Germany's last two hard coal mines were closed down at the end of 2018. This scheduled termination of an entire industry was a predetermined process that was initiated with the coal policy agreement of 7 February 2007 between the German federal government, the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, RAG and the IG BCE trade union and is being funded in line with the Coal Financing Act passed by the German Parliament on 20 December 2007.
The RAG-Stiftung, as the owner of RAG Aktiengesellschaft, was appointed to achieve the cooperatively formulated goals. These goals included the socially acceptable discontinuation of subsidized hard coal mining, which has now been successfully achieved. Former miners were promptly helped to obtain the qualifications they needed for re-entry into the labour market and informed of new job opportunities. Other employees were given socially acceptable early retirement offers.