Experienced parliamentarian from Göttingen: Thomas Oppermann
© German Bundestag/Melde
On 24 October 2017, Thomas Oppermann was elected Vice-President of the German Bundestag. The SPD Member has been in Parliament since 2005. Most recently, Oppermann was chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag from 2013 until 2017.
Oppermann was born on 27 April 1954 in Freckenhorst in the Münsterland region. He joined the SPD in 1980. After gaining his Abitur (higher-education entrance qualification) in 1975, he began German and English language studies in Tübingen. From 1976 to 1978 he was a volunteer with the Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP) in the USA. Upon his return to Germany, Oppermann studied law at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, where he passed the first state examination in 1983, and the second state exam in 1986. In 1985 he was elected deputy chairman of the Göttingen subdistrict branch of the SPD, going on to become chairman in 1989.
Following the 1990 Landtag elections, Oppermann entered the Lower Saxony state parliament, where he was spokesman on legal affairs for the SPD parliamentary group until 1998. That year, he was appointed state minister for science and culture. Following the SPD’s defeat at the 2003 Landtag elections, Oppermann took on the role of spokesman on economic policy for the parliamentary group.
In the 2005 Bundestag election, he was elected directly for the constituency of Göttingen with 46.8 percent of the first vote and defended this seat at the subsequent Bundestag elections. In 2006 he became parliamentary group spokesman for the committee of inquiry into the intelligence services, and First Parliamentary Secretary of the SPD group in 2007. From 2009 Oppermann was also a member of the Parliamentary Oversight Panel, before being elected chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in December 2013.
Thomas Oppermann is a father of four children and a member of the FC Bundestag, the Members’ football team.