Traffic light government: Bettina Stark-Watzinger: This is the new Minister of Education

Bettina Stark-Watzinger is to become the education minister of the new traffic light government. But who is the FDP politician actually?

Sitting on Thursday morning Bettina Stark-Watzinger in the Genscher house and first listen. Next to her, with a corona distance of one and a half meters, sit the three others who are to move into the future traffic light cabinet for the FDP: party leader Christian Lindner, general secretary Volker Wissing and Marco Buschmann, the parliamentary group manager.

Before the conversation with the journalists about the new FDP government team really starts, Buschmann, the man from Gelsenkirchen, chats about the difficulty of being a Schalke fan and still joining Christian Lindner to be friends. He is known to be a BVB fan. It goes back and forth for a while until Stark-Watzinger intervenes clearly: “You can all argue,” says the Hessin and takes a break from art. “But she has the most beautiful stadium Unity in Frankfurt.“

Stark-Watzinger’s astonishing parallels to her predecessor

Bettina Stark-Watzinger should be new Federal Minister for Education and Research The 53-year-old succeeds the CDU politician Anja Karliczek. At first glance, the two women have a surprisingly high connection: Both were hardly known to the public when their promotion to the cabinet became official.

Both were parliamentary directors of their group when suddenly the door to the government office opened. Neither the CDU woman nor that FDP-Candidates were proven education experts before they became ministers.

Moreover, both are married, to have children and know life outside of political life: before her election to the Bundestag in 2017, the economist Stark-Watzinger worked as the managing director of a Frankfurt Research institute for financial market issues, which now belongs to the university there.

Stark-Watzinger receives a difficult inheritance

On closer inspection, there is one more essential thing that connects them: Stark-Watzinger is facing them Large construction siteswho already found her predecessor when she came into office. The sleepy digitization of schools, the 16-country patchwork quilt in education policy and the bitter fact that school success in Germany is still dependent on the parents.

Not much has changed in that under Karliczek. On the contrary: as a result of the corona pandemic, those children who had already started at a disadvantage were often thrown back even further. The new minister will have a lot to do with that Consequential damage the week-long lockdowns, the closure of schools and universities, the months-long learning via screen to catch up.

At the moment the Hessin is still spraying that optimism of the restart: “I’m looking forward to it,” she said on Thursday. She wants the liberal promise of promotion not to remain an empty phrase for each individual. She wants the federal and state governments to work together more closely.

Does Stark-Watzinger benefit from the ally in the Ministry of Finance?

The latter, however, clearly distinguishes Stark-Watzinger from her predecessor: While the Union Education Ministers always shied away from them Sovereignty to question, the FDP relies on more federal influence.

That some in education policy conflict with the states through money from the federal treasury is no secret for the future minister: Stark-Watzinger was chairwoman of the finance committee in the Bundestag for two years.

If in doubt, she will know exactly how to do it money loosens up for your own goals. That it doesn’t hurt to be the host in the Federal Ministry of Finance Duzt, you should also be aware. Unlike her predecessor, Stark-Watzinger has a party friend in Christian Lindner as the top treasurer by her side.

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