|Intro||German politician (FDP)|
|Birth||24 February 1973, Sóc Trăng|
Philipp Rösler, GOM (born 24 February 1973) is a German politician who was the Federal Minister of Economics and Technology and Vice Chancellor of Germany from 2011 to 2013. He was also Chairman of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) from 2011 to 2013. Following the 2013 federal election in which the FDP left the Bundestag, Rösler announced his resignation from the chairmanship. Born in Vietnam, Rösler was the first cabinet minister of Asian background in Germany.
Early life and education
Rösler was born in Khánh Hung, Ba Xuyen Province, in South Vietnam (now Soc Trang Province, Vietnam) on 24 February 1973. Nobody has any information of his Vietnamese family when he was born. He was adopted from a Roman Catholic orphanage near Saigon by a German couple who already had two biological children, and brought to West Germany at the age of nine months. He was raised by his adoptive father, who is a career military officer, after the couple separated when he was four years old. He grew up in Hamburg, Bückeburg and Hanover, where he graduated from high school in 1992. After training to become a combat medic in the German Bundeswehr (the Federal Defence Force), Rösler was accepted to study medicine at the Hanover Medical School. Following this, he continued his education at the Bundeswehr hospital in Hamburg. He earned his Doctorate in cardio-thoracic-vascular surgery in 2002. Then he left the service as a Stabsarzt (a rank for German medical officers equivalent to an army captain) in 2003.
Rösler joined the FDP and its political youth organization, the Young Liberals, in 1992. He was secretary of the FDP in the state of Lower Saxony from 2000 to 2004 and served as chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the Lower Saxon state assembly from 2003. From 2001 to 2006, Rösler was a member in the regional assembly of Hanover (district), where he was also deputy chairman of the parliamentary group. In May 2005, he was elected an observer of the federal FDP executive committee. He received 95% of the votes, the best result of that party conference. At the state party conference in March 2006, Rösler was elected as chairman of the Lower Saxon FDP with 96,4% of the votes; he succeeded Walter Hirche, who had decided to step down after twelve years at the helm. In April, 2008, Rösler was confirmed as the Lower Saxon FDP party chairman, receiving 95% of the votes.
At the federal party conference in June 2007, Rösler was re-elected as a member of the party executive committee. The following month, he was elected to stand as his party’s main candidate in the Lower Saxon state election in January 2008. In that election, he received 10.9% of the votes in his local constituency, Hanover-Döhren. On 18 February 2008, Rösler was appointed minister for economy, labour and transport as well as deputy prime minister of the state of Lower Saxony.
Role in federal politics
Federal Minister of Health, 2009-2011
Following the 2009 national elections, Rösler succeeded Ulla Schmidt as Federal Minister of Health in Angela Merkel's second cabinet.
In January 2011, Rösler asked German pharmaceutical companies to refrain from delivering anesthetic thiopental to the US, a request they agreed to. Later that year, he declined a request from his counterpart, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, that Germany help out with thiopental as dozens of US states were facing shortages of a drug necessary in lethal injections administered to death-row prisoners.
Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics and Technology, 2011-2013
Rösler succeeded Rainer Brüderle as Federal Minister of Economics and Technology on 12 May 2011 and Guido Westerwelle as Chairman of the FDP on 13 May 2011 and was also instated as Vice-Chancellor of Germany on 16 May 2011.
On June 7, 2011, Rösler attended the state dinner hosted by President Barack Obama in honor of Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.
Rösler strongly supported the presidential candidacy of Joachim Gauck, originally proposed by the SPD and Greens, and reportedly secured his nomination by convincing his coalition partner, the CDU/CSU, to back the nomination.
As a consequence of the FDP's defeat in the 2013 state elections in Lower Saxony, Rösler offered to step down as party chairman. The leadership decided that he would remain but not lead the party in the federal elections, instead acting in a team with Rainer Brüderle. Following the defeat of 2013 federal elections, when the FDP was for first time in its history voted out of the Bundestag, he stepped down as a chairman; Christian Lindner became his successor as leader of the FDP.
Life after politics
In January 2014 Philipp Rösler became Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland.
- Robert Enke Foundation, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (2010-2014)
- ZDF, Member of the Television Board (2012-2013)
- KfW, Ex-Officio Member of the Supervisory Board (2011-2013)
- Volkswagen, ex-officio Member of the Supervisory Board (2009)
He is a Roman Catholic, and a member of the General Conference of the Central Committee of German Catholics. He has been married to Wiebke Rösler, also a physician, since 2003. The couple has twin girls, Grietje and Gesche, born in 2008.
- Grand Officer of the Order of Merit, Portugal (3 March 2009)
- "Cidadãos Estrangeiros Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 29 January 2017.