Former Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) is retiring from active politics around twelve months after leaving office. According to information from the Saarbrücker Zeitung (Wednesday edition), the 56-year-old will return his Bundestag mandate.

He wanted to announce his decision to the SPD parliamentary group this Tuesday, the newspaper reports. The Saarlander wants to sign his declaration of renunciation of mandate this Wednesday with the President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas (SPD).

According to information from the Saarbrücker Zeitung, Maas will join a Berlin law firm as a partner in January. He is a qualified lawyer, but has not previously worked as a lawyer. The SPD politician came to the Saarland state parliament in 1994, became State Secretary for the Environment in 1996, Minister for the Environment in Saarland in 1998, after the end of the SPD government he became opposition leader in the state parliament and later also SPD state leader. He stood three times unsuccessfully as his party’s candidate for the office of prime minister in state elections.

From 2012 to 2013 he was Economics Minister in a grand coalition in Saarland before taking over the post of Federal Minister of Justice for the SPD in the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU). In 2018 he became Federal Foreign Minister, succeeding Sigmar Gabriel (SPD). The office fell to the Greens when the traffic light government was formed in 2021. Maas has been a member of the Bundestag since then. However, he had publicly stated in the past that he did not want to “retire as a politician”.

Maas won his direct mandate in 2021 in the Saarlouis constituency against the then Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU). The state chairwoman of the Young Socialists, Emily Vontz, is now taking his place in the Bundestag from the state list of the SPD. The political science and French student from Losheim am See was elected last September at the age of 21 to head the SPD youth organization in Saarland.