Handover of office Svenja Schulze is the new German Develop­ment Minister

Press release 8 December 2021 | BERLIN – Svenja Schulze took office today as Develop­ment Minister. After being formally appointed by Federal President Frank-Walter Stein­meier, she officially took over from her predecessor Gerd Müller in a ceremony at the Berlin offices of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Niels Annen and Bärbel Kofler were appointed as Parlia­mentary State Secretaries. Jochen Flasbarth will be the new State Secretary in the BMZ.

Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze with her letter of appointment

Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze with her letter of appointment

Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze with her letter of appointment

Development Minister Svenja Schulze said: "Germany has a special responsibility in the sphere of global cooperation – as a bridge builder and as a supporter. As Development Minister my focus will be – as it was in my previous post as Environment Minister – on preserving our vital natural resources, and on good development prospects, solidarity and justice. Our objective must be, striving to ensure that everybody in the world is able to enjoy a good life. 

Active engagement in efforts to tackle the climate crisis is a priority for the entire German government and of course for the BMZ as well. Because the impacts of climate change are even more dramatic in the countries of the Global South than they are for us in Germany. It is equally true to say that global climate action can only succeed if we enable developing countries and emerging economies to also operate without relying on coal, oil and gas as their main sources of energy. 

The tasks ahead for the BMZ are enormous: they range all the way from implementing the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals to tackling the root causes of displacement, hunger and poverty, to realising and enforcing living wages and fair working conditions as part of the transformations that lie ahead of us, and to improving gender equality and strengthening civil society. Displacement and migration are huge global challenges. It is important for me to emphasise that this is not about taking a chauvinistic view of displacement and migration. There is a difference between wanting to keep people away and supporting them in their home countries and in the environment in which they live so that they are able to have a good life. I am very pleased that the Coalition Agreement makes the overarching consensus within the government in this regard quite clear. 

All of these issues are global tasks that require global responses. Working on these responses is and will continue to be the crucial task of a dedicated independent and confidently assertive development ministry. 

That is why it is very good that funding for development cooperation and for the increase in international climate financing is secured in the Coalition Agreement. We need cooperation for socio-environmental progress at the bilateral, European and multilateral levels. Our G7 Presidency next year provides us with a special opportunity for such cooperation. I am looking forward to working with the many committed individuals from civil society, the private sector, academia and politics who will join me in advancing this goal."

Federal Development Minister Schulze will participate in the meeting of the G7 development ministers in Liverpool, which in fact takes place this weekend. 

Svenja Schulze was born on 29 September 1968 in Düsseldorf. From 2018 to 2021, she was the Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Prior to that, from 2010 to 2017, she headed the Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. From 1997 to 2000, and from 2004 to 2018, the new Minister, who holds a degree in German and Political Sciences, was a member of the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia. Between her stints in the state parliament she worked as a business consultant with a focus on the public sector.

CVs of the new BMZ leadership can be found on the homepage of the BMZ