Climate, energy, economy: Robert Habeck tackles the crisis of the times. He has now reorganized his ministry for this – and got more staff.
Robert Habeck started not too long ago: “It’s not shit that I’m talking about now,” he said at the end of September. “People get sick. They burn out, they get tinnitus. They can’t take it anymore.”
By “the people” Habeck refers to his people, his employees in the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection. Because the minister and his house have been working in crisis mode since the end of February. As Vladimir Putin has been at war, he has thrown Ukraine, but also the world’s energy markets and economy into disarray.
And how do you combat chaos? with the organization. Especially in a German ministry. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs circles, Habeck is setting up his house “to fight the energy and economic crisis and to shape future actions more concretely and strongly”.
In early October, shortly after Habeck’s public outburst, he established a new department “for energy security and economic stability.” SPD man Philipp Steinberg, who previously headed the key Department 1 for economic policy for seven years, has since been doing full-time what he has been doing unofficially for months: dealing with the crisis as head of department.
This reorganization was made possible because Habeck eliminated one of the top positions in the high-paid department in the ministry’s organizational chart: after the summer, the central department and the legal department were merged.
Various departments required to deal with the crisis have been merged into new departments. From section 1 for economic policy, for example, economic stabilization and restructuring of companies. At the same time, they say they have “created cooperation” and “bundled strength”. Which means nothing else: previously, several people worked on something similar. Which wasn’t particularly helpful for workloads.
However, its own “Department of Energy Security and Economic Stability” can also be seen as a signal: a signal that crises and their consequences will unfortunately keep Germany busy for a long time. Soon 130 people in the department will deal with this crisis. Some of them simply switch from other categories. In some cases, they will be rehired.
Because not only adequately to deal with the crisis, but tinnitus and burnout in Habeck’s ministry, there are more staff. The budget committee approved about a hundred additional posts for the Ministry of Economic Affairs in a coordination meeting late last week. Starting next year, more than 2,400 people will work for Robert Habeck.
Former banker as head of department
One of the newcomers will be Elga Burts. Economist Philipp Steinberg will be the future Head of Department 1 for Economic Policy. With it, the ministry is “acquiring deep macroeconomic expertise, including political policy and monetary policy,” it said. He is an “expert on climate change risks to the economy and their economic modelling”.
Under Bartsch, the department should again take care of the basics. and set the new accent. For example, there will be separate subsections for competition policy and structural policy. For example, structural policies are considered crucial to the transformation of the economy. A new section for “Adaptation measures at former hard coal and lignite mining and uranium mining sites” will be created there.
Elga Burts previously worked as Chief European Economist at investment bank Morgan Stanley. Until the summer, he was head of economics and capital markets research at the BlackRock Investment Institute in London.
If the federal cabinet confirms Barts, which is considered a formality, he will become one of the ministry’s six department heads, facing five department heads. When Habeck took over the house, only three women held this important position. Some of the multiple crisis ministries should be proud of it.