As of: 12/29/2021 5:07 p.m.
Anne Spiegel describes herself as a passionate family politician. Your appointment as minister was still a surprise – also because it was not undisputed in Rhineland-Palatinate.
This name was a real surprise: In the speculations of the capital city press, no one had Anne Spiegel on the slip, and many long-time party friends had not seen the career leap of the Rhineland-Palatinate coming.
The new Federal Minister for Family Affairs from the Greens is what one calls a compromise candidate. The fact that the Realo Cem Özdemir and not the party left Anton Hofreiter became Minister of Agriculture opened up the chance for Spiegel to hold a ministerial position.
Left wing of the party
The Rhineland-Palatinate woman is clearly assigned to the left wing of the Greens. At the federal level, the 41-year-old has hardly been noticed so far, even if, as state minister, she regularly attended meetings of the Federal Council and is a member of the Federal Party Council of the Greens. Spiegel was involved in the coalition negotiations in the federal government in the area of climate protection.
Even if Spiegel’s appointment to the federal cabinet came unexpectedly, she brings the necessary technical expertise with her. She also has government experience in a traffic light alliance. She headed the Family Ministry in Rhineland-Palatinate for five years.
Feminist and family politician
Spiegel describes herself as a feminist and a passionate family politician, family, women and youth are key issues for her. Spiegel is the mother of four children, the youngest was given Spiegel when she was already a minister. After the birth, she was represented by the State Secretary for two months.
After that, Spiegel took her little daughter with him to the Federal Council and a cabinet meeting. In her Mainz office there was a box with toys for her children, which should also be in her new Berlin office. Most of the family work is done by her husband.
Spiegel grew up in the Palatinate. As a child, she wanted to become a penguin researcher. She later decides to study political science, philosophy and psychology. The party left is well networked in the party, even as a schoolgirl she became a member of the board of directors of the Green Youth. In 2011, at the age of 30, she became a member of the state parliament in Rhineland-Palatinate, and five years later she became minister of family and integration in the Rhineland-Palatinate traffic light government.
The rather small ministry is gaining in importance as a result of the refugee crisis. During this time, Spiegel came under pressure. Because of controversial decisions in refugee policy, she is repeatedly criticized. Spiegel’s ministry instructs authorities to suspend the deportation of a Lebanese family – despite a court ruling that the deportation is proportionate. In 2018, the President of the Rhineland-Palatinate Constitutional Court accused the minister of having a problem with the separation of powers and of not accepting judicial decisions. Hate letters, threatening letters and even death threats become a personal test of endurance for the minister.
When a young refugee from Afghanistan murdered a 15-year-old girl in Kandel, Rhineland-Palatinate, at the end of 2017, Spiegel was massively attacked. She gets personal protection.
After the state elections this spring, Spiegel took over the climate protection ministry, which is important for the Greens, in the new edition of the traffic light government and becomes deputy minister. The move to the federal cabinet is now the next career leap for Spiegel within six months.
Processing of the flood disaster
In Mainz, an investigative committee of the state parliament is currently dealing with the processing of the flood disaster in the Ahr valley. Among other things, it is about whether more specific warnings should have been given. The committee also examines the role of the climate protection ministry and the subordinate state office for the environment. On the day of the disaster, the office had temporarily revised downward level forecasts for the Ahr, a mistake. State office and ministry announced the disaster in the afternoon that there was no threat of extreme flooding.
Green party friends do not see an escape from responsibility through Spiegel’s move to the federal cabinet. Ultimately, she will still contribute to the processing. In the new year, the new Federal Minister for Family Affairs will certainly be questioned by the investigative committee in Mainz.