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Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers

Former Federal Minister of Education and Research, former Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers

Professor Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers was Federal Minister for Education and Research between 1994 and 1998. Between 1999 and 2019, he was Chairman of CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia. From 2005 to 2010, he was Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia. Since 2011, he has been active with Beiten Burkhardt, a commercial law agency in Düsseldorf. 

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.