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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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  • Bundestag election 2021
The German Bundestag elections in 2021 will mark the culmination of the super election year. Until then, the parties will be jockeying for program and position. The VDMA is providing critical and constructive support for the democratic contest under #btw21.

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From our Articles
Economic policy positions of the mechanical and plant engineering industry 2021

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

Dealing with China as a competitor

The VDMA's regulatory policy sounding board discussed how to deal with China as a competitor and new challenges, and adopted theses.

Holiday reduction outside short-time work "zero" inadmissible

Employer is not entitled to reduce recreational leave in proportion to the annual working days in case of short-time work, if there is no short-time work "zero" at the basis.

Consultation of the EU-Commission on the Data Act

The EU-Commission has launched a consultation on the Data Act. This law, which is to be passed this year, aims among other things to facilitate access to company data.

Sharing of costs in case of cancellation of hotel rooms due to pandemic

The Higher Regional Court of Cologne (Case No.: 1 U 9/21) has ruled that a cancellation of hotel rooms booked before the outbreak of the pandemic justifies a 50/50 split of the booking costs.

Using lifts safely even in a pandemic

Millions of people use elevators every day - but how safe is it in times of a pandemic? The latest episode of the VDMA's industry podcast is about infection-free use of lifts during the Corona pandemic. Even simple measures can make elevators safer for people.

Standardization Textile on Microplastics and Circular Economy

Under the umbrella theme of sustainability, the international standardisation in the textile sector on microplastics and the circular economy is repositioning itself and additionally expanding its radius of action.

New EU - Strategy "Circular Textile Economy

Under the umbrella of the EU Green Deal, the European Commission intends to develop a strategy on "Circular Textile Economy". A strategy adopted by the Commission is expected towards the end of 2021.

A turning point in transatlantic trade relations

The EU-US summit is a turning point in transatlantic trade relations. The Boeing and Airbus subsidy dispute will find a solution and the planned "Trade and Technology Council" can ensure that the leading industrial standards of tomorrow are developed.

Focus on open markets and global partnerships

The EU Commission is drawing its lessons from the Corona pandemic. From the VDMA's point of view, it is clear that only open markets and global partnerships contribute to economic recovery.

Entry USA - New criteria for issuing an NIE

As of May 27, 2021, the U.S. Department of State has expanded opportunities for business travel to the United States. Travel opportunities for VDMA member companies will improve significantly as a result.

New composition – demands formulated for politics

At the beginning of June 2021, the board members of the VDMA East drew up an issues paper with concrete demands for the VDMA and politicians. And: One comrade-in-arms has left the board.

VDMA East places urgent issues at the top of the agenda

Climate, free trade and digital transformation are three major topics for the VDMA. But eastern German companies are still struggling with completely different problems, as the conversation with the VDMA President showed.

Successfully populate SCIP database

Since the beginning of the year, suppliers in the EU have been obliged to report products containing substances of very high concern.

"Seizing the Summit Momentum and Advancing the Trade Agenda"

The EU-US summit in Brussels must be used to advance the transatlantic trade agenda. To this end, VDMA President Karl Haeusgen calls on EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis to conclude agreements with the US on the elimination of tariffs on industrial goods and on conformity assessment.

EU Chemicals Strategy and ECHA 5-Year Report

The EU Green Deal sets a high goal for a pollution-free environment. The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability of October 2020 is one of the implementations of this goal.

Reform of Dual-Use Regulation: Hardly any impact on mechanical engineering

Brussels has reformed the export control of dual-use goods. For mechanical engineering, hardly anything changes, but: The new version of the Dual-Use Regulation has - once again - become more complicated.

Supply chain bill is political fiasco

The German supply chain law puts companies under general suspicion. What is needed now is a better European regulation that actually protects human rights without unilaterally harming companies.

News from Brussels: new web seminar series starts

Attention all those interested in Europe! 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.

Shortage of skilled personnel worsens again

The majority of companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector are planning to recruit new staff. The situation has improved for young talent as the companies plan to expand their vocational training and dual study programs. Companies, on the other hand, are threatened with personnel bottlenecks that could endanger their innovative thrust.

The right labour market policy for greater competitiveness

Competitiveness, sustainable growth and long-term employment security require adaptability to a dynamic environment and a flexible labour market.

VDMA Initiative "Skilled Workers for Africa

Africa is a continent of opportunities. In order to take advantage of them, qualified local skilled workers are particularly in demand. They are the engine for the development and diversification of the economy.

Egypt introduces new customs system

Egypt Customs introduces a new system for pre-registration of cargo information called "Advanced Cargo Information (ACI)" with mandatory effect from 01/07/2021.

Company master data register simplifies bureaucracy

The Bundestag is currently debating the government's draft for a company master data register and the introduction of a uniform national business number for companies.

Power Talk Floating Offshore Wind

In this Power Talk, Mr. James shares his insights on the future potential of Floating Offshore Wind

SMEs foot the bill for EU digital regulation

The EU telecommunications ministers are discussing the digital future of the European Union. The EU's ambitious plans for platforms, artificial intelligence and data are good in principle. However, they must not be at the expense of small and medium-sized enterprises.

VDMA calls for access to public procurement of third markets

VDMA welcomes the agreement on IPI in the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States. Companies can now get better access to the public procurement market in third countries.

Further develop the rules of the internal market

The uncoordinated border closures during the Corona pandemic have shown that the internal market is not crisis-proof. It must be strengthened, which is why a new Schengen strategy is the right thing to do. Member States must seek European solutions.

Further regulations jeopardize positive development on the labor market

The rising demand for labour reflects the hope of companies that they will be able to leave the crisis behind them in the foreseeable future.

Study: New competence requirements due to digital transformation

Your support is needed: On behalf of the VDMA, the Kienbaum Institute @ ISM is conducting a study aimed at identifying the new competence requirements resulting from the digital transformation in our member companies.

Framework agreement between Switzerland and the EU fails

After the United Kingdom, the next rich industrialised country has now distanced itself from the European Union. After seven years of negotiations, Switzerland has let the planned framework agreement with the EU fall through. In the coming years, this could also have an impact on the mechanical engineering industry.

Mechanical engineering needs a unified foreign trade policy

Germany and the EU must be strengthened by an active foreign trade policy. This requires the negotiation of new free trade agreements with important third countries, but also better coordination of ministries and authorities.

#btw21: Foreign trade policy for more trade

Open markets and free trade secure growth and employment. Despite the impact of the Corona pandemic on global trade flows and occupational mobility, the German mechanical and plant engineering industry exports more than 80 percent of its components, machinery and equipment. The most important sales markets besides the EU are China and the USA - with an upward trend. The export business is threatened by the increasing protectionism worldwide. It is therefore now time to rethink foreign trade policy.

Power Talk: Climate Neutral 2045? The new climate protection law from the VDMA's point of view

In this Power Talk the climate protection law is evaluated from the point of view of the VDMA.

Up to 10 million euros: Subsidies for energy efficiency

Which subsidies are available for energy efficiency and what do I have to look out for when applying?

Supply chain law remains an imposition

The Supply Chain Act remains a bureaucratic imposition for companies, especially as it is not clearly defined how they can sufficiently fulfil their duty of care.

Rooted in Germany, at home abroad

Are you planning to expand your sales to third countries? VDMA Foreign Trade supports and accompanies you into future markets that have potential.

Cooperation in teaching: New good practice examples in the Maschinenhaus Toolbox

Do you always have to reinvent the wheel? Not necessarily . The Maschinenhaus Toolbox offers a comprehensive collection of good practice examples that can serve as orientation for the further development of university teaching. The latest additions focus on corporate cooperation in higher education teaching.

More emissions trading instead of small-scale regulation

The mechanical and plant engineering sector supports the European climate targets and also the proposed addition to emissions trading for the buildings and transport sectors. However, the path to the climate target must be flexible.

Changes in tax law: changed assessment bases

The implementation of legislative projects - especially in tax law - means new or changed assessment bases for the entrepreneurial tax burden for the companies.

Bundestag passes reforms to KStG and AStG

In its second and third reading, the Bundestag today passed a law to modernise corporate tax law and the law to implement the anti-tax avoidance directive.

Company participation in the development of skilled workers in Africa

African markets offer a wide range of market potential that has so far remained largely untapped by German companies - the Africa export quota of the German mechanical and plant engineering industry was just two percent in 2020. Many best practice examples show that entering African markets through vocational training and further education is a promising approach.

VDMA welcomes agreement on Covid certificate

The EU has agreed on the introduction of an EU Covid certificate. This will facilitate freedom of movement, which is an advantage when companies send technicians to other EU member states, for example.

Bundestag passes company modernization law

On 21 May 2021, the Bundestag passed the Act to Promote Works Council Elections and Works Council Work in a Digital Working World ("Works Council Modernisation Act").

New R&D survey

In April, the "Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft" started its new survey on research and development (R&D) in the industry in 2020. The results are highly significant.

The Commission proposal for harmonised AI rules

The EU Commission has published a proposal for a regulation to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). AI in machines may also be affected as "high risk AI", for example when it comes to safety components.

Despite criticism: State investment audit tightened up

Many affected machine builders have not yet noticed: anyone who produces even a small special component for armaments has been subject to investment auditing since May 1, 2021.

Injecting new life into the World Trade Organization (WTO)

For the German mechanical engineering industry, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is an important factor in ensuring that access to international markets continues to be as unhindered as possible.

Digital sovereignty vs. overregulation: European digital policy in the area of tension

EU Bubble Talks 03 June 8:30 to 9:00am

Facts and figures: Research and innovation in mechanical engineering

In our theme publication you will find facts and figures on research and development, innovations and patents in mechanical engineering.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Social Policy

"With complex products like a machine, we are talking about hundreds of suppliers. It's completely unrealistic to assume that SMEs can completely screen these structures - they can't even if their employees did nothing else."

Thilo Brodtmann, VDMA Executive Director

Auf den Punkt Zahl Gesellschaftspolitik


billion euros

will need to be invested in machinery and plants for the powertrain in order to manufacture the approximately 1.4 million fuel cell cars expected across Europe in 2040.

Source: VDMA

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Gesellschaftspolitik

Doubling non-tariff trade barriers would, according to a report by IfW Kiel:
  • lead to a decline in real income in Germany of up to 6.9 percent per year
  • cause a drop in production in the German mechanical engineering sector of up to 20 percent
  • result in more bureaucracy and national unilateral action in the event that civil liability is imposed in Germany in cases of misconduct by independent third parties abroad

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Other VDMA Services
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.
Energy Efficiency Networks
Following the motto of energy-efficient networking, the VDMA supports the improvement of energy efficiency and therefore invites its members to participate in energy efficiency networks free of charge. This networking work focuses on a voluntary and unbureaucratic transfer of experience. It is conducted four times a year at the scheduled networking meetings.
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.


Markets & Economy Committee
Ausschuss Gesamtwirtschaftliche Fragen

The regular, practical assessment of the international economic situation of the mechanical engineering industry in the committee is an indispensable contribution to the VDMA's economic analysis, including short-term forecasts. In addition, the committee members support the VDMA's economic policy commitment by interpreting and discussing the content of economic developments and interrelationships in a political context.



Bodo Finger

Maschinenfabrik Mönninghoff


Wiechers, Ralph Dr.

Tax Committee
In the Tax Committee, mainly heads of the tax/finance departments from the member companies discuss pending legislative projects and shape the VDMA's tax policy work


Petra Klingenstein

Hitachi ABB Power Grids AG


Meißner, Ulrich

Markets & Economy Committee
Ausschuss Außenwirtschaft

The Foreign Trade Committee exchanges views on professional issues and tasks relating to exports. The members represent a cross-section of the mechanical engineering industry. They are part of the company's management or play a key role in exports. The Foreign Trade Committee mainly deals with market strategies for individual countries and regions as well as export issues such as trade policy and foreign trade policy.




Rainer Hundsdörfer

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG


Ackermann, Ulrich

Sustainability & Energy Committee
Ausschuss Klima- und Energiepolitik
The Committee's areas of responsibility are in particular: - issues relating to climate and energy policy in general - Questions concerning the political framework conditions for the fields of energy conversion and energy efficiency in particular In doing so, the committee takes both an outward (politics, ministries, BDI, public, etc.) and an inward (VDMA organization) perspective of the tasks.


Daniel Chatterjee

Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH


Zelinger, Matthias

Legal Committee
The VDMA Legal Committee is the traditional central body of the VDMA Legal Department, currently consisting of about 65 heads of legal departments of member companies. In the VDMA Legal Committee, legal topics relevant to mechanical engineering are discussed in a dedicated exchange, legal problems are identified and VDMA positions are co-drafted. The committee, which meets once a year, deals with ongoing topics (reform of the General Terms and Conditions) as well as current legal issues (digitalization, etc.) and offers members space for the important exchange of experience.


Jörg Kondring

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA

Research, Innovation & Technology Committee
Forschung und Innovation
The focus is on innovation policy, engineering and skilled worker training, and technology trends. At the same time, this VDMA top committee acts as a link in politics and science.


Stefan Rinck

Singulus Technologies AG


Rauen, Hartmut

Sustainability & Energy Committee
VDMA-Ausschuss Umweltpolitik

The VDMA Environmental Policy Committee deals with environmental policy issues for the mechanical and plant engineering industry. These include, among others, the topics of recycling management, product-related environmental protection, operational environmental protection and sustainability. The committee deals with European and national as well as international topics. In addition to the transfer of knowledge and environmental policy news, it is also concerned with the preparation of statements. The committee meets twice a year and the number of seats is limited.


Stefanie Grubert

Bosch Rexroth AG


Brückner, Sarah Dr.

Legal Committee
Ausschuss Öffentliches Auftragswesen
The Public Procurement Committee deals with fundamental issues of national and European public procurement law as well as the contract terms and conditions of public contracting authorities. This involves, among other things, the preparation of statements or participation in the amendments to the contracting regulations VOB and VOL. The VDMA positions are submitted to the public procurement committees and the federal ministries in charge. The committee meets twice a year.


Markus Janse

OSMA - Aufzüge


Hess, Christian Dr. iur.

Education & Modern Working Committee
The VDMA Education Committee is the authoritative body for networking and exchange among VDMA member companies on education topics, as well as for monitoring and steering VDMA activities in this area.


Thomas Koch

Benteler Deutschland GmbH


Friedrich, Jörg Dr.

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,300 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 mechanical and plant engineering industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

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