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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.

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  • #EUmatters
2024 is the super election year: the European elections are one of the many elections taking place this year. Why is it important? And what activities is the VDMA planning for the 2024 European elections?

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Economic policy positions of the mechanical and plant engineering industry 2024

Discover the current economic policy positions 2024 of the VDMA . The focus is on topics such as drive in change, digitalization and international competitiveness.

Brief positions for politics and industry

In the daily political debate, good arguments are the be-all and end-all. In the VDMA's brief positions you will find short statements on current controversial issues.

"Door opener for the immigration of skilled workers"

Many companies do not have the capacity to recruit skilled workers from third countries. Having temporary work as a partner would be a real door opener, especially for smaller companies.

"Minister for the Economy must demand equal market access"

On his trip to China, Economics Minister Habeck should address the issues of overcapacity and market distortions. The unfair subsidization of Chinese companies must stop.

"Climate finance unfortunately postponed to Baku"

Unfortunately, no substantial progress was made on climate financing at the Bonn Climate Change Conference. Difficult negotiations now lie ahead at COP29 in Baku.

ESPR: Impact on mechanical and plant engineering

The new Ecodesign Regulation aims to regulate products sustainably throughout their entire life cycle - the mechanical and plant engineering sector will be directly affected by this.

"China must prevent a trade war"

China's government is now called upon to prevent a trade war with the EU before the new tariffs come into force. European industry finally needs a level playing field.

More ratifications by Member States are needed

More than 27.000 patents have been registered in a total of 17 Member States after one year. The VDMA is calling on the other EU Member States to also join the unitary patent system.

"Quick agreement on coalition of the center needed"

Europe now needs a centrist coalition and the competitiveness of European industry must be at the top of its agenda. The increase in votes for far-right parties in Europe is a cause for concern.

First sign that the alarm signals of the economy are being heard

Federal Economics Minister Habeck wants to suspend the German Supply Chain Act for two years. It would be a first sign that the concerns and alarm signals of the business community are finally being heard.

"Implement more bureaucracy reduction and investment promotion now"

The reduction of tax bureaucracy must finally make progress. The Annual Tax Act 2024 offers a great opportunity to create effective incentives for investment.

"Europe's freedom is also secured at the ballot box!"

Europe's freedom is also secured at the ballot box. That is why every single vote counts in the European elections. Populist and radical slogans endanger our security and prosperity.

"The traffic light for the labor market is yellow"

Employment figures are stagnating, while at the same time there is a persistent shortage of skilled workers. Therefore, reforms to stimulate the economy must be implemented urgently.

EU Packaging Regulation: Consequences for mechanical and plant engineering

The aim of the European regulation is to minimize the negative impact of packaging on the environment - with a high impact on the mechanical and plant engineering industry.

"We need new EU free trade agreements"

Industry needs more streamlined EU free trade agreements that are not only agreed but also come into force. Comprehensive agreements can usually not be realised quickly enough.

EU adopts new Ecodesign Regulation

The Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) has been adopted by the EU member states in a final stage. The European institutions have thus agreed on a new regulation in the spirit of sustainable product policy.

"Setting an important course for Germany as a business location"

Today, the Cabinet approved the amendment to the Carbon Dioxide Storage Act (KSpG) and the key points of the German government's carbon management strategy.

"Economic turnaround and contribution increases don't go together"

Significant burdens for future generations. That is the result of the German government's Pension Package II. Moreover, contribution increases and economic turnaround do not go together. There are other options here.

EIP-Agrar.NRW funding competition

Call for proposals for the European Innovation Partnership "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Strike statistics: Significant increase in conflict intensity

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) has published its strike statistics for 2023. Compared to the previous year, the number of working days lost has more than doubled. The number of affected companies more than tripled.

"Defending democracy and increasing competitiveness"

Europe must not lose its competitive edge. To achieve this, the European single market must be further developed and companies must be given more freedom again.

First positive developments on eDeclaration at last

Nine EU Member States have signed a declaration on the introduction of a common electronic form for reporting work assignments in Europe. VDMA welcomes this initiative.

"Flawed legislation design makes implementation impossible"

The CO2 border adjustment mechanism CBAM is flawed. Companies cannot implement the reporting obligations because the required data is not provided.

NRW - Economy in Transition" competition launched: Apply now!

NRW is looking for committed companies that meet challenges such as digitalization or globalization with new solutions and actively shape the economic transformation process in NRW.

"Don't define friendshoring too narrowly!"

"Friendshoring" as a new concept harbors risks. VDMA President Haeusgen and AGI President Rathke warn in the F.A.Z. against the idea of trading exclusively with friendly countries.

Study analysis on the economic damage of climate change

The PIK article published in the magazine "nature" calculates the economic losses of climate change up to the year 2100.

USA plans new tariffs on imports from China from August 1, 2024

New tariffs will be imposed on "green" products from China such as electric cars, batteries and solar cells, as well as on steel. A new exemption procedure for mechanical engineering products will also be launched.

Future Industry Dialogue advocates circular value creation

A successful circular economy needs the right framework - the fourth meeting of the Future Dialogue Industry on May 7, 2024 at the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs focused on the circular economy.

Business climate survey in Brazil, China and India - 1st half-year '24

The business situation in India and Brazil remains positive. Turnover increased significantly in both countries in 2023. The companies surveyed there also expect significant nominal sales growth in 2024.

The new report of the EU Commission

The EU-Commission has published a report on the application and implementation of the Posting of Workers Directive. An important signal, but the VDMA had expected more.

Development of working hours in 2023 - forecasts for 2024

In its summary report (06/2024), the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) has published updated figures on the development of working hours in 2023 as well as forecasts for 2024.

VDMA training document: Human rights due diligence obligations

Together with member companies, the VDMA has developed training documents from October 2023 to spring 2024 that can be used to raise awareness of human rights risks in your own company and supply chain.

Focus on the future

Research secures value creation and jobs in Germany and Europe. Politicians must create innovation-friendly framework conditions. Openness to technology is essential.

The EU must become faster and more pragmatic

The EU's free trade agreement with New Zealand is a glimmer of hope for the mechanical engineering industry. However, Europe's industry needs more commitment from the EU for free trade.

LkSG reporting obligation suspended until January 1, 2025

In view of the implementation of the CSRD Directive, BAFA is once again suspending the reporting obligation under the LkSG and will only check the existence of a report from January 1, 2025.

"It's not a success if we work less"

Working fewer hours sounds good, but it places a considerable burden on Germany as a business location and on social security funds. If Germany wants to make economic progress, people will have to work more and for longer.

"Relieve the burden on companies now!"

Excessively high taxes, too much bureaucracy and an inflexible labor market are weakening the economy and unsettling investors. The "economic turnaround" in Germany must relieve the burden on companies quickly.

Study analysis on future CO2 networks in Europe

The Joint Research Center of the European Commission has compared several possible development scenarios for an emerging CO2 transport network in Europe to identify positive and negative factors.

Amendment to the Climate Protection Act passed in the Bundestag

The Bundestag agrees on amendments to the German Climate Protection Act

"Innovations create a spirit of optimism"

At Hannover Messe 2024, the mechanical engineering industry sent a clear signal of its strength as a business location. Chancellor and Economics Minister want to strengthen free trade again - a positive sign.

The EU-Parliament agrees on its position

The plenary of the European Parliament has adopted its report on late payments. What are the most important elements in relation to payment terms? And what are the next steps?

Trade policy priorities of the next EU-Commission

The machinery sector is dependent on open markets. We call on the Commission to speed up the ongoing free trade negotiations and ensure that concluded agreements enter into force.

EU parties: often agree on the substance, disagree on the path

What do the election manifestos of the European parties say about the key issues for mechanical engineering, such as regulation, trade policy or climate policy? And where are the boundaries between the political camps?

"The turning point is not a local conflict in the Donbas"

The geopolitical wind is blowing in Europe's face, Europe must draw new strength from the community. Robert Habeck made it clear at the European Policy Reception that this also involves painful decisions. Reception of the VDMA at #HM24.

The resources for unleashing are available

Hannover Messe 2024 is taking place in turbulent economic times. In an interview with "FAZ", VDMA President Karl Haeusgen and ZVEI President Gunther Kegel explain why industrial SMEs are looking ahead with confidence.

Economic weakness is no reason for doomsday debates

Mechanical and plant engineering industry demands reforms for competitiveness. VDMA confirms 4 percent drop in production. Uncertainty inhibits investment. Manufacturing-X offers digital opportunities.

Why the European elections are important

VDMA is in regular contact with the Members of the European Parliament. The article explains how the European Parliament works and why the election in June is important.

Joint declaration of the "Alliance for Public Procurement Law"

The "Alliance FOR Public Procurement Law" is committed to simplified public procurement law, uniform nationwide procurement regulations and to preventing more and more public contracts from being removed from public procurement law.

"Industrial policy needs to change course"

The European mechanical engineering industry now expects a consistent strengthening of Europe as an industrial location. The Letta report must be the prelude to a fundamental reform of the EU internal market.

VDMA campaign for the 2024 European elections

2024 is the super election year: the European elections are one of the many elections taking place this year. Why is it important? And what activities is the VDMA planning for the 2024 European elections?

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.
PFAS - Indispensable for industrial processes
Industrially indispensable but facing a potential EU ban. Learn more about the reasons and consequences of the impending PFAS ban for machinery and plant engineering on the new VDMA expert topic page.
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.
Labor Market
Competitiveness, growth and job security require adaptability, value creation based on the division of labour and a flexible labour market. Digitalisation requires modern framework conditions for Work 4.0.
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.
European Policy
Europe is the home market for the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry, one of the largest industrial sectors in the EU economy. VDMA therefore stands for a competitive 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.
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

"We want to work together with politicians to find solutions that do justice to the interests of all parties involved. This is the only way the European and German economy can continue to build on its strengths and overcome its weaknesses."

Karl Haeusgen, President of VDMA

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

The relevance of the Net-Zero Industry Act for the mechanical and plant engineering industry
  • Machinery and equipment manufacturing is an essential part of net-zero value chains and crucial for increasing production capacity in the EU.
  • It is very positive that the potential of mechanical engineering and its contribution to achieving the net-zero target is being recognised.
  • Many VDMA members will fall within the scope of the NZIA and could, in principle, benefit from its privileges. However, it is not yet clear to what extent the benefits will be available to small and medium-sized companies in particular.
  • However, many of our members' activities do not fall directly within the scope of the NZIA. For example, if capacity and resources are prioritised by public authorities for net zero projects, this could be seen as discrimination.
  • It is therefore difficult to assess the overall impact and relevance of the NZIA for engineering companies.



Thu. 10.10.24 Fri. 11.10.24


  • Management

Every four years, the VDMA invites its member companies to the big general assembly – this year under the motto "Unique."

Every four years, the VDMA invites its member companies to the big general assembly – this year under the motto "Unique."

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.



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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.