Merkel makes a surprise pick for German research minister

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Ralf Hirschberger/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Merkel makes a surprise pick for German research minister German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t known for her political surprises. But she managed a big one this week when she tapped Anja Karliczek, a 46-year-old lawmaker little known outside of party circles, as Germany’s next minister for education and research.Even long-term observers of Germany’s science landscape were left asking, “Anja who?”Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), will have six ministers in a proposed new coalition government with the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Current Minister of Education and Research Johanna Wanka had announced months ago that she intended to drop out. Hermann Gröhe, who had served as minister of health in the last Cabinet, was seen as a strong contender for the research post, but was shut out of Merkel’s fourth Cabinet.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe By Kai KupferschmidtFeb. 27, 2018 , 2:15 PM As a member of Germany’s parliament, Anja Karliczek was mostly known for her work on financial issues. Instead, the chancellor chose the little-known Karliczek. Trained as a banker, she worked as a hotel manager before being elected to the German Parliament in 2013. There, she worked mostly on finance issues. Unlike her three predecessors, all women, Karliczek has had little contact with research or education policy and has no Ph.D.Reaction has been mixed. The daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung said the nomination sends the “wrong signal. … With Karliczek at the head, one has to wonder whether science and research still have the importance in German politics that they supposedly have—and that they should have.”But others cautioned that her outsider status may still turn out to be an asset. “Maybe what’s needed now is a research minister who, when she meets the science managers of this country, asks them why things have to be done the way they are done now. And whether they couldn’t be done completely differently,” journalist and commentator Jan-Martin Wiarda wrote on the website Spektrum.de.Karliczek’s nomination is widely seen as a political signal by Merkel. The new ministers are younger than those picked for previous Cabinets and are split evenly between men and women. And Karliczek belongs to the conservative wing of the powerful North Rhine-Westphalia CDU.Merkel emphasized that Karliczek went through vocational training, an important pillar of Germany’s educational system, twice. She also completed an MBA through distance learning. “I am sure she will have a big heart for research as well,” Merkel said.Karliczek is expected to have some money to play with. The coalition agreement promises an increase of 3% per year for research agencies such as the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres and the Max Planck Society as well as increasing research spending from 2.9% of gross domestic product to 3.5%. But first, the roughly 460,000 members of the SPD have to approve the coalition agreement. Members can vote by mail ballot until 2 March.*Correction 27 February, 5:10 p.m.: An earlier version of this story misstated the current percent of gross domestic product used for research spending.last_img

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