Vice-Chancellor of Germany
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|Vice-Chancellor of Germany|
Coat of arms of the German Government
|Inaugural holder||Otto zu Stolberg-Wernigerode|
|Formation||1 June 1878|
The Vice-Chancellor of Germany (German: Vizekanzler) is, according to protocol, the second highest position in the Cabinet of Germany. He is the equivalent of a deputy prime minister in other parliamentary systems. Vice-Chancellor is, and has always been, an unofficial but widely used title. The current Vice-Chancellor is Philipp Rösler, who is the first person of Asian ethnicity to hold that post.
In case of the Chancellor's absence, the vice-chancellor acts in his or her place, for instance by heading cabinet meetings. The vice-chancellor will not automatically become chancellor for the rest of the term if the chancellor dies or becomes unable to fulfill his or her duties in any other way. It is the President who asks a minister to fulfill the chancellor's duties until the Parliament elects a new chancellor.
According to the Basic Law, it is the chancellor who chooses one of the ministers to be vice-chancellor. Since coalition governments are common in German politics, the vice-chancellor in most cases represents the junior coalition partner and is often the chairman of that party.
The office was initially established by the 1878 Stellvertretungsgesetz, which provided for the Chancellor appointing a deputy, officially known as Allgemeiner Stellvertreter des Reichskanzlers (Deputy General to the Chancellor). In addition to the general deputy, who would be responsible for all the affairs of the Chancellor, the Chancellor could appoint deputies with limited responsibilities. The Stellvertretungsgesetz was revised on 28 October 1918, when the possibility of appointing deputies with limited responsibilities was removed and the Vice Chancellor was given the right to appear before Parliament.
The prefix "Vize-" is derived from the Latin "vicis" meaning "in place of". "Kanzler" is the traditional title of the head of government in Germany. Although the office has always been widely known as Vizekanzler, this has never been the official term. The official term since 1949 is Stellvertreter des Bundeskanzlers (Deputy to the Chancellor), however this term is seldom used outside very formal contexts.
List of Vice-Chancellors
Allgemeiner Stellvertreter des Reichskanzlers (Deputy General to the Chancellor)
- Otto zu Stolberg-Wernigerode, 1 June 1878 - 20 June 1881.
- Karl Heinrich von Boetticher, 20 June 1881 - 1 July 1897, also Secretary of the Interior.
- Arthur von Posadowsky-Wehner, 1 July 1897 - 24 June 1907, also Secretary of the Interior.
- Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, 24 June 1907 - 14 July 1909, also Secretary of the Interior.
- Clemens von Delbrück, 14 July 1909 - 22 May 1916, also Secretary of the Interior.
- Karl Helfferich, 22 May 1916 - 9 November 1917, also Secretary of the Interior (until 23 October 1917).
- Friedrich von Payer (FVP), 9 November 1917 - 10 November 1918.
- Eugen Schiffer (DDP), 13 February - 19 April 1919 (as Deputy Minister-President); also Minister of Finances.
- Bernhard Dernburg (DDP), 30 April - 20 June 1919 (as Deputy Minister-President); also Minister of Finances.
- Matthias Erzberger (Centre Party), 21 June - 3 October 1919 (until 14 August 1919 as Deputy Minister-President); also Minister of Finances.
- Eugen Schiffer (DDP), 3 October 1919 - 27 March 1920; also Minister of Justice.
- Erich Koch-Weser (DDP), 27 March 1920 - 21 June 1920; also Minster of the Interior.
- Rudolf Heinze (DVP), 25 June 1920 - 4 May 1921; also Minister of Justice.
- Gustav Bauer (SPD), 10 May 1921 - 14 November 1922; also Minister of the Treasury.
- vacant 1922-1923
- Robert Schmidt (SPD), 13 August 1923 - 3 November 1923; also Minister for Reconstruction.
- Karl Jarres (DVP), 30 November 1923 - 15 December 1924; also Minister of the Interior.
- vacant 1925-1927
- vacant 1928-1930
- Hermann R. Dietrich (DDP, later DStP), 30 March 1930 - 30 May 1932; also Minister of Finances from 26 June 1930.
- vacant 1932-1933
- Franz von Papen (non-partisan), 30 January 1933 - 7 August 1934; no government department.
After Papen's resignation, the office of vice-chancellor remained vacant until the demise of Nazi Germany.
Federal Republic of Germany
|Term of Office||Party||Portfolio||Chancellor
|20 September 1949||29 October 1957||FDP/FVP||Marshall Plan||Adenauer
(I • II)
|29 October 1957||16 October 1963||CDU||Economics||Adenauer
(III • IV • V)
|17 October 1963||28 October 1966||FDP||Intra-German Relations||Erhard
(I • II)
|8 November 1966||30 November 1966||CDU||Transport||Erhard
|1 December 1966||20 October 1969||SPD||Foreign Minister||Kiesinger
|21 October 1969||16 May 1974||FDP||Foreign Minister||Brandt
(I • II)
|17 May 1974||17 September 1982||FDP||Foreign Minister||Schmidt
(I • II • III)
|17 September 1982||1 October 1982||SPD||Intra-German Relations||Schmidt
|1 October 1982||17 May 1992||FDP||Foreign Minister||Kohl
(I • II • III • IV)
|18 May 1992||21 January 1993||FDP||Economics||Kohl
|21 January 1993||26 October 1998||FDP||Foreign Minister||Kohl
(IV • V)
|27 October 1998||22 November 2005||Green||Foreign Minister||Schröder
(I • II)
|22 November 2005||21 November 2007||SPD||Labour and Social Affairs||Merkel
|21 November 2007||27 October 2009||SPD||Foreign Minister|
|28 October 2009||16 May 2011||FDP||Foreign Minister||Merkel
|16 May 2011||Incumbent||FDP||Economics and Technology|