What is the real job of governments?

Government formation

Placeholder Lexicon R yellow (& copy Stefan Eling)

Process of forming a government

A government must be formed after a federal election. This consists of the Federal Chancellor and the ministers. How the government is formed is set out in the Basic Law. The Federal Chancellor is elected by the Bundestag on the proposal of the Federal President. The Federal Chancellor selects the ministers. These are appointed by the Federal President.

When a party has a majority in the Bundestag

The Federal President proposes a person for election as Federal Chancellor who assumes that the majority in the Bundestag will also elect this person. If a party has an absolute majority in the Bundestag, it is not difficult. The Federal President will propose the top candidates of this party.

Difficulties can arise

It is more difficult when neither party has an absolute majority. Then several parties have to think about how the government should be formed. You first conduct clarification talks (often one also says "exploratory talks"). If two or three parties are determined to govern together, they conduct coalition negotiations with one another. During the negotiations, you have to agree, among other things, on who is to become the Federal Chancellor. The coalition negotiations also discuss who should become a minister in the government. And it is determined for which areas of responsibility the minister should be responsible. This is often difficult to decide and is discussed for a long time. Because every party wants to have the say in as many ministries as possible. When it is finally clear that a coalition should rule, the MPs elect the Federal Chancellor. The ministers are then appointed by the Federal President. The formation of the government is thus over.

Source: Gerd Schneider / Christiane Toyka-Seid: The young politics encyclopedia from www.hanisauland.de, Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education 2021.