The Minister Diaries

By Pascal SteinwachsLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

Until three months ago, Joëlle Welfring wasn't even in a party, and now she's the Green Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development. That's what you call being thrown in at the deep end. However, the 48-year-old will not have much time to get used to her new position before the elections in October 2023.

When Joëlle Welfring was sworn in as the new Minister of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development on May 2, following the resignation of Carole Dieschbourg, the Esch native had been at the helm of the environmental administration for just one month, although she had already been deputy director since 2014. Before that, the trained environmental scientist worked at the Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor, where she headed the Centre of Competence for Environmental Technologies, among other things. So Welfring should not lack professional qualifications.

We met the new minister and mother of two at the end of last week in her office in the high-rise building on Kirchberg. Despite a packed agenda, she took the necessary time to talk to us.

Lëtzebuerger Journal: How does it feel to suddenly be a minister? Especially when you joined the party you now represent in government only four days before you were sworn in.

Joëlle Welfring: It's an intense experience. It is also inspiring and motivating, and you learn a lot in a very short time and meet interesting people. However, it is also exhausting. 

Can you understand the criticism that, after Yuriko Backes, you are yet another career changer who did not have to participate in elections?

Of course I can understand that. I was indeed not elected, but I feel very close to the values of the Green Party, and not just since yesterday.

That means that no other party than déi gréng would have come into question for you?

Exactly. I have already been asked by other parties to join them, but that was a little longer ago.

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