German Chancellor — What Are His/Her Powers & Duties?

Knowing how Germany operates and all about the German Chancellor is important for any citizen or knowledgeable traveler. First you must learn about the head of the government to fully understand the entire area.

The head of the government is the Chancellor of Germany, and he or she is called the Federal Chancellor. In German, the term is Bundeskanzler. To address this office you call a man Herr Bundeskanzler and a woman is Frau Bundeskanzlerin.

The Federal Chancellor heads the Federal government and is thus in charge of the executive branch. The Chancellor can’t be removed from office during his or her four-year term unless the Bundestag has agreed upon a successor.

Who Is The Chancellor Of Germany Currently?

Currently the German Chancellor is Angela Merkel. She was elected in 2005 as well as 2009 and is the first female Chancellor of Germany. Forbes Magazine has said that she is the most powerful woman in the world. She has often been compared to Margaret Thatcher as being an “Iron Frau,” like Thatcher who was nicknamed “Iron Lady.”

How Does One Become The Chancellor Of Germany?

The Chancellor gets elected by the Bundestag once the proposal of the President is made. He or she must get voted in by the majority. This assures a stable government. And the voting is done by secret ballot.

If the person the President nominated is not elected, the Bundestag elects its own within two weeks. This has not occurred, however, in the years since 1949.

Some people refer to the German system of government as a Chancellor democracy. The Chancellor also determines who sits in the Federal Cabinet. He or she (currently “she”) can set how many cabinet ministers there are and dictate their duties.

The German Chancellor is responsible for all of the government policies. The formal guidelines issued by the Chancellor in Germany are legally binding and the cabinet ministers must implement them. The ministers also introduce policies at the ministerial levels which should reflect the Chancellor’s more encompassing guidelines.

Most legislation is actually initiated by the executive branch of the government, but the most responsibility lies with the Bundestag, otherwise known as the parliament of Germany. The Bundestag is elected by the German public and they in turn elect the Chancellor, so it all lies within the power of the people in reality.

Difference Between The President And The Chancellor In Germany

You may be wondering about the difference between the President and the Chancellor, which is a valid question. The President is the head of state and his duties are mostly representative and ceremonial. All the real power is exercised by the Federal Chancellor, though.

Now, it’s true that the President nominates a Chancellor, but the parliament must vote him or her in by majority, so it isn’t out of the control of the people’s government. And as stated earlier, the Bundestag can hold its own election should they not decide upon the nominee of the President.

The German Chancellor can be dismissed by the President, but again the Bundestag has to pass a vote of no confidence before anything really happens. The voices of the people are therefore heard loud and clear in all matters. ;-)

The Chancellor of Germany now faces all the challenges any executive of a country must face. She has held strong and is considered a woman of great strength.

Knowing the ins and outs of government in Germany and the responsibilities of the German Chancellor puts you ahead of the game in understanding what Germany is all about. Learn your facts well. It will serve you well in the long run.

 

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