Party Wins Saarland State in Show of Crisis Backing Bloomberg News.
  8. ^ Paul Carrel and Hakan Erdem (March 26, 2017), Merkel's conservatives win Saarland vote in boost for national campaign Reuters.
  9. ^ Patrick Donahue and Arne Delfs (February 19, 2018), Merkel Sets Up Potential Successor With Key Party Appointment Bloomberg News.
  10. ^ Kolb, Barbara Galaktionow, Sebastian Gierke, Matthias; Peters, Benedikt (26 February 2018). "Kramp-Karrenbauer mit großer Mehrheit zur CDU-Generalsekretärin gewählt" – via 
  11. ^ Markus Dettmer, Peter Müller and René Pfister (April 23, 2013), Rebel in the Ranks: Gutsy Minister Gives Glimpse of Life After Merkel Der Spiegel.
  12. ^ Noah Barkin (March 24, 2013), Merkel ally backs double-digit hike in top tax rate Reuters.
  13. ^ Stefan Wagstyl (May 8, 2014), Angela Merkel sees no ‘room for manoeuvre’ on tax cuts Financial Times.
  14. ^ Melanie Amann, Dietmar Hipp and Peter Müller (June 11, 2013), Vater and Vater: Gay Adoption Debate Flusters Conservatives Der Spiegel.
  15. ^ WM-Kuratorium unter Vorsitz von Dr. Thomas Bach FIFA, press release of 30 September 2008.
  16. ^ [1][dead link]
  17. ^ Leon Mangasarian (May 23, 2013), German SPD Seen by Merkel Party Leader Turning to Left Bloomberg News.
  18. ^ Leon Mangasarian (May 23, 2013), Strained Franco-German Ties Worry Merkel Party Saarland Premier Bloomberg News.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer at Wikimedia Commons

Party political offices
Preceded by
Peter Müller
Leader of the Christian Democratic Union in the Saarland
Preceded by
Peter Tauber
Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Union
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Müller
Minister-President of the Saarland
Succeeded by
Tobias Hans