Erich Matthias Rößler (born 14 January 1955) is a German politician, member of the CDU. Since 1990, he has been a member of the Saxon Landtag. From 1994 to 2004 he served as minister of culture, later as minister of science and art in the government of Saxony. Since 2009 he has been "Landtagspräsident", the speaker of the Saxon parliament.
Rößler was born in Dresden, the son of a master gardener from the village of Cossebaude (now a western district of Dresden). He attended Christenlehre (Christian education) and refused to become a member of the socialist youth organizations, but was accepted nonetheless to a high school in the Dresden (today Romain-Rolland-Gymnasium), graduating in 1973 with the excellent grade 1.0. Because of his political abstinence, he was denied to study ethnography. He did the minimum service (Grundwehrdienst) in the National People's Army and then studied mechanical engineering, graduating in 1979 with a diploma.
He then worked as a research assistant at the University of Transport in Dresden. There he obtained his doctorate in 1983 with a dissertation Experimentelle Untersuchungen charakteristischer Strömungserscheinungen in einem speziellen geraden Gitter bei hochturbulenter Anströmung (Experimental investigations of characteristic flow phenomena in a special straight grate at highly turbulent flow). From 1985 to 1990, he was a development engineer and a senior researcher in the Kombinat Lokomotivbau/Elektrotechnische Werke in Hennigsdorf. From 1989, he also worked at the Academy of Sciences on topics of basic research. He is the holder of several patents and author of scientific publications.
In 1989, Rößler joined the opposition movement Democratic Awakening. He took over functions in the central party leadership in Berlin and was a science policy spokesman of the party. He also served on the group's state board of Saxony.
In 1990, he was instrumental in forming the Ministry of Culture of the Free State of Saxony. He joined the CDU, which he represented in the parliament of Saxony. He was one of the initiators of the founding of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism in Dresden, to explore totalitarian structures and their impact on individuals and society.
From September 1994 to April 2002, Rößler was Saxon State Minister for Education, and was also the Chairman of the German Sportministerkonferenz (conference of sport ministers). From 18 April 2002 to 10 November 2004, he was Minister for Science and Art.
On 16 September 2009, Rößler was nominated as successor of the retiring speaker of parliament Erich Iltgen and elected on 29 September with 82 votes out of 132. On 26 May 2005 he was awarded the Sächsische Verfassungsmedaille by Erich Iltgen for the "Mitgestaltung der Grundzüge der sächsischen Bildungspolitik" (participation in the founding structure of Saxon education policy). Since his election to as speaker of parliament, he has been a member of the Sächsischer Verdienstorden (Saxon Order of Merit).
Rößler was a CDU delegate to the Federal Convention for the purpose of electing the President of Germany in 2017.
Rößler is Protestant, married since 1979 and has two sons. He lives in the Dresden district of Cossebaude.