Ralph Brinkhaus is a German CDU politician. Since 2018 he has been the parliamentary group leader of the ruling CDU/CSU group in the German Bundestag. Brinkhaus was born on 15 June 1968 in Wiedenbrück, North Rhine-Westphalia, grew up in Rietberg. After completing vocation training at Bosch and military services at Field Marshal Rommel Barracks, Augustdorf, he studied economics at the University of Hohenheim, he is qualified as tax advisor. Early in his career, Brinkhaus worked at Deloitte in Hannover. In 2004, he settled down as a tax adviser in Gütersloh. Brinkhaus was elected member of the city council of Gütersloh in 2004, a position he held until 2012. From 2004 to 2009 he was the party group leader. In 2004 he became a member of the executive committee of the CDU at district level. Brinkhaus has been a member of the German Bundestag since the 2009 elections, succeeding Hubert Deittert. From 2009 until 2013, he served on the Finance Committee, where he was his parliamentary group’s rapporteur on banks and insurances.
From 2014, he was part of the group’s leadership under chairman Volker Kauder. In this capacity, he was the group's main spokesman for financial issues. In addition to his committee assignments, Brinkhaus chaired the German-Indian Parliamentary Friendship Group from 2014 until 2017, he has since been serving as the group’s deputy chairman. Since 2016 Brinkhaus has been the deputy head of the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, under the leadership of chairman Armin Laschet. In the negotiations to form a coalition government under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel following the 2017 federal elections, Brinkhaus was part of the CDU delegation. Brinkhaus was elected CDU/CSU parliamentary group leader on 25 September 2018, with 125 votes from the parliamentary group members against incumbent Volker Kauder's 112 votes. Brinkhaus has since led the group with his co-chair from Alexander Dobrindt. Institut Finanzen und Steuern, Member of the Board of Trustees In June 2017, Brinkhaus voted against Germany’s introduction of same-sex marriage.
Since 2010, Brinkhaus has been married to fellow economist and American Express manager Elke Tombach. He supports the 1. FC Köln football club. Official website Biography on the website of CDU/CSU in Bundestag his voting history and questions answered at abgeordnetenwatch biography on the Bundestag pages
The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It can be compared to the chamber of deputies along the lines of the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Through the Bundesrat, a separate institution, the individual states of Germany participate in legislation similar to a second house in a bicameral parliament; the Bundestag was established by article III of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag. Since 1999 it has met in the Reichstag Building in Berlin. Wolfgang Schäuble is the current President of the Bundestag. Members of the Bundestag are elected every four years by all adult German citizens in a mixed system of constituency voting and list voting; the constitutional minimum number of seats is 598. The Election Day can be called earlier than four years after the last if the Federal Chancellor loses a vote of confidence and asks the Federal President to dissolve the Bundestag in order to hold new general elections.
In the 19th century, the name Bundestag was the unofficial designation for the assembly of the sovereigns and mayors of the Monarchies and Free Cities which formed the German Confederation. Its seat was in the Free City of Frankfurt on the Main. With the dissolution of the German Confederation in 1866 and the founding of the German Empire in 1871, the Reichstag was established as the German parliament in Berlin, the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia. Two decades the current parliament building was erected; the Reichstag delegates were elected by equal male suffrage. The Reichstag did not participate in the appointment of the Chancellor until the parliamentary reforms of October 1918. After the Revolution of November 1918 and the establishment of the Weimar Constitution, women were given the right to vote for the Reichstag, the parliament could use the no-confidence vote to force the chancellor or any cabinet member to resign. In March 1933, one month after the Reichstag fire, the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, a retired war hero, gave Adolf Hitler ultimate power through the Decree for the Protection of People and State and the Enabling Act of 1933, although Hitler remained at the post of Federal Government Chancellor.
After this, the Reichstag met only usually at the Krolloper to unanimously rubber-stamp the decisions of the government. It last convened on 26 April 1942. With the new Constitution of 1949, the Bundestag was established as the new West German parliament; because West Berlin was not under the jurisdiction of the Constitution, a legacy of the Cold War, the Bundestag met in Bonn in several different buildings, including a former waterworks facility. In addition, owing to the city's legal status, citizens of West Berlin were unable to vote in elections to the Bundestag, were instead represented by 22 non-voting delegates chosen by the House of Representatives, the city's legislature; the Bundeshaus in Bonn is the former parliament building of Germany. The sessions of the German Bundestag were held there from 1949 until its move to Berlin in 1999. Today it houses the International Congress Centre Bundeshaus Bonn and in the northern areas the branch office of the Bundesrat, which represents the Länder – the federated states).
The southern areas became part of German offices for the United Nations in 2008. The former Reichstag building housed a history exhibition and served as a conference center; the Reichstag building was occasionally used as a venue for sittings of the Bundestag and its committees and the Bundesversammlung, the body which elects the German Federal President. However, the Soviets harshly protested against the use of the Reichstag building by institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany and tried to disturb the sittings by flying supersonic jets close to the building. Since April 19, 1999, the German parliament has again assembled in Berlin in its original Reichstag building, built in 1888 based on the plans of German architect Paul Wallot and underwent a significant renovation under the lead of British architect Lord Norman Foster. Parliamentary committees and subcommittees, public hearings and parliamentary group meetings take place in three auxiliary buildings, which surround the Reichstag building: the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus.
In 2005, a small aircraft crashed close to the German Parliament. It was decided to ban private air traffic over Central Berlin. Together with the Bundesrat, the Bundestag is the legislative branch of the German political system. Although most legislation is initiated by the executive branch, the Bundestag considers the legislative function its most important responsibility, concentrating much of its energy on assessing and amending the government's legislative program; the committees play a prominent role in this process. Plenary sessions provide a forum for members to engage in public debate on legislative issues before them, but they tend to be well attended only when significant legislation is being considered; the Bundestag members are the only federal officials directly elected by the public.
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a conservative and Christian democratic European political party. A transnational organisation, it is composed of other political parties, not individuals. Founded by Christian democratic parties in 1976, it has since broadened its membership to include liberal-conservative parties and parties with other centre-right political perspectives; the EPP has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999 and in the European Council since 2002. It is by far the largest party in the current European Commission; the President of the European Council, President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament are all from the EPP. Many of the Founding fathers of the European Union were from parties that formed the EPP. Outside the EU the party controls a majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; the EPP has alternated with its centre-left rival the Party of European Socialists as the largest European political party and parliamentary group.
The EPP includes major centre-right parties such as the Union of Germany, The Republicans of France, CD&V of Belgium, KDU-ČSL of the Czech Republic, Fine Gael of Ireland, New Democracy of Greece, Forza Italia of Italy, the People's Party of Spain, the Social Democratic Party of Portugal, the Civic Platform of Poland but Fidesz of Hungary. According to its website, the EPP is "the family of the political centre-right, whose roots run deep in the history and civilisation of the European continent, has pioneered the European project from its inception"; the EPP was founded in Luxembourg on 8 July 1976 on the initiative of Jean Seitlinger. It had been preceded by the Secretariat International des partis démocratiques d'inspiration chrétienne, founded in 1925, the Nouvelles Equipes Internationales, founded in 1946, the European Union of Christian Democrats, founded in 1965. In the late 1990s the Finnish politician Sauli Niinistö negotiated the merger of the European Democrat Union, of which he was President, into the EPP.
In October 2002 the EDU ceased its activities after being formally absorbed by the EPP at a special event in Estoril, Portugal. In recognition of his efforts Niinistö was elected Honorary President of the EPP the same year; the EPP has had five Presidents: During its Congress in Bucharest in 2012 the EPP updated its political platform after 20 years and approved a political manifesto in which it summarised its main values and policies. The manifesto highlights: Freedom as a central human right, coupled with responsibility Respect for traditions and associations Solidarity to help those in need, who in turn should make an effort to improve their situation Ensuring solid public finances Preserving a healthy environment Subsidiarity Pluralist democracy and a Social Market EconomyThe manifesto describes the EPP's priorities for the EU, including: European Political Union Direct election of the President of the European Commission Completion of the European Single Market Promotion of the family, improvements in education and health Strengthening of the common immigration and asylum policy, integrating immigrants Continuation of enlargement of the EU, enhancement of the European Neighbourhood Policy and special relationship frameworks for countries that cannot, or do not want to, join the EU Defining a true common EU energy policy Strengthening European political parties As a central part of its campaign for the European elections in 2009 the EPP approved its election manifesto at its Congress in Warsaw in April that year.
The manifesto called for: Creation of new jobs, continuing reforms and investment in education, lifelong learning, employment in order to create opportunities for everyone. Avoidance of protectionism, coordination of fiscal and monetary policies. Increased transparency and surveillance in financial markets. Making Europe the market leader in green technology. Increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 20 per cent of the energy mix by 2020.. Family-friendly flexibility for working parents, better child care and housing, family-friendly fiscal policies, encouragement of parental leave. A new strategy to attract skilled workers from the rest of the world to make Europe’s economy more competitive, more dynamic and more knowledge-driven; the dispute about the right-wing politics of the Hungarian Fidesz-leader Viktor Orbán has produced a split in the EPP in the run-up of the 2019 European Parliament election. On the one hand the EPP over years was reluctant to address the stance against the rule of law of Fidesz, expressed by the Article 7 proceedings of the European Parliament, on the other hand European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a prominent EPP-member, stated “I believe his place is not in the European People’s Party”.
Orbán’s campaigns targeting billionaire George Soros and Jean-Claude Juncker carried wide reverberations for Europe questioning the EPP’s effort to install its lead candidate Manfred Weber as the next Commission president. After years of deferring a decision about the Fidesz issue, the EPP felt compelled to address the problem two months before the 2019 European elections, as 13 outraged member parties requested its exclusion from the EPP due to its billboard campaign featuring Jean-Claude Juncker. 190 of the 193 EPP-delegates decided on 20 March 2019 to suspend Fidesz membership. According to this, Fidesz is "until further notice" excluded from EPP meetings and inte
1925 German presidential election
Presidential elections were held in Germany on 29 March 1925, with a second round run-off on 26 April. They were the first direct elections to the office of President of the Reich, Germany's head of state during the 1919–33 Weimar Republic; the first President, Friedrich Ebert, who had died on 28 February 1925, had been elected indirectly, by the National Assembly, but the Weimar Constitution required that his successor be elected by the "whole German people". Paul von Hindenburg was elected as the second president of Germany in the second round of voting. Hindenburg was the candidate of a broad coalition of the political right. Many on the right hoped that once in power he would destroy Weimar democracy from the inside and restore the pre-Weimar status quo; the two other candidates who were believed to have a chance of winning were Otto Braun of the Social Democratic Party and Wilhelm Marx of the Centre Party. Both the SPD and Centre were members of the Weimar Coalition, the group of parties regarded as most committed to the Weimar system.
Only Marx proceeded to the second round of the election. The election was important because of the turbulent times in which it occurred and because, under the Weimar Constitution, the head of state wielded considerable power. Hindenburg would be again returned in the 1932 election and would play an important role during the rise to power of the Nazi Party. However, many of Hindenburg's 1925 backers were subsequently disappointed. Although in the years that followed his election many questioned the constitutionality of certain of his actions, Hindenburg never attempted to overthrow the Weimar constitution outright. During the Weimar Republic the law provided that if no candidate received an absolute majority of votes in the first round of a presidential election a second ballot would occur in which the candidate with a plurality of votes would be deemed elected, it was permitted for a group to nominate an alternative candidate in the second round. Seventeen candidates stood in the first round.
Hindenburg was not included among them as he would not be nominated as a candidate until the second round. Instead, the most popular candidate of the political right was Karl Jarres of the German People's Party, a former Minister of the Interior, Vice-Chancellor of Germany and mayor of Duisburg. Otto Braun, the SPD's candidate, was a former Minister-President of Prussia and a well known and respected figure. Zentrum's candidate, Wilhelm Marx, was the chair of a former chancellor; the other significant candidates were Ernst Thälmann of the Communist Party and Willy Hellpach of the German Democratic Party. The German Völkisch Freedom Party put forward Erich Ludendorff but secured only a negligible share of the vote; the first ballot was held on 29 March, with a turnout of 68.9%. After the election's first round Jarres withdrew in favour of Hindenburg, a committed monarchist and popular former general. Although Hindenburg had no interest in seeking public office and was uneasy with the prospect of becoming Germany's head of state, he reluctantly agreed to stand only after first consulting with the deposed Kaiser.
His major supporters were the DVP, the German National People's Party and the Bavarian People's Party. The DVP, its leader Gustav Stresemann, had reservations about the idea of a Hindenburg presidency because of its possible repercussions for German foreign policy, but came on board; the SPD and Zentrum agreed to make Marx their common candidate to ensure the defeat of Hindenburg and so, after Zentrum refused to support Braun, he withdrew from the race. The DDP reluctantly agreed to withdraw its candidate and support Marx; as Marx's supporters included both the moderate left and the political centre he was believed to have a high chance of winning. The three participants in the second round were therefore Hindenburg, Marx and Thälmann of the Communists; the election occurred on 26 April and with a turnout of 77.6%. Hindenburg won on a plurality of the vote, with 48.3% to Marx's 45.3%. The BVP's support of Hindenburg, rather than Marx, Thälmann's participation splitting the left-wing vote, provided Hindenburg the margin of victory.
History of Germany Cary, Noel D. "The Making of the Reich President, 1925: German Conservatism and the Nomination of Paul von Hindenburg", Central European History, 23: 179–204, doi:10.1017/S0008938900021348
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, hierarchy and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity; the more extreme elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were". The first established use of the term in a political context originated in 1818 with François-René de Chateaubriand during the period of Bourbon Restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. Associated with right-wing politics, the term has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time, thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues.
Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s. According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959: "Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself". In contrast to the tradition-based definition of conservatism, some political theorists such as Corey Robin define conservatism in terms of a general defense of social and economic inequality. From this perspective, conservatism is less an attempt to uphold traditional institutions and more, "a meditation on—and theoretical rendition of—the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, trying to win it back". Liberal conservatism incorporates the classical liberal view of minimal government intervention in the economy.
Individuals should be free to participate in the market and generate wealth without government interference. However, individuals cannot be depended on to act responsibly in other spheres of life, therefore liberal conservatives believe that a strong state is necessary to ensure law and order and social institutions are needed to nurture a sense of duty and responsibility to the nation. Liberal conservatism is a variant of conservatism, influenced by liberal stances; as these latter two terms have had different meanings over time and across countries, liberal conservatism has a wide variety of meanings. The term referred to the combination of economic liberalism, which champions laissez-faire markets, with the classical conservatism concern for established tradition, respect for authority and religious values, it contrasted itself with classical liberalism, which supported freedom for the individual in both the economic and social spheres. Over time, the general conservative ideology in many countries adopted economic liberal arguments and the term liberal conservatism was replaced with conservatism.
This is the case in countries where liberal economic ideas have been the tradition such as the United States and are thus considered conservative. In other countries where liberal conservative movements have entered the political mainstream, such as Italy and Spain, the terms liberal and conservative may be synonymous; the liberal conservative tradition in the United States combines the economic individualism of the classical liberals with a Burkean form of conservatism. A secondary meaning for the term liberal conservatism that has developed in Europe is a combination of more modern conservative views with those of social liberalism; this has developed as an opposition to the more collectivist views of socialism. This involves stressing what are now conservative views of free market economics and belief in individual responsibility, with social liberal views on defence of civil rights and support for a limited welfare state. In continental Europe, this is sometimes translated into English as social conservatism.
Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism that combines liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or more the right-wing of the liberal movement. The roots of conservative liberalism are found at the beginning of the history of liberalism; until the two World Wars, in most European countries the political class was formed by conservative liberals, from Germany to Italy. Events after World War I brought the more radical version of classical liberalism to a more conservative type of liberalism. Libertarian conservatism describes certain political ideologies within the United States and Canada which combine libertarian economic issues with aspects of conservatism, its four main branches are constitutionalism, paleolibertarianism, small government conservatism and Christian libertarianism. They differ from paleoconservatives, in that they are in favor of more personal and economic freedom. Agorists such as Samuel Edward Konkin III labeled libertarian conservatism right-libertarianism.
In contrast to paleoconservatives, libertarian conservatives support strict laissez-faire policies such as free trade, opposition to any national bank and opposition to business regulations. They are vehemently opposed to environmental regulations, corporate welfare and other areas of economic intervention. Many conservatives in the United States, be
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sometimes referred to by her initials AKK, is a German politician serving as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union since her election at the party conference of 2018, succeeding Angela Merkel. She served as secretary general of the party and as Minister-President of Saarland from 2011 to 2018, the first woman to lead the Government of Saarland and fourth woman to head a German state government. Kramp-Karrenbauer is regarded as conservative, but on the CDU's left-wing in economic policy and has been described as a centrist, she has served on the Central Committee of German Catholics. Annegret Kramp was born in the small town of Völklingen and grew up in neighbouring Püttlingen, both located on the Saar River and the border with France, midway between Saarlouis and Saarbrücken and around 40 kilometres from Luxembourg, her father was a headmaster. She graduated from high school in 1982 and considered becoming a school teacher, but decided to study politics and law at the University of Trier and at Saarland University, where she earned a master's degree in 1990.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was raised Roman Catholic. She is married to Helmut Karrenbauer, a retired mining engineer, with whom she has three children, born in 1988, 1991 and 1998. Kramp-Karrenbauer speaks French. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer joined the CDU while still in high school in 1981. In 1984 she was elected to the city council of Püttlingen, in 1985 became chairwoman of the city's CDU association. From 1985 to 1988 she was a member of the regional board of the Young Union in Saarland. From 1991 to 1998 she served as a policy and planning officer for the CDU in Saarland under environment minister Klaus Töpfer. In 1998, Kramp-Karrenbauer replaced another member in the federal Bundestag, serving seven months before losing that seat in the national elections the same year. In 1999, she was an advisor to Peter Müller chairman of the CDU parliamentary group in the Landtag of Saarland and Minister-President; that same year she became a chairwoman of the Women's Union. Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected to the Landtag of Saarland in 1999.
She served as Minister of the Interior in the government of Peter Müller. She took on more responsibilities in 2004, changed roles in 2007 following a cabinet reshuffle, becoming Minister of Education and again in 2009, becoming Minister of Labor in the so-called Jamaica coalition government. In 2008, she was elected chairwoman of the Kultusministerkonferenz. Throughout her time in state government, she served at various times as minister responsible for women, sports and culture. In the negotiations to form a coalition government following the 2009 federal election, 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. In 2011, after months of difficult negotiations with the coalition partners Free Democratic Party and The Greens, Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected Minister-President of the Saarland in a special session of parliament, replacing Müller, who resigned to become a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court.
Shortly after, she ended the coalition and triggered an election, blaming the party for "dismantling itself" and arguing the three party coalition had lost the necessary "trust and capacity to act". Kramp-Karrenbauer and the CDU won the state election soon after, in what was regarded the first electoral test of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s crisis-fighting policy since the beginning of the European debt crisis. Under Kramp-Karrenbauer’s leadership, the CDU won 40.7% of the vote in the 2017 state elections, up from 35.2% in 2012. While serving as Minister-President, Kramp-Karrenbauer, who speaks French, was Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Germany for Cultural Affairs under the Treaty on Franco-German Cooperation between 2011 and 2014, she continued to be a member of the German-French Friendship Group, set up by the upper chambers of the German and French national parliaments the Bundesrat and the Senate. Furthermore, as one of the state's representatives at the federal Bundesrat, she served on the Committee on Cultural Affairs, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Defence.
Kramp-Karrenbauer was a CDU delegate to the Federal Convention to elect the president of Germany in 2012 and in 2017. She was for a short time part of the CDU–CSU delegation’s leadership team in the negotiations to form a "grand coalition" following the 2013 federal elections, she again played a role in the negotiations to form a fourth coalition government under Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2018, leading a working group on education policy alongside Stefan Müller, Manuela Schwesig and Hubertus Heil. As Minister-President of Saarland, Kramp-Karrenbauer promoted the French language, aiming to make the state bilingual in German and French and thus promote Saarland as a bicultural European region similar to neighbouring Luxembourg. Saarland had rejoined Germany five years before Kramp-Karrenbauer's birth when a majority voted against becoming an independent state. In February 2018, Merkel nominated Kramp-Karrenbauer as the new secretary general of the CDU, she was confirmed at the CDU party conference on 26 February.
As secretary general, she oversaw its election campaigns. In October 2018, fol