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This event will bring together Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Minister Linda Reynolds to present their thoughts on navigating evolving power constellations, followed by a moderated discussion by ASPI’s Executive Director, Peter Jennings.
In the context of global geostrategic shifts and a changing transatlantic relationship, there is growing recognition in Germany for needing to shoulder more responsibility through its foreign and defense policy. Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer has advocated for Germany (and Europe) to play a more assertive role and ‘produce security and stability where it matters’. The recent release of the German Government’s policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific, Germany –Europe-Asia: Shaping the 21st Century Together, signals commitment to actively shaping the rules-based order with partners across the globe.
Both Ministers will attend virtually, with Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer live from Berlin and Senator Reynolds from post-travel quarantine in Canberra.
The Honourable Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Minister of Defence
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has been Federal Minister of Defence since July 2019.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was born in Völklingen in 1962 and is Roman-Catholic. She lives in Püttlingen and is married to Helmut Karrenbauer, with whom she has three children.
After her Abitur (university entrance qualification) in 1982, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer studied law and political science at the universities of Trier and Saarbrücken, graduating with a Magister Artium in 1990. From 1991 to 1998 she worked as policy and planning officer for the CDU Saar.
She started her political engagement in 1981 when she joined the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). She subsequently held various political posts at local level in the Saarland. In 1998, she was a member of the German Bundestag and from 1999 to 2018 a member of the Saarland state parliament. During the first two years of her time as a member of parliament, she served as Parliamentary Secretary of the CDU parliamentary group in the Saarland state parliament.
From 2000 to 2004, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer was Minister of the Interior and Sport in the Saarland. She served as the Saarland Minister of the Interior, Family Affairs, Women, and Sport from 2004 to 2007 and as Minister of Education, Women, Family Affairs, and Culture from 2007 to 2009. After her term as Minister of Labour, Family Affairs, Preventive Action, Social Affairs, and Sport from 2009 to 2011, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected Minister President of the Saarland in 2011. She held this office until 2018. At the same time, she was Minister of Justice from 2011 to 2012 and Minister of Science and Research from 2012 to 2018 in her state’s government.
Since 2010, Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer has been a member of the Executive Committee of the CDU Germany. She was the Chairwoman of the CDU Saar from 2011 to 2018. She was elected Secretary General of the CDU Germany in February 2018 and Chairwoman in December 2018.
Senator The Honourable Linda Reynolds CSC, Minister for Defence, Australia
Linda Reynolds was sworn in as the Minister for Defence on 29 May 2019. Linda served for 29 years in the Australian Army as a Reserve Officer in a wide range of part and full time appointments. She was the first woman in the Australian ArmyReserves to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross.
On 2 March 2019, Linda was sworn in as Minister for Defence Industry and the Minister for Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery in the Morrison Coalition Government. This follows her appointment as Assistant Minister for Home Affairs on 28 August 2018.
Before her Ministerial appointment, Linda was a member of nine Parliamentary committees. During the 45th parliament she chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislative Committee and the Defence Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade committee.
Linda is a passionate advocate for WA Industry including defence, space and rare earths sectors. Senator Reynolds is also a supporter of innovation, gender equality and federation reform. She is proud to work closely with both the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the Perth USAsia Centre.
Linda was elected to the Australian Senate in 2014 and again in 2019.