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.

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  • 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".

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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.

"Location conditions are to blame for the shortage of skilled workers"

The statement by Fahimi, Chairwoman of the German Trade Union Confederation, is not correct. After all, it is not the working conditions that are causing the shortage of skilled workers. It is the location conditions.

Growth Opportunities Act - agreement in the Mediation Committee without the Union

Although the federal states reached an agreement on the Growth Opportunities Act at the meeting of the Mediation Committee on February 21, 24, this agreement was not supported by the CDU/CSU.

Support for Ukraine needs to be intensified

The European peace and economic order are at stake in Ukraine. Europe has a duty to counter this with its own armaments capacities. To this end, the corresponding funds must be prioritized in the budgets.

Hanging game harms the innovation location!

The political impasse over the Growth Opportunities Act must be brought to an end. Improvements to the research allowance contribute directly to the competitiveness and future viability of companies.

"NZIA fails to promote manufacturing technologies"

The Net Zero Industry Act misses the opportunity to cover all important industrial value chains. Once again, companies will be burdened with bureaucracy.

"Major adjustments must now be made"

Germany cannot afford a prolonged period of weak investment and growth. It now needs a major economic policy overhaul that will generate long-term confidence and thus new investment across the board.

"Poverty accelerator for Germans"

The AfD wants to be the party of the "little man", but its economic policy would have the opposite effect - and would be a threat to Germany as a business location. VDMA President Haeusgen analyses the pitfalls of the AfD's plans in the Table.media podcast.

Federal funding: Energy and resource efficiency

The federal government's promotional loan provides a high level of funding for particularly climate-friendly components, systems and solutions and a repayment subsidy of up to 60 percent.

"The refusal of some countries is unacceptable!"

The Growth Opportunities Act would benefit the entire economy and quickly have an innovative effect. It must therefore not be held hostage for party tactical and irrelevant reasons.

Our self-image and your contact persons

We, the education department of the VDMA, support our members in all matters relating to the recruitment of junior staff, schools, training, studies and further education and serve as a bridge to education policy. Here you will find the right contact person for your topic and your question.

Joint statement by European business organisations

VDMA is a co-signatory of a joint statement by European business organisations calling for a deepening of the Interal Market.

Short-time work on the rise - core workforce to be retained

On balance, employment in the mechanical and plant engineering sector increased again slightly in 2023, but the trend for 2024 is heading in a different direction. Far-reaching reforms to the labor market are now needed.

Training contracts: Text form planned instead of written form

On 7 February 2020, the Federal Cabinet passed the Vocational Training Validation and Digitization Act (BVaDiG).

Supply Chain Requirement Specification: Component Manufacturer

VDMA Informatik publishes the requirements specification for component manufacturers

"Radical master plan needed to deepen the Single Market"

For too long, the EU has politically neglected the internal market, even though it contributes significantly to the competitiveness of industry in Europe. Industry is therefore calling for a radical master plan to deepen and strengthen the single market.

"EU Supply Chain Directive needs a fresh start"

The EU Supply Chain Directive pursues an important goal, but cannot be implemented in practice. Eight major business organizations therefore reject the current draft and are calling for a legislative proposal that actually works in practice.

"Competitiveness needs new dynamics, too!"

Germany and Europe urgently need to be modernized in order to regain their international competitiveness. Overall, market forces and competition must be strengthened.

How a better EU supply chain directive should be designed

The requirements of the EU Supply Chain Directive would go well beyond German law - and clearly overburden small and medium-sized industrial companies. There are ways to make this seemingly well-intentioned regulation practicable.

VDMA feedback on the EU Commission's consultation

In February 2024, VDMA submitted its feedback to a public consultation of the EU Commission on a report on the General Data Protection Regulation.

China: Cars should also use eFuels in future

In contrast to the EU, China wants to remain open to different technologies in road traffic and, in addition to battery-powered electric vehicles, is also focusing on combustion engines powered by eFuels.

EU sanctions against Russia - 12th sanctions package

The EU's 12th Russia sanctions package was adopted shortly before Christmas 2023. Here is an attempt at a summary.

"Ressource.NRW" call for funding

The Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia is providing funding for innovations in the circular economy with "Ressource.NRW". The submission deadline for the first round ends on April 1, 2024.

Innovation competition "NeueWege.IN.NRW"

Submission deadline for the second round of the innovation competition "NeueWege.IN.NRW - Innovative Mobility and Logistics" funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is April 30, 2024

Job turbo for the integration of refugees - an overview

A job turbo is intended to improve the labor market integration of refugees. To this end, refugees are to attend appointments at the job center more frequently and be placed with companies even with limited language skills.

Will the Supply Chain Directive fail?

Vote on 09.02.2024 in the European Council postponed due to opposition to the European Supply Chain Directive, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)

"More focus on competitiveness for the EU 2040 climate targets"

The EU's interim climate target for 2040 is politically correct, but must not lead to even more regulation and hurdles for companies. Simplifying the Green Deal must therefore be a priority.

Germany needs a jolt

Germany in 2024: an assessment with light and shade. VDMA President Karl Haeusgen warns of far-right movements that threaten the location. At the same time, he calls for more freedom and less bureaucracy.

"The agreement comes not a minute too soon!

The German government's power plant strategy has the right broad technological approach. The industry now needs clarity on when and how investments in the necessary gas-fired power plants can begin.

Tips for defending against Russian procurement attempts

Russia is trying by all means to covertly procure sanctioned goods in the EU. This creates a risk of unintentionally becoming involved in sanctions violations. VDMA Foreign Trade provides tips on how to react to this.

Agreement on conformity assessment is needed by mid-2024

The 5th meeting of the EU-U.S. TTC took place on 30 January 2024. The window of opportunity to reach a Mutual Recognition Agreement on conformity assessment for our sector is closing.

Research and innovation in the glass industry

Current research projects in the flat glass industry and innovation management were the topics of the IAK Research & Technology on November 13/14, 2023.

Competence Center Climate & Energy - Study analyses

Here you will find links to our publications that have already been published. We make the latest analyses available exclusively to VDMA member companies via our mailing list.

Advice centers for the employment of severely disabled persons

Since January 1, 2024, employers who do not reach the quota of severely disabled employees have been subject to higher rates of the compensatory levy.

Mechanical engineering increases innovation expenditure

Companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector spent €17.2 billion on innovation in 2022. According to the new ZEW Innovation Survey, growth compared to the previous year amounted to 2%.

"Reducing bureaucracy would be the best measure for more employment"

The mechanical engineering sector is desperately looking for workers. In order to increase employment, bureaucracy and regulations that hinder employment must be reduced. Improvements to the law on proof of employment and a relaxation of the law on fixed-term contracts are necessary.

Methane emissions regulation affects gas & LNG imports from 2027

On November 15, 2023, the EU Council and the EU Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the text of the new EU Methane Emissions Regulation.

"Deadlock in negotiations has already lasted far too long!"

The lack of mutual recognition of certifications for machinery is a major problem in transatlantic trade. Negotiations on such an agreement have been going on for far too long - the deadlock in the TTC must finally be broken.

"The economic policy of the AfD and other extremist parties would ruin Germany as a business location"

Germany needs open borders, a welcoming culture for foreign skilled workers and a firm anchoring in Europe and the eurozone. The VDMA Executive Committee (Karl Haeusgen, Henrik Schunk, Bertram Kawlath) and the VDMA Executive Board (Thilo Brodtmann, Hartmut Rauen, Dr. Ralph Wiechers) comment on the economic policy ideas of the AfD and other extremist parties.

"EU rules should boost investment, not hinder it!"

The EU wants to regulate direct investments in the EU and European investments abroad more strictly. However, this must not lead to even more burdens for companies or even stop important investments.

"Stop the impractical EU Supply Chain Directive now!"

Well-intentioned, but badly done: the planned Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive would overburden in particular SMEs in their daily business and lead to European companies withdrawing from many countries.

VDMA-demands for the trade negotiations

VDMA has published its key demands for the ongoing negotiations between the EU and Indonesia on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

VDMA position paper calls for facilitation of EU posting of workers

In the heavily export-oriented mechanical and plant engineering sector, skilled workers are active in EU cross-border postings every day. The patchwork of national reporting obligations hinders the functioning of the Internal Market.

"Germany as a business and industry location needs fresh input"

Germany and Europe urgently need reforms to ensure their competitiveness. The VDMA lists the twelve most important fields of action in its Economic Policy Positions 2024.

European Voice of Mining Equipment Suppliers

The circumstances of recent years have put the issue of raw material securing for Germany and Europe increasingly on the political agenda and revived interest in mining in Europe.

Still no debureaucratization at labour law

The Federal Ministry of Justice has presented a draft bill for a law to reduce bureaucracy. The employment law part is disappointing with minimal changes to the Evidence Act.

"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.

NRW mechanical engineering sector expects significant slowdown

The VDMA NRW expects sales to fall by 4% in real terms in 2024. This forecast reflects the negative trend in demand over the past year.

Differences in earnings between employees covered and not covered by collective agreements

A recent analysis by the German Economic Institute (IW) has examined the extent to which differences in earnings can be attributed to the employer's collective bargaining coverage or to other structural differences.

Changes in the labor market from 1 January 2024

At the beginning of 2024, a number of changes came into force in the area of the labor market. Further changes will follow in the course of the year.

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
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

"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.



Mon. 22.04.24 Fri. 26.04.24

  • Digitalization & Industrie 4.0

Experience the technologies that our industry is using to drive the digital transformation and decarbonization at Hannover Messe 2024! Over 4,000 companies will present pioneering solutions from mechanical and plant engineering, the electrical and digital industries and the energy sector. Numerous dialog formats with representatives from politics, industry, science, media and society will present and discuss challenges and solutions for the intelligent and carbon-neutral production of tomorrow.

Places available

Mon. 18.03.24 Tue. 19.03.24

  • Green Transition

Bright ideas for navigating geopolitical challenges and the green transformation.

Places available

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.