Christine Lambrecht
Christine Lambrecht 220216-D-TT977-0386 (51885643496) (cropped).jpg
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
8 December 2021
ChancellorOlaf Scholz
Preceded byAnnegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
In office
20 May 2021 – 8 December 2021
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byFranziska Giffey
Succeeded byAnne Spiegel
Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection
In office
27 June 2019 – 8 December 2021
ChancellorAngela Merkel
Preceded byKatarina Barley
Succeeded byMarco Buschmann
Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance
In office
14 March 2018 – 27 June 2019
Serving with Bettina Hagedorn
ChancellorAngela Merkel
MinisterOlaf Scholz
Preceded byJens Spahn
Succeeded bySarah Ryglewski
Chief Whip of the Social Democratic Party in the Bundestag
In office
16 September 2013 – 27 September 2017
LeaderThomas Oppermann
Preceded byThomas Oppermann
Succeeded byCarsten Schneider
Member of the Bundestag
for Hesse
In office
18 October 2005 – 26 October 2021
Preceded bymulti-member district
Succeeded bymulti-member district
ConstituencySocial Democratic Party List
In office
26 October 1998 – 18 October 2005
Preceded byMichael Meister
Succeeded byMichael Meister
ConstituencyBergstraße
Personal details
Born (1965-06-19) 19 June 1965 (age 57)
Mannheim, West Germany (now Germany)
Political partySocial Democratic Party (1982–)
Spouse(s)
Hans-Joachim Hacker
(m. 2015⁠–⁠2019)
Children1
Residence(s)Viernheim
Alma materUniversity of Mannheim
University of Mainz
Occupation
  • Politician
  • Assistant Professor
  • Lawyer

Christine Lambrecht (born 19 June 1965) is a German lawyer and politician of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who has been serving as the Federal Minister of Defence in the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz since December 2021.

In the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Lambrecht previously served as Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection (2019–2021),[1] Minister for Family Affairs (2021) and as one of two Parliamentary State Secretaries at the Federal Ministry of Finance (2018– 2019).[2] Prior to that, she held various roles within the SPD parliamentary group, including as a deputy leader and Chief Whip.

Education and early career

Lambrecht attended the Albertus-Magnus-Gymnasium in Viernheim, in the German state of Hessen and in 1984 she passed her Abitur. After this she studied law at the Universities of Mannheim and Mainz, where she graduated in 1992 and completed an internship at State Court in Darmstadt.[3]

Political career

Career in local politics

Lambrecht joined the SPD in 1982 and was a member of the Viernheim City Council from 1985 till 2001, of which she was the chair in the years 1997 till 2001. Additionally she was a member of the Bergstraße County Council from 1989 until 1997.

Member of the German Parliament, 1998–2021

Lambrecht first became a Member of the Bundestag in the 1998 elections. From 1998 until 2002 she was the member for Bergstraße, however, she lost against her CDU challenger in the 2002 federal election and has subsequently always been elected via the SPD Hessian state list. In parliament, she has served on the Committee on Legal Affairs, the Committee on Sports and on the Council of Elders, which sets the agenda for the parliamentary sessions. Lambrecht was seen as being on the left wing of the SPD parliamentary group.[4]

From 2002 until 2005 and from 2013 until 2017, Lambrecht served on the parliamentary body in charge of appointing judges to the Highest Courts of Justice, namely the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG), the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH), the Federal Labour Court (BAG), and the Federal Social Court (BSG).

Following the 2009 elections, Lambrecht became her parliamentary group's spokesperson on legal affairs. In 2011, she was elected as a deputy leader of the SPD parliamentary group, under the leadership of chairman Frank-Walter Steinmeier. She was a deputy leader of the group till her election as Chief Whip of the SPD Parliamentary Group after the 2013 federal election. In the ensuing negotiations to form a third coalition government under Chancellor Angela Merkel, she was part of the SPD delegation in the working group on internal and legal affairs, led by Hans-Peter Friedrich and Thomas Oppermann.

In the negotiations to form Merkel’s fourth coalition government following the 2017 federal elections, Lambrecht was part of the working group on financial policies and taxes, led by Peter Altmaier, Andreas Scheuer and Olaf Scholz. In Merkel's fourth cabinet, she joined the federal government as one of two Parliamentary State Secretaries serving under Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

Federal Minister of Justice, 2019–2021

On 19 June 2019 it was announced that Lambrecht would succeed justice minister Katarina Barley on the 1 July 2019, after the latter moved to Brussels to serve in the European Parliament.[5]

During Lambrecht's time in office, German authorities fined Facebook 2 million euros for under-reporting complaints about illegal content on its social media platform in breach of the country’s law on internet transparency.[6] In December 2019, she proposed a law requiring internet service providers like Gmail or WhatsApp to handover personal data including passwords upon request.[7]

In response to the burning of an Israeli flag at a demonstration in 2017, Lambrecht led efforts in 2020 to make the destruction of foreign state flags, including that of the European Union, and the denigration of national anthems punishable by a fine and up to three years in prison.[8]

In September 2020, Lambrecht announced that she would not stand in the 2021 federal elections but instead resign from active politics by the end of the parliamentary term.[9]

Federal Minister for Family Affairs, 2021

In May 2021, Lambrecht additionally took on the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Women, and Youth, after Franziska Giffey resigned in reaction to her plagiarism affair.

Federal Minister of Defence, 2021–present

Lambrecht was named Federal Minister of Defence in the cabinet of Olaf Scholz, taking office on 8 December 2021.[10]

Early in her tenure, Lambrecht oversaw efforts in 2022 to send up to 350 more German troops to Lithuania, reinforcing a German-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence combat unit deployed there to deter a Russian attack.[11] Also under her leadership, the ministry announced plans to purchase 35 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets to replace its Panavia Tornado[12] and to buy 60 Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy transport helicopters worth around 5 billion euros ($5.40 billion).[13]

In March 2022, Lambrecht was openly criticized by Mykhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Ukrainian President, for openly saying that "NATO won't intervene in the Russo-Ukrainian War". Mr. Podolyak stated that each such statement encourages the Russian massacre in Ukraine.[14]

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Germany delivered aid and weapons to Ukraine. Taken from the German Bundeswehr this included 3,000 Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapons, 500 Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems, over 2,000 9K32 Strela-2 anti-aircraft missile systems, 100 MG 3 machine guns, 16 million rounds of ammunitions, 23,000 combat helmets, 1,300 bullet-proof vests, night vision devices, 500,000 military food rations, 14 armored cars and other systems.[15][16][17]

By April 2022, Lambrecht announced that the German army's stocks are depleted and additional deliveries have to come from the arms manufacturers directly.[18]

In May 2022, Lambrecht led negotiations with fellow cabinet members Christian Lindner and Annalena Baerbock as well as Mathias Middelberg on securing a two-thirds majority in parliament needed to change Germany’s constitution to allow for a credit-based special defense fund of 100 billion euros ($107.35 billion).[19]

Other activities

Personal life

Lambrecht has one son.

References

  1. ^ Babayiğit, Gökalp; Berlin, Mike Szymanski (19 June 2019). "Christine Lambrecht soll Justizministerin werden". sueddeutsche.de (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Christine Lambrecht, MdB - Bundesfinanzministerium - Ministerium". Bundesministerium der Finanzen (in German). Archived from the original on 26 April 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Deutscher Bundestag - Christine Lambrecht". Deutscher Bundestag (in German). Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Parlamentarische Linke - Unsere Mitglieder". Parlamentarische Linke (in German). Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  5. ^ Babayiğit, Gökalp; Berlin, Mike Szymanski (19 June 2019). "Christine Lambrecht soll Justizministerin werden". sueddeutsche.de (in German). ISSN 0174-4917. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  6. ^ Thomas Escritt (July 2, 2019), Germany fines Facebook for under-reporting complaints Reuters.
  7. ^ online, heise. "Justizministerium: WhatsApp, Gmail & Co. sollen Passwörter herausgeben müssen". heise online (in German). Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  8. ^ Christopher F. Schuetze (May 16, 2020), Germany Criminalizes Burning of E.U. and Other Foreign Flags New York Times.
  9. ^ Bundesjustizministerin Christine Lambrecht (SPD) tritt nicht mehr an Mannheimer Morgen, September 5, 2020.
  10. ^ "Verteidigungsministerin Lambrecht hat Amt angetreten". sueddeutsche.de (in German). Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 8 December 2021. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  11. ^ Sabine Siebold and Andrius Sytas (7 February 2022), Germany to send up to 350 more troops to Lithuania Reuters.
  12. ^ Sabine Siebold and Andreas Rinke (14 March 2022), Germany to buy 35 Lockheed F-35 fighter jets from U.S. amid Ukraine crisis Reuters.
  13. ^ Riham Alkousaa (24 April 2022), Germany to buy 60 heavy transport helicopters from Boeing, Bild am Sonntag reports Reuters.
  14. ^ "Mykhailo Podolyak (19 March 2022)". Twitter. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  15. ^ Becker, Markus (20 April 2022). "How the US outclasses the EU in helping Ukraine". Der Spiegel (in German).
  16. ^ "Deutschland liefert 2000 Panzerfäuste an die Ukraine". GER (in Norwegian). 3 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Weitere Waffen aus Deutschland in der Ukraine eingetroffen" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 25 March 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "Germany: Bundeswehr arms deliveries to Ukraine 'reached a limit'". DW.COM. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  19. ^ Zuzanna Szymanska and Holger Hansen (May 30, 2022), Germany to change constitution to enable $110 billion defense fund Reuters.
  20. ^ Governing Board Academy of European Law (ERA).
  21. ^ Board of Trustees German Forum for Crime Prevention (DFK).
  22. ^ Board of Trustees Magnus Hirschfeld Foundation.
  23. ^ Members of the Supervisory Board GIZ.
  24. ^ Board of Trustees Jewish Museum Berlin.