Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, sometimes referred to by her initials of AKK, is a retired German politician who served as Minister of Defence from 2019 to 2021 and as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union from 2018 to 2021.
44 Facts About Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
In February 2020, Kramp-Karrenbauer announced that she would resign her position as CDU leader later in the year and would not put herself forward as a candidate for chancellor for the 2021 federal election.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was succeeded by Armin Laschet at the 2021 Christian Democratic Union of Germany leadership election.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer previously served as secretary general of the party and as Minister President of Saarland from 2011 to 2018, the first woman to lead the Government of Saarland and fourth woman to head a German state government.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is regarded as socially conservative, but on the CDU's left wing in economic policy and has been described as a centrist.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is an active Catholic and has served on the Central Committee of German Catholics.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is the second woman to hold the office of German defence minister.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer renounced her Bundestag mandate and retired from politics after the 2021 federal election.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer Kramp was born on 9 August 1962 in Volklingen, located on the Saar River midway between Saarlouis and Saarbrucken, around 40 kilometres from Luxembourg and close to the border with France.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer grew up in the neighbouring town of Puttlingen.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer's father was a special education teacher and a headmaster.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer graduated from high school in 1982 and considered becoming a school teacher, but decided to study politics and law at the University of Trier and at Saarland University, where she earned a master's degree in 1990.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer joined the CDU while still in high school in 1981.
In 1998, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer replaced Topfer in the federal Bundestag, serving seven months before losing re-election in the SPD landslide the same year.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected to the Landtag of Saarland in 1999.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer served as Minister of the Interior in the government of Peter Muller; the first woman to hold that office in Germany.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took on more responsibilities in 2004, and changed roles in 2007 following a cabinet reshuffle, becoming Minister of Education and again in 2009, becoming Minister of Labor in the so-called Jamaica coalition government.
In 2011, after months of difficult negotiations with the coalition partners, the Free Democratic Party and The Greens, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected Minister-President of the Saarland in a special session of parliament, replacing Muller, who resigned to become a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer continued to be a member of the German-French Friendship Group that was set up by the upper chambers of the German and French national parliaments, respectively the Bundesrat and the Senate.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was a CDU delegate to the Federal Convention to elect the president of Germany in 2012 and in 2017.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer again played a role in the negotiations to form a fourth coalition government under Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2018, leading a working group on education policy alongside Stefan Muller, Manuela Schwesig and Hubertus Heil.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer embarked on a major listening tour of the country, holding more than 40 meetings with local CDU associations and working on a new political manifesto for the party.
Former Bundestag leader of the CDU and businessman Friedrich Merz jumped into the race immediately while Health Minister Jens Spahn and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced their bids shortly after.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was perceived to be Merkel's chosen heir and a continuation of her style and centrist ideology while Merz was an old rival from Merkel's early days as party leader and was very open about his intention to move the party in a more conservative direction.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reacted, stating that the electoral law should be changed to prevent social media personalities like Rezo from influencing the voters' choice in the midst of a campaign.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced her resignation as leader of the CDU on 10 February 2020 as a result of the 2020 Thuringian government crisis.
When Ursula von der Leyen was elected President of the European Commission in July 2019, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer succeeded her as Federal Minister of Defence in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In mid-2021, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer oversaw the German miliary's withdrawal from Afghanistan after almost two decades.
In 2020, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer disbanded a company of the Special Forces Command after police seized weapons and ammunition during a raid on the property of a KSK soldier.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer later resisted calls for KSK to be disbanded altogether and instead pushed through the unit's reform.
Also in 2021, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer opened the Bundeswehr's first-ever Air and Space Operations Centre in Uedem, expanding Germany's existing space situation center into the new structure.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was the most popular politician in Saarland according to Infratest dimap from November 2010 until her departure as Minister-President.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was considered one of the most popular state government leaders nationwide.
When entering federal politics, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had a positive net approval rating from her election as CDU General Secretary in February 2018 until March 2019, just shortly after having been elected as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is perceived as a moderate or centrist Christian Democrat.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been described as socially conservative, but on the CDU's left wing in economic policy.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is regarded as more conservative than Angela Merkel.
However, when the Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz submitted a motion for a mandatory gender quota for supervisory boards to the Bundesrat in 2012, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer joined the state governments controlled by the Social Democrats, voting in favour of the draft legislation; in doing so, she supported an initiative opposed by Merkel and state governments controlled by the CDU.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer criticised the German-supported Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that would allow Germany to effectively double the amount of gas it imports from Russia, saying that Nord Stream 2 "is not just an economic project but a political one".
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has supported arms exports to Saudi Arabia, which has been waging war in Yemen and was condemned for massive human rights violations.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer accused the Social Democrats of jeopardising German industry and jobs, saying that, with Germany's ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, "Germany is not very credible at the moment" in European security and defence policy and was "making common European projects practically impossible".
In late 2020, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer proposed that the European Union should try again to reach a trade agreement with the United States after the elections.
In October 2021, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had talked about the possibility of deploying nuclear arms against Russia.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is married to Helmut Karrenbauer, a retired mining engineer, with whom she has three children, born in 1988,1991 and 1998; they live in the city of Puttlingen.