The Fourth Merkel cabinet (German: Kabinett Merkel IV) was the 23rd Government of the Federal Republic of Germany during the 19th legislative session of the Bundestag. It was sworn in on 14 March 2018 following the 2017 federal election and dismissed on 26 October 2021, acting in a caretaker mode until 8 December 2021. It was preceded by the third Merkel cabinet and succeeded by the Scholz cabinet. Led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, it was the third cabinet under Merkel to be supported by a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Composition[edit]

The cabinet consists of Chancellor Angela Merkel and fifteen (fourteen since 20 May 2021) federal ministers. Olaf Scholz (SPD) replaced Sigmar Gabriel as Vice Chancellor and CSU Leader Horst Seehofer became Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community. Fourteen ministers head a department (since 20 May 2021, one minister heads two departments); one member of the cabinet, the Head of the Chancellery, is Federal Minister for Special Affairs without a portfolio. The CDU has seven positions, the SPD has six and the CSU has three, as follows:

Order[1] Office Portrait Minister Party Took office Left office
1 DEgov-BKin-Logo.svg
Chancellor
Angela Merkel 2019 cropped.jpg Angela Merkel CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
2 Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz 2020 (cropped from Finanzminister Gernot Blümel in Brüssel (49417807823)).jpg Olaf Scholz SPD 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
BMF Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Finance
3 BMI Logo.svg
Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community
12-07-17-landtagsprojekt-bayern-RalfR-001.jpg Horst Seehofer CSU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
4 Auswärtiges Amt Logo.svg
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs
Heiko Maas – Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Germany 2019.jpg Heiko Maas SPD 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
5 Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Economics and Energy
Peter Altmaier Portrait.png Peter Altmaier CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
6 Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz logo.svg
Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection
Katarina Barley-4934.jpg Katarina Barley SPD 14 March 2018 27 June 2019
2017-03-19 Lambrecht Roth SPD Parteitag by Olaf Kosinsky-3.jpg Christine Lambrecht SPD 27 June 2019 8 December 2021
7 BMAS Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs
2018-05-02 re-publica 18 by Sandro Halank–053.jpg Hubertus Heil SPD 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
8 BMVG Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Defence
Acting Secretary of Defense Hosts German Defense Minister at Pentagon 190412-D-BN624-258 (cropped).jpg Ursula von der Leyen CDU 17 December 2013 17 July 2019
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer 2016 (cropped).jpg Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer CDU 17 July 2019 8 December 2021
9 BMEL Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture
2018-11-23 Julia Klöckner Talkshow 3 nach 9-1347.jpg Julia Klöckner CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
10 BMFSFJ Logo.svg
Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
MJK 19248 Franziska Giffey (SPD-Bundesparteitag 2018).jpg Franziska Giffey SPD 14 March 2018 20 May 2021
2017-03-19 Lambrecht Roth SPD Parteitag by Olaf Kosinsky-3.jpg Christine Lambrecht SPD 20 May 2021 8 December 2021
11 BMG Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Health
MJKr01695 Jens Spahn (NRW-Empfang, Berlinale 2020).jpg Jens Spahn CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
12 Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Scheuer Andreas 2017 by Studio Weichselbaumer.jpg Andreas Scheuer CSU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
13 Bundesministerium fuer Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit Logo.svg
Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
2493ri SPD, Svenja Schulze.jpg Svenja Schulze SPD 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
14 BMBF Logo.svg
Federal Minister of Education and Research
Karliczek, Anja-1612.jpg Anja Karliczek CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
15 BMZ Logo.svg
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Müller Gerd 2017 by Büro Dr. Gerd Müller.jpg Gerd Müller CSU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021
16 DEgov-BKAmt-Logo.svg
Federal Minister for Special Affairs &
Head of the Chancellery
Helge-Braun.jpg Helge Braun CDU 14 March 2018 8 December 2021

2018 government crisis[edit]

In June 2018, a government crisis erupted within the cabinet between Interior Minister and CSU Chairman Horst Seehofer and Chancellor Angela Merkel, after Seehofer had elaborated a masterplan on asylum policies, containing the rejection of asylum seekers already registered in other EU countries.[2] Seehofer had threatened to resign over the crisis on 1 July, but an agreement was made between the CDU/CSU sister parties on 2 July.[3]

Caretaker government[edit]

The results of the 2017 election had necessitated a series of negotiations that required the Merkel III cabinet to remain in a caretaker capacity for a prolonged period of time (into 2018). Government formation after the 2021 elections lasted until 24 November 2021,[4] and the caretaker government continued until December 8,[5] making Merkel just 9 days short of the record for longest-serving Chancellor in post-war German history ahead of Helmut Kohl.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]