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.

Online workshop "Business Human Rights in India" on Monday, 08.05.2023 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The VDMA Legal Department invites you to an online workshop in cooperation with Osborne Clarke and BTG Legal on Business and Human Rights in India.

EU competitiveness under scrutiny - an effective check is needed

The competitiveness of Europe as an industrial location is once again at the top of the European policy agenda. Now a political initiative is needed quickly to improve the regulatory environment in the EU for investment and economic activity across the board.

ecoMetals Forum at THERMPROCESS

The VDMA Metallurgy is the partner of THERMPROCESS. Together with the Research Association for Industrial Furnace Engineering FOGI, it organizes the Ecometals Forum on June 12, 2023.

Decarbonisation in glass machinery manufacturing

How do I reduce my CO2 footprint as a manufacturing company? The industry working group Research & Technology conveyed various approaches that can also be implemented in glass machinery manufacturing.

The relaunch of trade negotiations?

VDMA welcomes the statements by Commission Vice-President Šefčovič that he would like to conclude negotiations with Switzerland by 2024. This would have the potential to remove trade barriers in the machinery sector.

"EU sends a signal for climate protection on the high seas".

The EU has agreed on ambitious targets to help rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the high seas. The EU shipping industry, like marine engine manufacturers, now has clarity on how to get there by 2050.

The resumption of the negotiations

VDMA welcomes the announcement by the EU and Thailand to resume negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement. This will remove tariffs and other trade barriers for the machinery sector.

No compensation for damages due to cancellation of trade fair during Corona pandemic

Trade fair postponements and cancellations could be lawful against the background of the loss of the basis of the contract, so that exhibitors are not entitled to claim damages, as a ruling by the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main shows.

Intensify cooperation with Japan

Germany and the EU are called upon to intensify cooperation with allies like Japan. There is still considerable potential for mechanical and plant engineering in Japan.

Put all framework conditions to the test

The EU Commission's ambition to make the EU a competitive location for climate protection technologies is right and important. The Net Zero Industry Act can make a contribution to this - especially with its regulations on faster approval procedures.

Successful balance between political and corporate responsibility

The EU Commission has recognized the strategic importance of raw materials and wants to act. It is good that in its legislative proposal on critical raw materials it refrains from far-reaching intervention in corporate decisions.

Manufacturing in Europe - How do we keep a strong industrial base in the EU?

European Policy Reception at Hannover Messe 2023 with EU Commissioner Thierry Breton

Design flaws must be eliminated

The EU Data Act poses too many risks for data-based business models of companies doing business with other companies (B2B). In particular, the contractual freedoms that are absolutely necessary for B2B data exchange must be provided for in the Data Act.

Strengthen technical education and vocational schools

The causes of the shortage of skilled workers are also to be found in the education system. There is a particular need for action in the technical skills of young people. To make dual training fit for the future, the state urgently needs to invest in vocational schools.

Air conditioning and ventilation technology with key role in energy efficiency of buildings

Technology innovations bring good indoor climate together with reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Positive sales development in 2022 and stable outlook for 2023 speak for the good overall condition of the industry.

The importance of the right framework conditions in the EU

VDMA and Schubert & Salzer discussed with MEP Walsmann how the EU can support the mechanical engineering sector with right framework conditions, such as on sustainability obligations.

"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.

Indonesia between free trade and protectionism

There are many reasons for European companies to think about diversification of supply chains, production sites and sales markets. Indonesia is increasingly coming into focus in the machinery and plant engineering sector.

IWG Research & Technology: Highlights from glass machinery manufacturing

Recycling strategies for construction elements with and made of glass is the topic of the next meeting on 25 April 2023. CO2 neutrality in glass machine manufacturing was the topic of the video conference on 14 February 2023.

Still too few female engineers in mechanical and plant engineering

Change is needed in various areas of education and working life to attract more women to technical professions. The latest study by the VDMA's Impuls Foundation investigates exactly what is needed. For the first time, the study focuses on the link between studies, career entry and the first years of employment for female engineers.

Read our current issue

Issue Number 2: January/February 2023

A European Private Company would ease the burden on companies

The EU often discusses what would help small and medium-sized enterprises. One of the many solutions would be a proposal for a European Private Company!

A final solution for Northern Ireland?

The EU and the United Kingdom reached on 27 February 2023 a fundamental agreement on Northern Ireland. What are the most important elements of this so-called Windsor Framework?

EU’s reaction to the energy crisis: short to middle term plan

Since April 2022 the EU has released measures to respond to the rapidly changing energy situation within 27 member state block. What exactly are these measures and how do they differ? This article provides a concise overview.

Immigration of skilled workers: draft legislation presented

On 20 February 2023, BMAS and BMI presented drafts of a law on the further development of skilled labor immigration and an ordinance on the further development of skilled labor immigration.

Energy crisis - the update

The energy policy of the future, must balance aspects such as economic efficiency, industrial and transformation policy, environmental compatibility as well as security of supply.

European construction equipment industry defies the odds

Stable 2022 market performance of the industry despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties.

Combustion engines with CO2-neutral fuels are part of the solution!

From 2035, no more passenger cars with internal combustion engines are to be registered in the EU. However, the use of climate-friendly eFuels in passenger cars must continue to be possible, because combustion engine technology in combination with CO2-neutral fuels is part of the solution for global climate protection.

Women engineers in mechanical and plant engineering

Too few women choose this career path as an engineer because technical job descriptions are often unclear. Prevailing role models and clichés need to be cleared up.

The Inflation Reduction Act and its impact

What are the effects of the IRA on the American market and what are the consequences for the European mechanical and plant engineering industry? Current VDMA publication provides an overview.

EU Single Market - Continuing the Success Story!

The mechanical and plant engineering sector benefits from the European Union more than almost any other industry. However, political enthusiasm within the EU has also waned considerably in recent years. Instead of further developing the single market, for example, there are even noticeable tendencies toward deconstruction. In addition, there are national solo efforts outside the EU. The VDMA, on the other hand, is calling for a steady expansion of the internal market to continue its 30-year success story.

Digital product passport for more sustainability

Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050: One initiative to achieve this is the digital product passport (DPP) and this is intended to map more transparency on sustainability information.

Consultation on first products under new ecodesign regulation

On the question of which products should be regulated as a priority under the new Ecodesign Regulation, the EU Commission is seeking an answer via a public consultation to gather stakeholder opinion.

Companies need clear rules and normality

Finally, a breakthrough on the Northern Ireland Protocol is in sight. Three years after Brexit, it is high time to resolve the permanent conflict and the ongoing uncertainties.

Minister Heil discredits short-time work

Short-time work is an important instrument, but all special rules on short-time work have long been superfluous. By still sticking to making it easier for companies to access short-time work, Federal Labor Minister Heil is bringing the entire instrument into disrepute.

Relief needed for small European businesses

Some Inflation Reduction Act tax incentives require that all subcontractors use U.S. apprentices on the jobsite. This is impossible for many VDMA member companies.

Final step towards the launch of the unitary patent system

Germany has deposited the instrument of ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court with the Council of the EU, thus taking the final step for the new system to start on 1 June 2023.

Bottleneck for trade fair visas

Trade shows are finally underway again, and visa practices are hampering the success of the events. Foreign visitors and exhibitors report problems obtaining visas.

Enforce sanctions against Russia consistently!

The machinery and plant engineering sector continues to support the economic sanctions against Russia. The question is whether they were extensive enough and enforced with the necessary political consistency. At the same time, they show some serious shortcomings in terms of craftsmanship: Errors in the lists of goods or the lack of 'blacklisting' of many Russian defense companies.

VDMA welcomes the proposals for the entry into force of the trade agreement

The EU-Commission has presented the trade agreement with New Zealand for ratification. VDMA welcomes this step and hopes that this will soon also be the case for other EU trade agreements.

"Mechanical engineering with vocational training - pioneer for investments".

Minister Schulze and Minister Heil promote better economic cooperation between Germany and Africa. With its "Skilled Workers for Africa" initiative, the VDMA is working intensively to promote on-site vocational training and the expansion of local value creation.

"A political fairy tale that mid-sized companies won't be burdened"

With their far-reaching obligations, the German and planned EU supply chain laws overburden small and medium-sized companies in particular. VDMA members make their displeasure clear.

Consolidate public finances - comply with debt brake in accordance with the constitution

For the state to remain capable of acting, it must comply with the debt brake in accordance with the constitution. This is because it forces policymakers to set priorities and resolve conflicts over the use of scarce resources instead of resorting to debt.

Initiatives of the EU Commission to combat bureaucracy

The EU-Commission is trying to combat bureaucracy in the area of posting of workers in three ways. Which are these?

REACh restriction project on PFASs

On 07.02.2023 ECHA has pre-published the restriction dossier on the broad restriction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Expert reports confirm need for greater flexibility

The German Metal and Electrical Employers' Federation (Gesamtmetall) has commissioned three expert reports on current issues relating to working time legislation.

VDMA Conference: Attracting women to technical jobs

Finding and retaining skilled workers is increasingly a Herculean task. Against this background, too, it is becoming increasingly important to attract more women to technical professions.

CECE Report of Activities 2022

The publication provides an overview of CECE's activities. It shows the topics with which the CECE is involved at European and international level.

More competition is the best policy to strengthen Europe

Without a doubt: the Inflation Reduction Act is a tremendous tool and strengthens the attractiveness of the US market. However, the reflex and temptation to govern by the same means should not guide either the EU or Germany. Rather, structural answers are needed to keep Germany and Europe competitive and to develop them further. This is the view expressed by VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann on the occasion of Chancellor Scholz's government declaration.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The Corona pandemic poses numerous challenges for companies' day-to-day operations. Our service portal provides VDMA members with country and travel advice, information on legal and insurance issues, and helpful links to other organizations.
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.

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.


Tax Committee
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 Energy Germany AG

Markets & Economy Committee
Committee on Macroeconomic Issues

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

Research, Innovation & Technology Committee
Research and Innovation Committee
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.


Dr. Stefan Rinck

Singulus Technologies AG


Hartmut Rauen

Sustainability & Energy Committee
Committee on Climate and Energy Policy
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.


Dr. Daniel Chatterjee

Rolls-Royce Solutions GmbH

Legal Committee
Public procurement
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.


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Markus Janse

OSMA - Aufzüge

Sustainability & Energy Committee
VDMA Environmental Policy Committee

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.


Dr. Stefanie Grubert

Bosch Rexroth AG

Legal Committee
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.


Dr. Jörg Kondring

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA

Education & Modern Working Committee
VDMA Education 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

Markets & Economy Committee
Committee on Foreign Trade

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.




Stefan Hantke


Asset Publisher

VDMA partners

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

Ihr Kontakt


Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,500 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.