Schaufelbagger in einem Steinbruch

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Armin Laschet, former Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, will be the new chair of the Board of Trustees of the RAG Foundation. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck proposed him at today’s 43rd session of the Board. The Board of Trustees of the RAG Foundation accepted this proposal and elected Armin Laschet as their new chair. The RAG Foundation looks after the financing of the “perpetual obligations” resulting from the phase-out of German hard coal mining.

Two new members of the board were also appointed in line with Federation’s proposal: Reiner Priggen, CEO of the North Rhine-Westphalia Renewable Energies Association, and Dr Andreas Reichel, CEO of STEAG GmbH. They are taking the places of Dr Jürgen R. Großmann, entrepreneur and former CEO of RWE AG, and the former E.ON-Ruhrgas CEO Dr Burckhard Bergmann, whose period of membership of the Board of Trustees came to an end. Jürgen R. Großmann had previously been serving as the chair of the Board.

Federal Minister Robert Habeck said: “I am grateful to Jürgen Großmann for his work as chair of the Board of Trustees of the RAG Foundation. I also thank Burckhard Bergmann for his hard work. And I wish Rainer Priggen and Andreas Reichel all the best for their work on the Board of Trustees.

“I am delighted that Armin Laschet is now the chair, and offer him my heartfelt congratulations. Armin Laschet knows the history of hard coal mining better than almost anyone: as the son of a miner, he grew surrounded by the mining industry; as the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, he played a major role in the phase-out of hard coal mining. It is no easy task to turn your back on a tradition which has dominated the history of the region and to pave the way for a different future. Thanks to the joint work done by the Federation and the Länder, and also the efforts of Armin Laschet, it has been possible to fully phase out hard coal mining – which had to be subsidised for many years – in a socially acceptable manner. Staff were retrained in time and were thus able to reorient themselves on the labour market. But this does not mean that the RAG Foundation has completed its work. The mining operations have left behind a gigantic system of shafts and tunnels, and have also had a big impact on the landscape. Coping with these perpetual obligations continues to be a major task, and I am very glad that Armin Laschet is willing to keep working on this important task as the new chair of the Board of Trustees. Thank you so much for this, my dear Armin Laschet.”

The RAG Foundation was set up on 26 June 2007 as a foundation under civil law with legal capacity in order to manage the closure of the subsidised German hard coal mining, and to ensure that the perpetual obligations deriving from German hard coal mining could be financed. Further to this, the RAG Foundation funds educational, scientific and cultural projects relating to German hard coal mining. The last two hard coal mines in Germany were closed at the end of 2018.

The RAG Foundation has two key bodies: and Board of Executives and the Board of Trustees. The three members of the Board of Executives, headed by the chair of the board, Bernd Tönjes, manage the business of the Foundation, and the Board of Trustees supervises their work.

The Board of Trustees has five “born” members who belong to the Board by virtue of their office, and eight further members. The “born” members are (order as in the statutes):
• Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
• Minister President of Saarland
• Federal Minister of Finance
• Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
• Chairperson of the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union

The other eight members are appointed for a period of up to five years. The chair of the Board of Trustees is elected by and from the members.