Jürgen Rüttgers

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Jürgen Rüttgers
Juergen Ruettgers.jpg
Jürgen Rüttgers
Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia
In office
22 June 2005 – 14 July 2010
Preceded by Peer Steinbrück
Succeeded by Hannelore Kraft
Federal Minister of Education, Science, Research, and Technology (Germany)
In office
17 November 1994 – 14 October 1998
President Richard von Weizsäcker
Roman Herzog
Chancellor Helmut Kohl
Preceded by Paul Krüger (Science, Research and Technology)
Karl-Hans Laermann (Education)
Succeeded by Edelgard Bulmahn (Education, Science and Research)
Werner Müller (Technology)
Personal details
Born (1951-06-26) 26 June 1951 (age 71)
Cologne, West Germany
Nationality German
Political party CDU
Religion Roman Catholic
Website juergen-ruettgers.de

Jürgen Rüttgers (born 26 June 1951 in Cologne) is a German politician (CDU) who was Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2005 to 2010.[1] He is widely known for his views on immigration and the much-discussed phrase "Kinder statt Inder" ("children instead of Indians") which was a media interpretation of "Statt Inder an die Computer müssen unsere Kinder an die Computer" ("instead of Indians in front of computers, our children must be in front of computers"), during an election campaign (which he finally lost) at a time when there was a parallel nationwide discussion about whether or not immigration rules should be liberalised on behalf of attracting more highly qualified foreign academics to the German labor market. His opinions on the superiority of the Christian religion, which he expressed in a TV talk-show were also a reason for headlines lately.

In the state parliament (Landtag) election 2005, Jürgen Rüttgers was the opposition Christian Democratic Union's front-runner for the second time. The former minister for education, science, research and technology in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Cabinet in 1994 to 1998 has headed the CDU in the state since 1999 and has been its leader in state parliament since the last election. Rüttgers has also been one of the CDU's deputy party chairmen since 2000.

After CDU and FDP won a majority of seats in the election on 22 May 2005, they formed a coalition to take over government from the former SPD and Green party coalition led by Peer Steinbrück. Rüttgers was elected Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia on 22 June.

Together with Luigi Berlinguer (Italy), Claude Allegre (France), and Baroness Tessa Blackstone (United Kingdom), Rüttgers is one of the heads of the "Sorbonne declaration", the joint declaration on harmonisation of the architecture of the European higher education system, in 25 May 1998. That was the Intro to the "Bologna process".

Rüttgers holds degrees in Law and History from the University of Cologne and a Dr. Jur. (Ph.D.) in Law (1979). He became a member of K.D.St. V. Rappoltstein Köln, a Catholic student fraternity that is member of the Cartellverband.


  1. Neukirch, Ralf; Markus Feldenkirchen (10 December 2009). "CDU Governor Jürgen Rüttgers: 'We Cannot Have Massive Cuts' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International". Der Spiegel. Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Political offices
Preceded by
Peer Steinbrück
Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia
2005 - 2010
Succeeded by
Hannelore Kraft