Robert Habeck

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Robert Habeck
2021-12-07 Unterzeichnung des Koalitionsvertrages der 20. Wahlperiode des Bundestages by Sandro Halank–018 (cropped).jpg
Habeck in 2021
Vice Chancellor of Germany
Assumed office
8 December 2021
ChancellorOlaf Scholz
Preceded byOlaf Scholz
Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
Assumed office
8 December 2021
ChancellorOlaf Scholz
Preceded byPeter Altmaier
Leader of Alliance 90/The Greens
In office
27 January 2018 – 29 January 2022
Serving with Annalena Baerbock
Deputy
Preceded byCem Özdemir
Succeeded byOmid Nouripour
Deputy Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
12 June 2012 – 6 February 2018
Minister-PresidentTorsten Albig
Daniel Günther
Preceded byHeiner Garg
Succeeded byMonika Heinold
Minister for Energy Transition, Agriculture, the Environment, Nature and Digitization of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
12 June 2012 – 31 August 2018
Minister-PresidentTorsten Albig
Daniel Günther
Preceded byJuliane Rumpf
Succeeded byJan Philipp Albrecht
Leader of Alliance 90/The Greens in the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
27 October 2009 – 12 June 2012
Preceded byKarl-Martin Hentschel
Succeeded byEka von Kalben
Member of the Bundestag
for Flensburg – Schleswig
Assumed office
26 October 2021
Preceded byPetra Nicolaisen
Member of the Bundesrat
for Schleswig-Holstein
In office
12 June 2012 – 6 February 2018
Preceded byHeiner Garg
Succeeded byMonika Heinold
Member of the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein
In office
27 October 2009 – 12 June 2012
Preceded byMulti-member district
Succeeded byDetlef Matthiessen
ConstituencyAlliance 90/The Greens List
Personal details
Born (1969-09-02) 2 September 1969 (age 52)
Lübeck, West Germany
Political partyAlliance 90/The Greens
Spouse(s)
Andrea Paluch
(m. 1996)
Children4
Residence(s)Flensburg
Alma materUniversity of Freiburg
Roskilde University
University of Hamburg (Dr. phil.)
Occupation
  • Politician
  • writer
Website

Robert Habeck (German pronunciation: [ˈʁoːbɛʁt ˈhaːbɛk] (listen); born 2 September 1969) is a German politician and writer, serving as Vice Chancellor of Germany, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and as a Member of the German Bundestag for Flensburg – Schleswig since 2021. From 2018 to 2022, he also served as co-leader of Alliance '90/The Greens, alongside Annalena Baerbock. For the 2021 German federal election, he was a member of the leading duo, alongside Baerbock, who ran for chancellor of Germany.

In 2009, Habeck was voted into the state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein as a deputy of The Greens and became group chairman. Both, at early elections in 2012 and at the federal elections in 2017 he ran as the top candidate of his own party. From 2012 to 2018 he held office as deputy minister-president and minister for energy revolution, agriculture, environment, and nature (since 2017 for digitisation as well) for the cabinet of Albig as well as for the cabinet of Günther. After he was elected federal chairman of his party in 2018, he retired from his function as minister.[1] At the 2021 federal elections, he achieved the direct mandate of his electoral-district Flensburg-Schleswig with 28.1 percent of first votes. Habeck is allocated to the political-realists of the Green Party.[2]

Early life, education and writing[edit]

Habeck passed his final secondary-school examinations in 1989 at the Heinrich Heine School in Heikendorf in the Plön district. After completing his alternative civilian service in 1991 he began studying for a master's degree with a combination of Philosophy, German and Philology at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg im Breisgau. After the intermediate examination in 1992/93 he attended Roskilde University in Denmark. In 1996 Habeck received a master's degree from the University of Hamburg. From 1996 to 1998 he completed a doctorate at the University of Hamburg and was awarded a doctorate in Philosophy in 2000.[3]

From 1999 Habeck and his wife Andrea Paluch worked as freelance writers. In addition to children's books and translations of English poetry, Habeck (with Paluch) published six novels: among others, Hauke Haien's Death (2001), The Day I Met My Dead Man (2005) and Under the Gully lies the sea (2007).[4] Habeck is fluent in Danish.[5]

Political career[edit]

Career in state politics[edit]

In 2009, Habeck was elected to the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag via the party list.[6] In November 2011, he was voted as the top candidate of his party for the 2012 Schleswig-Holstein election. From 2009 to 2012, Habeck was chairman of the Alliance'90/The Greens group in Schleswig-Holstein.

Habeck has been Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Energy, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas in the centre-left Albig Cabinet since 2012 and in the center-right Günther Cabinet between 2017 and 2018. Under his influence – he was not a candidate for parliament – the Green Party became the third largest group in the Landtag after the 2017 state elections. As one of his state's representatives at the Bundesrat, he served on the Committee on Agricultural Policy and Consumer Protection; the Committee on the Environment, Nature Protection and Reactor Safety; the Committee on Economic Affairs; and the Committee on Transport. From 2014 and 2016, Habeck was one of the members of Germany's temporary National Commission on the Disposal of Radioactive Waste.[7]

Role in federal politics[edit]

Habeck served as a Green Party delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2012.[8] He ran to become one of the two top candidates for the Greens for the 2017 German federal election, but lost by 75 votes to Cem Özdemir.[9]

On 27 January 2018, the Green Party's national convention in Hanover elected him as chairman, a position shared with Annalena Baerbock.[10]

Habeck was elected to the Bundestag in the 2021 German federal election, defeating the CDU incumbent Petra Nicolaisen in the constituency of Flensburg – Schleswig.

Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs[edit]

After the Greens agreed to form a traffic light coalition government with the centre-left Social Democrats and liberal Free Democrats, new Chancellor Olaf Scholz named Habeck as Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and Vice Chancellor in December 2021, making him one of the most powerful politicians in Europe.[11]

In April 2022, Habeck presented a package of measures to speed up Germany's expansion of renewable energy, as the need to reduce the country's heavy reliance on Russian fossil fuels added urgency to its green transition plans; the package envisaged green energy accounting for 80% of the power mix by 2030, up from about 40% in 2022 and a previous target of 65%.[12] He is an opponent of nuclear energy. In 2022, Habeck pushed against efforts at the EU to label nuclear power as a sustainable and green energy source.[13]

Also under Habeck's leadership, the ministry stopped a Beijing-based Aeonmed Group in 2022 from purchasing German medical device manufacturer Heyer Medical, based on a government assessment that there were dangers to public safety.[14]

Political positions[edit]

Domestic policies[edit]

Habeck repeatedly declared himself in favor of evacuating refugees out of the camps on the Greek islands.[15][16]

In November 2020, Habeck presented a 11-points-action-plan against potential Islamic "Gefährder" – individuals deemed a security risk due to extremist views without necessarily being accused of a crime – which he worked out with Konstantin von Notz and Irene Mihalic, politicians for domestic policy. One topic of this paper is to recruit more staff for the local authorities to make closer surveillance and eventually a more consequent enforcement of prevailing arrest warrants possible. Another aspect of these demands was the prohibition of relevant Salafist associations.[17]

In an interview in 2018 Habeck positioned himself against an ethnic notion of nation, which he clearly differentiated from the notion of constitutive people.[18] Additionally, he warned of uncritically acquiring the demands of identity politics.[19]

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Habeck's ministry vetoed extending the life of Germany's remaining nuclear plants, arguing that the costs involved outweighed the benefits. Critics said that nuclear energy was a way to reduce Germany's reliance on Russian gas.[20] Habeck cautioned, "If we do not obtain more gas next winter and if deliveries from Russia were to be cut then we would not have enough gas to heat all our houses and keep all our industry going".[21] On 20 March 2022, he met Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Habeck said Germany reached a long-term energy partnership with Qatar, one of the world's largest exporters of liquefied natural gas,[22] and added: "Although we might still need Russian gas this year, in the future it won't be so any more. And this is only the start".[23] In June 2022, Habeck warned that Germany is facing a "more significant" energy crisis than during the 1973 oil crisis.[24]

COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

In an interview with Der Tagesspiegel at the end of May 2020, Habeck argued that the COVID-19 pandemic was "maybe the first time" that health care was more important than the profit motive and economic growth. He added: "The moral is that we have to configure our economy in a way that it supports common interests and that it becomes crisis-proof as well". Part of this was environmental and climate change mitigation, saying: "The time of minor compromises is over. All parties can think much bigger". The money that had been made liquid for the crisis management must also be used to fight the economic crisis as well as the climate crisis. The past idea that a speed-limit on the Autobahn would restrict personal freedom seemed ridiculous after the decisions that had been made concerning the COVID crisis. He stated: "If one acts brave enough, one can broadly anchor the willingness of change. Ambitious politicians have received a second wind".[25]

On May 6, 2021, Habeck demanded the federal government waive patent rights for the COVID-19 vaccine.[26]

Other activities[edit]

  • KfW, Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Supervisory Directors (since 2021)[27]
  • RAG-Stiftung, Ex-Officio Member of the Board of Trustees (since 2021)[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grüne ändern für Robert Habeck ihre Satzung. In: spiegel.de. 26 January 2018, Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  2. ^ Baerbock und Habeck: Umbruch bei den Grünen mit Realo-Doppelspitze. In: Zeit Online. 27 January 2018, Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  3. ^ Robert Habeck: Die Natur der Literatur: zur gattungstheoretischen Begründung literarischer Ästhetizität, Dissertation Universität Hamburg 2000, Königshausen und Neumann, Würzburg 2001, ISBN 3-8260-2066-9
  4. ^ "Robert Habeck: Wer wagt, beginnt".
  5. ^ Merlin Christophersen und Anna-Lise Bjerager (15 September 2018). "Ich bin nicht nur da zuhause, wo meine Muttersprache gesprochen wird". Der Nordschleswiger. Bund Deutscher Nordschleswiger. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Landtagswahl in Schleswig-Holstein 2009 – Vorläufige Ergebnisse". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Abschlussbericht der Kommission Lagerung hoch radioaktiver Abfallstoffe" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Ordentliche Mitglieder der 15. Bundesversammlung" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Katrin Göring-Eckardt und Cem Özdemir gewinnen die Urwahl- BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN Bundespartei" [The Green Party members have chosen Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir as frontrunners for the German federal election]. Alliance '90/The Greens (in German). Berlin, Germany. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Grüne wählen Robert Habeck und Annalena Baerbock" (in German). Spiegel Online. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Robert Habeck: from translating English verse to German high office". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. 6 December 2021. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  12. ^ Christian Kraemer and Joseph Nasr (6 April 2022), Germany unveils plans to accelerate green energy expansion Reuters.
  13. ^ "Germany's Habeck denounces plan to label nuclear energy 'green' in Brussels | DW | 25.01.2022". DW.COM. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  14. ^ Miranda Murray (27 April 2022), Berlin stops Chinese firm from buying German medical device maker -Handelsblatt Reuters.
  15. ^ Robert Habeck möchte Migranten aus Griechenland holen. In: tagesspiegel.de. 21 December 2019, Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  16. ^ Grünenchef Habeck fordert Evakuierung griechischer Camps. In: spiegel.de. 29 March 2020, Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  17. ^ Null-Toleranz-Strategie gegen islamistische Gefährder – 11-Punkte-Plan gegen islamistischen Terrorismus. In: robert-habeck.de, Retrieved am 23 March 2021.
  18. ^ Es gibt kein Volk": Habeck wehrt sich gegen Angriffe. dpa–Newskanal. In: sueddeutsche.de, 8 May 2018.
  19. ^ Habeck: Identitätspolitische Forderungen nicht kritiklos übernehmen. In: report-k.de. 13 January 2021, Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  20. ^ Reuters (8 March 2022). "Germany vetoes nuclear power extension, aims for LNG terminal in 2024". Reuters. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Reliant on Russian gas, Germany concerned over winter fuel supplies". France 24. 20 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Germany goes on a mission to secure supplies of Qatari gas". Euractiv. 21 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Germany Signs Energy Deal With Qatar As It Seeks To reduce Reliance On Russian Supplies". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 20 March 2022.
  24. ^ "German economy minister reveals extent of gas crisis". Hi Hindia. 25 June 2022.
  25. ^ „Die Zeit der kleinen Kompromisse ist vorbei." Grünen-Chef Robert Habeck über Konjunkturpaket, Kanzlerin und Kurzstreckenflüge. In: Der Tagesspiegel, 31 May 2020, p. 3. (changed title of online edition; Retrieved 31 May 2020.)
  26. ^ jos: Grünenchef Habeck fordert Patent-Aussetzung für Coronaimpfstoffe. In: Spiegel. 6 May 2021, Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  27. ^ Board of Supervisory Directors and its Committees KfW.
  28. ^ Board of Trustees RAG-Stiftung.