Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers
Former Federal Minister of Education and Research, former Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
For more than 30 years, Rüttgers has advocated a policy of economic renewal and a social market economy, sometimes against strong resistance from his own ranks. To boost international competitiveness and active participation in the global knowledge society, many new research centers were established and scientific initiatives launched during his term in office as Minister of Education and Research. Furthermore, as a Federal Minister – dubbed “Futures Minister” – he initiated a reform of the German higher education system. He has repeatedly drawn attention to people’s disenchantment with parties and politics, and has advocated both an active dialogue with citizens and increased participation of party members in policymaking. As Chairman of the Independent High Level Strategy Group on Industrial Technologies and as Special Adviser to the European Commission, he has continued his pro-European commitment in the years 2017 to 2019.