Level 1 header Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftspolitik

Economic & Social Policy
The VDMA's economic policy positions are derived from the conviction that competition, individual responsibility and open markets form the basis for overall economic success. We call for a regulatory-based economic policy that creates a good, reliable framework for investment and innovation. In this way, we offer technological solutions, create secure employment and ensure that it will continue to be attractive to be an entrepreneur in Germany and Europe.

Themenfeldgrafik Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik

Empfehlung Wirtschaftspolitik

  • VDMA statements on current controversial issues
In the daily political debate, convincing arguments are the be-all and end-all. In the VDMA's BriefPositions you will find short statements on current controversial issues. They supplement the "Common Economic Policy Positions of the German Engineering Industry".

Aus unseren Inhalten

Aus unseren Inhalten

Aus unseren Inhalten
Economic policy positions of the mechanical and plant engineering industry 2023

Traditionally at the beginning of the year, the VDMA revises and updates its economic policy positions.

Federal Minister of Economics Habeck travels to India

Federal Minister of Economics Habeck will travel to India from July 19-22, 2023 accompanied by a business delegation.

Current developments of tax-related topics

The event offered participants the opportunity to learn about and exchange information on current developments in tax law.

Trust-based working time must be preserved!

With his proposals on recording working time, Federal Labor Minister Heil is shooting far beyond the requirements of the European Court of Justice The Union's move is therefore the right one: trust-based working time must be preserved in any case.

Euro 7 would bring great strains and little return

Stopping the planned Euro 7 emissions standard would be remarkable and right. The standard would only bring barely perceptible environmental improvements, and at high cost. Instead, European industry must now concentrate all its efforts on achieving the CO2 targets.

Hardship assistance SME energy - Non-conducted energy sources

From now on, small and medium-sized enterprises, among others, can also apply for a subsidy in the state program "Hardship Assistance SME Energy" for non-conducted energy sources.

PFAS ban from VDMA's point of view: position paper published

Due to environmental and potential health hazards, the EU intends to restrict the broad group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the REACH regulation.

"Comprehensive PFAS ban would have devastating effect"

The EU's planned ban on the entire PFAS group of substances would endanger many industrial processes - especially the technologies of the energy transition. Many entrepreneurs from the mechanical and plant engineering sector are calling for the ban to be stopped and for a differentiated view of the substances.

VDMA Business Climate Survey in the BRIC Countries - 1st Half 2023

In India, the business situation continues to be assessed as good, in Brazil it has deteriorated somewhat from a high level, and in China the situation is worse than in the fall of 2022 despite the discontinuation of the Corona measures, according to the latest VDMA business climate survey in these foreign markets.

Coach2Change - Transformation coaching for employees

"Coach2Change" offers individual, workplace-based transformation coaching for employees in small and medium-sized enterprises. It is funded by the state of NRW and the EU.

Strengthen Europe - Limit Regulation!

The initiatives of the EU Commission are not enough to sustainably strengthen Europe as an industrial location. What is needed now is a strong impetus from the EU Competitiveness Council for greater and sustainable industrial competitiveness.

Facts and figures on the bureaucracy monster

VDMA is campaigning for less bureaucracy in work assignments in Europe. An overview of the facts and figures shows that there is still a long way to go before the Internal Market runs smoothly.

Support Program Mittelstand Innovativ & Digital (MID)

In order to provide companies in NRW with even more targeted support for digitization and resource efficiency, the Ministry of Economics has adapted and expanded the Mittelstand Innovativ & Digital funding program.

CBAM - CO2 border adjustment system is on its way

The EU Commission has launched the CO2 border adjustment system with Regulation EU 956/2023.

Russia places Uniper subsidiary under external management

Russian government creates legal basis for foreign management of Western companies and lays foundation for expropriations.

"EU Bubble talks - 30 minutes insights from Brussels": Web seminar series launched

Attention Europe enthusiasts! With our new web seminar series "EU Bubble talks - 30 minutes insights from Brussels" we take a look behind the scenes of European politics and take you with us.

First IRA Guidance on Local Content Published

U.S. Department of Treasury clarifies important interpretational boundaries of the IRA local content bonus.

VDMA calls for trade negotiations to be accelerated

The EU and India are conducting negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement. The first meeting of the EU-India Trade and Technology Council, which should give these negotiations further impetus, is now taking place.

Impending PFAS ban - massive consequences for mechanical engineering and plant construction

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds (PFAS) are currently polarizing opinion. The EU has come out in favor of a blanket ban on around 10,000 chemicals in this group of substances. At first glance, a well-intentioned approach to protecting the environment, but the announcement puts important industries at risk.

VDMA participates in public consultation on the first product groups under the new Ecodesign Regulation

The VDMA participated in a public consultation of the European Commission on the first product groups under the new Ecodesign Regulation for Sustainable Products (ESPR) on 11 May 2023.

Mechanical engineering increases research spending

Companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector increased their spending on research and development again in 2021. However, the pre-Corona level has not yet been reached - an expansion of the tax research allowance is needed.

Private investment instead of higher social spending

Rejection of false desires is called for: The high tax revenues of the public coffers must not be channeled into higher social spending; instead, more tax funds are needed for better investment conditions in Germany.

On the draft of a German energy efficiency law

On April 18, 2023, the German cabinet presented a draft law to increase energy efficiency and amend the Energy Services Act. An overview of the current status.

Costs and approval times are a massive burden on the location

Clear need for action on transport routes and approval procedures. Only if the transport infrastructure is right can goods reach the customer and the place of use. This also applies in particular to large and heavy technologies for implementing the energy transition.

AI Act must not lead to AI blockade

Everyone is talking about AI, but at the same time numerous questions regarding the legal framework remain unanswered. The current debate in the EU Parliament on AI legislation is therefore important, but it must not lead to an overall AI blockade.

Minister Madsen meets machine builder

The mechanical and plant engineering industry in Schleswig-Holstein demands a clear commitment to Schleswig-Holstein as an industrial location from politicians and expects support in reducing bureaucracy and setting sensible framework conditions.

Lower Saxony Minister of Economics at Hannover Fair

The Hannover Messe, as the world's largest industrial fair, is a popular meeting place for the exchange between business and politics.

VDMA Calls on EU and U.S. to Permanently End Steel and Aluminum Trade Dispute

The EU and U.S. should finally bury the hatchet on this half-decade-long trade dispute that has triggered uncertainty and increased costs for manufacturers in both markets.

The privileges for net-zero technologies

As part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the EU Commission has published the Net-Zero Industry Act to boost green manufacturing in Europe. Which technologies will be favoured? And where will the funding come from?

Challenges with large and heavy transports

Manufacturers of large and heavy goods are increasingly faced with increasing requirements to obtain special permits to use certain routes.

The EU Commission's proposals for new patent rules

The EU-Commission published on 27 April 2023 new proposals for standard essential patents, compulsory licensing and supplementary protection certificates. What are the main elements?

Drastically subsidized industrial electricity price is misguided

A drastic across-the-board subsidy of the electricity price for energy-intensive companies is a mistake. This is because watering-can subsidies are a burden on federal finances and thus on the economy, including mechanical and plant engineering, as well as on citizens.

Training skilled workers in Africa creates win-win situation

Skilled workers for industry are a key issue in Germany and worldwide. In Africa, the VDMA has been involved in vocational education & training since 2016, together with local players. In the sense of local value creation and qualified skilled workers for international operations.

Machinery for recycling and processing recycled materials

VDMA and its members support the transition to a functioning circular economy. The textile machinery industry is an indispensable partner in this transition. The following list provides an overview of the products and services of VDMA members that make this possible.

Use tax policy to strengthen locations

The mechanical and plant engineering sector is particularly challenged by the transformation: It must not only provide the technological solutions, but also invest in new components and plants itself so that Germany can master the energy transition and digitalization. The intention of the Federal Ministry of Finance to focus on investment-friendly framework conditions is correct in approach. The announcement must be followed by concrete reform steps in tax law.

New cooperation between VDMA and GREENTECH FESTIVAL

We are pleased to announce our new cooperation with GREENTECH FESTIVAL - Europe's largest green business event.

Mechanical engineering meets deputies

The visits of members of the European Parliament and the Bundestag, organized by the VDMA, offer companies the opportunity to describe the effects of political initiatives in a practical way.

Correct skilled labor immigration law!

The planned Skilled Workers Immigration Act is too bureaucratic to attract a sufficient number of skilled workers from third countries to the country. This is because it ignores the question of how skilled workers willing to immigrate can be brought together with domestic SMEs.

Parliamentary breakfast with the Free Voters in the Bavarian State Parliament

Politics, business, breakfast: VDMA Bavaria in dialogue with the Free Voters in the Bavarian Parliament

Flat glass - life cycle and recycling

How can we succeed in improving the eco-balance of the flat glass industry? The industry working group at the Glass Technology Forum presented possible solutions.

European due diligence proposal overwhelms businesses

The proposal for the European supply chain law overtaxes medium-sized companies in particular, which have strong international networks. The law must be limited to what companies can really control: their own business, subsidiaries and direct suppliers.

Medium-sized company SONOTEC shows effects of EU legislation

VDMA Ost regularly exchanges ideas with politicians: at appointments in ministries or at member companies. Recently, members of the Green Party informed themselves about the consequences of EU legislation.

The modernization of EU digital company law

The EU-Commission adopted on 29 March 2023 a proposal for a Directive to extend the use of digital tools and processes in company law. What are the main elements?

Minister Heil overshoots the mark with the digital time clock

The proposals on electronic recording of working time unduly restrict employee self-determination. This is an affront to employers and employees alike, who have been using this tool for decades.

Strengthening Europe as an industrial location - but how?

From Clean-Tech to free trade agreements and subsidies, European industrial policy was the focus of the EU policy reception with Deputy Director General Maive Rute of the EU Commission.

Recording of working hours: draft law presented

The German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) submitted a draft bill on the legal regulation of working time recording for departmental approval on 18 April 2023.

30 years of EU Single Market - a success story

Europe knows many success stories, but none is as important for the economy and society as the EU Single Market. Reforms are nevertheless urgently needed - otherwise there is a risk of overregulation. 

Competitiveness and innovation at risk

The EU Commission published a proposal for a product liability directive on September 28, 2022. What are the main concerns from the perspective of the mechanical engineering industry?

Brussels meets Washington DC

VDMA organised in March 2023 meetings with the EU-Commission to advocate a EU-US Mutual Recognition Agreement on Conformity Assessment in our sector.

Harmonized European regulations for the road safety of mobile machinery

On March 30, the EU Commission presented a proposal for EU type approval for road safety-related requirements for self-propelled machinery.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
Mechanical and plant engineering figures and charts
The statistically recordable world of mechanical and plant engineering - newly presented in interactive charts and tables. Find out about all the key economic figures for the industry and, in particular detail, about the development of the EU Single Market.
VDMA Brief on Politics and Business
In the daily political debate, convincing arguments are the be-all and end-all. In the VDMA's BriefPositions you will find short statements on current controversial issues.
Standort Deutschland
Many medium-sized mechanical engineering companies have regional roots and are highly competitive internationally from their home region. To ensure that this remains the case, excellent site conditions and a good industrial policy are absolutely essential.
Technological Sovereignty
Technological sovereignty as a goal is gaining importance regarding the changed geopolitical situation. International division of labor and global trade are our drivers of prosperity and are existential, especially for the mechanical engineering sector.
Industry 4.0 needs easily available, secure and consistent data networking. Manufacturing-X is designed to make this possible. The goal is to establish a data ecosystem that enables trustworthy data exchange between companies based on open standards and offers companies digital sovereignty.
For a united and strong Europe
For the mechanical engineering industry, as one of the largest industrial sectors in the EU economy, Europe is a home market. Therefore, VDMA is committed to a strong and capable EU.
Green Deal
With the "Green Deal", the European Commission has presented a far-reaching program for more climate and environmental protection in the EU in 2019. The central goal is to become climate neutral by 2050, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% compared to 1990 emission levels and to further promote the circular economy in Europe.
Europe and China
The perception of China in Germany and Europe has changed in recent years. Firstly, China is an important economic partner and also of significant importance for the German mechanical engineering sector. On the other hand, there is growing recognition at economic and political level in Germany and the European Union (EU) that the existing imbalance with China, for example in market access, is no longer acceptable.
VDMA Infoportal Ukraine War
The machinery and plant engineering sector condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. The VDMA supporta its member companies in word and deed in order to master the many challenges that are arising.
The transitional arrangement between the EU and the UK expired at the end of December 2020. There will certainly be changes concerning trade with the UK. What do mechanical and plant engineering companies need to anticipate?
Securing skilled workers
Almost 60 percent of employees in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are skilled workers. Alongside engineers, they shape the role of mechanical and plant engineering as a decisive enabler for green technologies.

Level 1 Themenwolke


To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Social Policy

"The bureaucratic burden on companies is already immense and very personnel-intensive. The EU threatens to impose further excessive reporting obligations, where even threshold values are of no use to small and medium-sized enterprises."

Henrik Schunk, VDMA Vice-President

Auf den Punkt Zahl Gesellschaftspolitik



The Supply Chain Duty of Care Act (LkSG) came into force on 1 January 2023. It applies from this date to companies based in Germany with 3,000 or more employees and from 1 January 2024 to companies with 1,000 or more employees.

Source: BMWK

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Gesellschaftspolitik

Sustainability obligations of companies. VDMA calls for a revision of the position:
  • The scope of the law must be limited to internationally recognised standards for human rights violations.
  • The emerging countries should be in line with the German Supply Chain Act.
  • Limit the scope of the Directive to the activities that a company can control, namely those of its own company, its subsidiaries and its direct first-tier suppliers.
  • Civil liability is an unnecessary duplication of existing national provisions.

Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
VDMA Berlin Office
For VDMA, representing the political interests of its members is a core service. The capital office sees itself as a mediator not only for the interests of our members, but also for contacts between politics and companies.
VDMA European Office Brussels
The European Office is a bridge between business and politics. We inform our member companies about relevant political developments. We are a competent contact for EU decision-makers.
VDMA Regional Associations - Your Local Partners
No matter how big your company is and what solution you offer: We are there for you! With individual consulting, practical events, a comprehensive network and good connections to politics.
EU Bubble Talks – 30 minutes insights from Brussels
Whether it's the Green Deal, industrial strategy or digitization initiatives - have you always wanted to know more about the activities of the EU Commission and EU Parliament and how they affect the mechanical engineering industry? Then participate in our regular web seminar which is held in English and immerse yourself in the "Brussels Bubble" with us.
The VDMA ShortPositions are published monthly and cover current political topics. We hereby intend to contribute to the exchange between politics and business.


Newsletter EU-Politics
Our monthly newsletter informs you about all social and economic policy issues that are discussed, decided on, and passed at the EU level.
Brief report by the IMPULS Foundation
As a complement to the classic studies of the IMPULS Foundation, the organization's brief reports provide a quick, initial assessment of current issues - without compromising on scientific standards and utility for readers.
Events on EU policy
VDMA regularly organizes and supports political events on EU policy. Follow the European policy debates and better understand what framework conditions are coming for mechanical engineering.



Asset Publisher

VDMA partners

Bündnis „Zukunft der Industrie“
Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V.
German Economic Institute

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

3,600 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.