Flags of the European Union in front of a house

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Federal Government adopts 2019 National Reform Programme

Federal Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier commented on the 2019 National Reform Programme (NRP) which was adopted today by the Federal Cabinet as follows:

“We are at a crucial stage in terms of economic policy. In particular, the unresolved trade conflicts and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit are weighing on both the global economy and on our domestic economy. We must now improve our competitiveness and, at global level, clearly advocate open and free trade which benefits all. The European Commission’s recommendations for increasing our competitiveness are something that we take very seriously in this context: we are investing at record levels in infrastructure, education and research and are focusing on forward-looking technologies such as artificial intelligence and innovative battery cells. We are improving the economic policy environment for private investment and are taking steps to relieve the burden on employees in a targeted manner. But we must not stop there: we must keep social spending below 40% in the long term, make faster progress in cutting red tape and adopt a concrete plan to abolish the solidarity surcharge for the remaining 10% of taxpayers. My draft for an industrial strategy sets out measures to improve the business environment for all companies and also includes proposals on how we can secure and improve our competitiveness in the long term”.

In its 2019 National Reform Programme, the German government responds to the European Commission’s Country Report for Germany of 27 February 2019, in which the European Commission assesses the implementation of Germany's country-specific recommendations. The NRP also reports on the progress made in implementing the Europe 2020 Strategy for Growth and Employment. The German Government will submit the 2019 National Reform Programme to the European Commission by the end of April.

Establishment of a National Productivity Committee

In order to leverage long-term potential for growth, the European Council has recommended that Member States set up national productivity committees. The committees will act as independent panels of experts and analyse how productivity and competitiveness can be improved. The German Government will commission the German Council of Economic Experts with carrying out this task.

Participation of Parliament, the Länder, business associations and social partners

Both the Federal Government and the European Commission are committed to ensuring that the National Reform Programme is supported by as many social stakeholders as possible. The Bundestag is therefore closely involved in the process. In addition, the Länder have contributed to preparing the report within their respective fields of responsibility. Business associations and the social partners were also given the opportunity to submit comments. The comments (in German) can be found here.

For the 2019 NRP, please click here (in German).