Vice-Chancellor of Germany

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Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Bundesadler Bundesorgane.svg
Coat of arms of the German Government
Sigmar Gabriel (2012).jpg
Incumbent
Sigmar Gabriel

since 17 December 2013
Inaugural holder Otto zu Stolberg-Wernigerode
Formation 1 June 1878

The Vice-Chancellor of Germany (German: Vizekanzler von Deutschland) 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 Sigmar Gabriel, who is the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).[1]

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.

In modern times, vice-chancellor is not an independent office, but a position held by one of the cabinet ministers. Since 1966, it has often been held by the minister of foreign affairs.

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.

History[edit]

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.[2]

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.

Lists of Vice-Chancellors[edit]

German Empire[edit]

Allgemeiner Stellvertreter des Reichskanzler (Deputy General to the Chancellor)[edit]

Weimar Republic[edit]

Vice-Chancellors[edit]

# Portrait Name Birth Death Term start Age start Term end Age end Days Party Portfolio Cabinet
1 Schiffer, EugenEugen Schiffer 14 February 1860 5 September 1954 13 February 1919 58 19 April 1919 59 65 DDP Deputy Minister-President / Minister of Finance Scheidemann I
vacant 1922-1923
vacant 1925-1927
vacant 1928-1930
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[edit]

Political Party:       FDP       CDU       SPD       Green

# Portrait Name Birth Death Term start Age start Term end Age end Days Party Portfolio Cabinet
1 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-P001512, Franz Blücher 2.jpg Blücher, FranzFranz Blücher 24 March 1896 26 March 1959 20 September 1949 53 29 October 1957 61 2961 FDP/FVP Marshall Plan / Economic Cooperation Adenauer I • II
2 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F041449-0007, Hamburg, CDU-Bundesparteitag, Ludwig Erhard.jpg Erhard, LudwigLudwig Erhard 4 February 1897 5 May 1977 29 October 1957 60 16 October 1963 66 2178 CDU Economics Adenauer III • IV • V
3 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-87989-0060, Erich Mende.jpg Mende, ErichErich Mende 28 October 1916 6 May 1998 17 October 1963 46 28 October 1966 50 1107 FDP Intra-German Relations Erhard I • II
4 HCSeebohm.jpg Seebohm, Hans-ChristophHans-Christoph Seebohm 4 August 1903 17 September 1967 8 November 1966 63 30 November 1966 63 22 CDU Transport Erhard II
5 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F057884-0009, Willy Brandt.jpg Brandt, WillyWilly Brandt 18 December 1913 8 October 1992 1 December 1966 52 20 October 1969 55 1054 SPD Foreign Minister Kiesinger I
6 Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1989-047-20, Walter Scheel.jpg Scheel, WalterWalter Scheel 8 July 1919 21 October 1969 50 16 May 1974 54 1668 FDP Foreign Minister Brandt III
7 Bundesarchiv FDP-Bundesparteitag, Genscher.jpg Genscher, Hans-DietrichHans-Dietrich Genscher 21 March 1927 17 May 1974 47 17 September 1982 55 3045 FDP Foreign Minister Schmidt I • II • III
8 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F048636-0022, Dortmund, SPD-Parteitag, Egon Franke.jpg Franke, EgonEgon Franke 11 April 1913 26 April 1995 17 September 1982 69 1 October 1982 69 14 SPD Intra-German Relations Schmidt III
9 Bundesarchiv FDP-Bundesparteitag, Genscher.jpg Genscher, Hans-DietrichHans-Dietrich Genscher 21 March 1927 1 October 1982 55 17 May 1992 65 3516 FDP Foreign Minister Kohl IIIIIIIV
10 Jürgen Möllemann 2002 (cropped).jpeg Möllemann, JürgenJürgen Möllemann 15 July 1945 5 June 2003 18 May 1992 46 21 January 1993 47 248 FDP Economics Kohl IV
11 Klaus Kinkel CJD Koenigswinter 2005.jpg Kinkel, KlausKlaus Kinkel 17 December 1936 21 January 1993 56 26 October 1998 61 2104 FDP Foreign Minister Kohl IVV
12 Joschka Fischer 2002.jpeg Fischer, JoschkaJoschka Fischer 12 April 1948 27 October 1998 50 22 November 2005 57 2583 Green Foreign Minister Schröder III
13 FranzMüntefering mw1.jpg Müntefering, FranzFranz Müntefering 16 January 1940 22 November 2005 65 21 November 2007 67 729 SPD Labour and Social Affairs Merkel I
14 Frank-Walter Steinmeier 20.jpg Steinmeier, Frank-WalterFrank-Walter Steinmeier 5 January 1956 21 November 2007 51 27 October 2009 53 706 SPD Foreign Minister Merkel I
15 Westerwelle hamm 2009 ankunft.jpg Westerwelle, GuidoGuido Westerwelle 27 December 1961 28 October 2009 47 16 May 2011 49 565 FDP Foreign Minister Merkel II
16 Roesler-klein.jpg Rösler, PhilippPhilipp Rösler 24 February 1973 16 May 2011 38 17 December 2013 40 946 FDP Economics and Technology Merkel II
17 Sigmar Gabriel (2012).jpg Gabriel, SigmarSigmar Gabriel 12 September 1959 17 December 2013 54 Incumbent Incumbent 124 SPD Economics and Energy Merkel III

References[edit]