If Luc Frieden (CSV) really wanted to pull a page from Jean-Claude Juncker’s (CSV) book, he would take on his old job--finance minister--on top of being prime minister and minister of state. Such questions are in the air because, on 13 November, Frieden announced at Senningen Castle that the CSV and DP had finalised a coalition agreement.
Some might want Yuriko Backes (DP) to continue her mission as finance minister, pointing to her history with the two parties: she was diplomatic advisor to both Juncker and Bettel between 2010 and 2016. Backes could also take over the economy ministry.
As Radio 100,7 reported on 10 November, the government is expected to comprise eight CSV ministers, seven DP ministers and no secretaries of state. There were 14 members in the Juncker government of 1999 (12 ministers and two secretaries of state) and 15 in the following government of 2004-2009 (14 and one).
The CSV’s campaign slogan Zäit fir eng nei Politik (“Time for new politics”) will therefore not come from sheer numbers. More likely, it will come from the individual names chosen.
Just about everyone is predicting that Bettel will get the high-profile job of chief diplomat, replacing Jean Asselborn (LSAP).
Breaking down the ministries
Frieden has stated that the ministries will reflect the priorities of his campaign programme, as well as those--six in particular--of the DP.
One struggles to imagine any change to the “classic” seven ministries: justice; economy; finance; employment; foreign affairs; interior and security; and defence. Beyond that, four will likely be linked to the political environment: civil service; culture; home affairs; and agriculture and viticulture. And one to education and higher education--though why not add “vocational training” to its remit?
The government will also want a powerful housing minister, given the scale of the current crisis. And also, perhaps, a green deal ministry that brings together environmental, energy, mobility and spatial planning. There will probably be a family ministry, including youth and children, and finally--just to speculate--a ministry of health, social security, social affairs, equal opportunities and consumer protection.
Beyond the ministries themselves--their names and how the departments are grouped--we will have to examine their actual intentions to see what the future government’s objectives really are.
This article was originally published in Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.