Vice-Chancellor of Germany
The vice-chancellor of Germany, unofficially the vice-chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Vizekanzler der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), officially the deputy to the federal chancellor (German: Stellvertreter des Bundeskanzlers), is the second highest ranking German cabinet member. The chancellor is the head of government and, according to the constitution, gives this title of deputy to one of the federal ministers. It is common that the title is given to the major minister provided by the (smaller) coalition partner.
|Deputy to the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany|
|Stellvertreter des Bundeskanzlers|
|Style||Mr. Vice-Chancellor (informal)|
His Excellency (diplomatic)
|Status||Deputy of the head of Government|
|Member of||Federal Cabinet|
|Seat||As Federal Minister; currently Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Berlin/Bonn|
|Nominator||Chancellor of Germany or the coalition party|
|Appointer||Chancellor of Germany|
|Term length||At the Chancellor's pleasure|
|Constituting instrument||German Basic Law (German Constitution)|
|Formation||24 May 1949|
|First holder||Franz Blücher|
In everyday politics, being a vice chancellor is more an honorary title. The vice-chancellor may head cabinet meetings when the chancellor is abroad. The function of vice chancellor is to use the specific constitutional powers of the chancellor in case that the chancellor is unable to perform their duties. This kind of substitution has never been made use of in the history of the Federal Republic.
Should a chancellor resign, die or be permanently unable to perform the duties of office, the vice chancellor does not automatically become the next chancellor. In such a case the Federal President assigns a minister to serve as acting chancellor until the Bundestag (parliament) elects a new chancellor.).
Although Stellvertreter is the constitutional term, most Germans know the deputy by the expression Vice-Chancellor (Vizekanzler). Chancellor (Kanzler) is the traditional term for the German head of government since 1867/71. A general deputy was introduced by law in 1878 (Stellvertretungsgesetz). In the Weimar Republic of 1919–1933, the office of Vizekanzler was mentioned in the internal reglement of the government. The current office or title has existed since the constitution of 1949.