Cabinet of Germany

The Federal Cabinet or Federal Government (German: Bundeskabinett or Bundesregierung) is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany. It consists of the Federal Chancellor and cabinet ministers. The fundamentals of the cabinet's organisation as well as the method of its election and appointment as well as the procedure for its dismissal are set down in articles 62 through 69 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz).

Federal Cabinet

Bundeskabinett
Bundesadler, Seal of the Government
Polity typeFederal parliamentary republic
ConstitutionBasic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
FormationSeptember 15, 1949; 72 years ago (1949-09-15)
Legislative branch
NameBundestag
Meeting placeReichstag
Upper house
NameBundesrat
Lower house
NameBundestag
Executive branch
Head of State
TitlePresident
CurrentlyFrank-Walter Steinmeier
Head of Government
TitleChancellor
CurrentlyAngela Merkel
AppointerPresident
Cabinet
NameCabinet of Germany
LeaderChancellor
AppointerChancellor
HeadquartersFederal Chancellery
Judicial branch
Federal Constitutional Court
SeatKarlsruhe

In contrast to the system under the Weimar Republic, the Bundestag may only dismiss the Chancellor with a constructive vote of no-confidence (electing a new Chancellor at the same time) and can thereby only choose to dismiss the Chancellor with their entire cabinet and not simply individual ministers. These procedures and mechanisms were put in place by the authors of the Basic Law to both prevent another dictatorship and to ensure that there will not be a political vacuum left by the removal of Chancellor through a vote of confidence and the failure to elect a new one in their place, as had happened during the Weimar period with the Reichstag removing Chancellors but failing to agree on the election of a new one.

If the Chancellor loses a simple confidence motion (without the election of a new Chancellor by the Bundestag), this does not force him or her out of office, but allows the Chancellor, if they wish to do so, to ask the President of Germany for the dissolution of the Bundestag, triggering a snap election within 60 days (this happened in 1972, 1983 and 2005), or to ask the President to declare a legislative state of emergency, which allows the cabinet to use a simplified legislative procedure, in which bills proposed by the cabinet only need the consent of the Bundesrat (as yet, this has never been applied). The President is, however, not bound to follow the Chancellor's request in both cases.

The Chancellor and the other members of the cabinet are allowed to be also members of the Bundestag, and most of them actually are.