The state government
According to Saarland's constitution the state government comprises the Prime Minister as well as the ministers and secretaries of state. The election of the head of government requires an absolute majority of the state parliament's MPs, i.e. 26 out of 51 votes. The Prime Minister appoints and dismisses the ministers and sets the policy agenda. Saarland has the smallest cabinet of any German federal state.
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister, Tobias Hans, represents the state externally and sets the policy agenda. He is assisted in her work as the head of government by the State Chancellery led by the head of the State Chancellery, Secretary of State Jürgen Lennartz. He is also Saarland's authorised representative vis à vis the federal government in Berlin. The fields dealt with by the State Chancellery include science and technology, federal affairs, matters concerning the Bundesrat and state cabinet, modernisation of the state administration, and other interdepartmental tasks.
The Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, Energy and Transport
The Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour, Energy and Transport is Anke Rehlinger, who also holds the position of Deputy Prime Minister. Economic policy means on the one hand maintaining the competitiveness of traditional bastions of Saarland industry such as the steel industry and processing industries. On the other hand, innovative companies and research institutes need a favourable environment in which they can grow. Other subjects handled by the department include the labour market, foreign trade, tourism, the trade fair and conference sector, industrial heritage, expropriation law, transport, infrastructure development and energy policies, including renewable energy.
The Finance and Europe Minister
Peter Strobel is the Finance and Europe Minister as well as the Justice Minister. The Finance Minister is responsible for financial and budget planning as well as issues relating to equalisation payments between the federal government and the federal states. Other areas dealt with are European policies and inter-regional cooperation within the Greater SaarLorLux Region. This involves implementing the France strategy and fostering contacts with Brussels and Strasbourg as well as with partner regions throughout the world. Other fields covered include: supervision of financial administration, taxes, IT services and statistics.
The Minister for Internal Affairs, Construction and Sport
The Minister for Internal Affairs, Construction and Sport is Klaus Bouillon. His ministry deals with classic state government tasks, e.g. relating to the police, state security or immigration. Local authority issues also fall within the ministry's responsibilities. Great importance is attached to sport, both grassroots and elite sport. Examples of other fields covered include: emergency rescue services and disaster management, association law, administration, constitutional matters, structural engineering and housing construction.
The Minister of Health, Social Affairs, Women and the Family
The Ministry of Health, Social Affairs, Women and the Family is led by Monika Bachmann. Typical areas dealt with by this ministry are policies relating to families, young people and children, and policies relating to women and equal opportunities. The field of social policy primarily involves issues relating to social welfare, basic welfare benefits, social insurance and voluntary welfare services as well as the planning of and support for care facilities and the implementation of long-term care insurance. The department deals with issues relating to people with disabilities. Within the health field the ministry's work encompasses healthcare, health protection, health promotion and preventive healthcare, as well as public health services.
The Minister for Education and Culture
The Minister for Education and Culture is Christine Streichert-Clivot. Responsibility for pre-school and school education is brought together here. The field of culture primarily involves art colleges and the general promotion of culture (theatre, museums, the visual arts, libraries and the preservation of historic buildings and monuments).
The Minister of the Environment and Consumer Protection
The Minister of the Environment and Consumer Protection is Reinhold Jost. The fields covered by the Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection include general environmental and climate protection issues, nature conservation, landscape ecology, animal welfare, hydraulic engineering, water(way) legislation and the management of water resources, waste legislation and management, geology, surveying and operation of the land registry as well as inspection of foodstuffs and consumer protection.
The Minister of Justice
The Ministry of Justice is headed up by Peter Strobel, who is also the Finance and Europe Minister. The justice portfolio deals in particular with matters concerning the constitutional court, civil law issues, and the supervision of the courts as well as the prison system.