"Treaty of Aachen must be more than symbolic politics"

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Germany and France want to work more closely together politically. From the point of view of the VDMA, a first step in this direction would be to simplify the posting of workers.

After the Brexit, Germany and France will be the two largest economies in the EU - although in recent years excessive bureaucracy has increasingly hampered the free exchange of goods and services between the two countries. For example, the posting of workers from Germany to France is currently associated with disproportionate costs for companies. "The Aachen Treaty must be more than a symbolic policy," says Thilo Brodtmann, Managing Director of the VDMA. "A bureaucracy-free posting of employees would be proof that Germany and France are serious about closer cooperation".

The posting of employees is not uniformly regulated in the EU despite the European single market. A German entrepreneur must register a temporary assignment in France with the French authorities the day before. The employee must then carry documents such as the translated employment contract with him or her. In addition, the French authorities require a contact person in France. For small and medium-sized companies in particular, the bureaucratic effort means a significant restriction on trade in goods and services to France.

"A simplification of the reporting requirements for posting would noticeably relieve the burden on companies"

"A simplification of the reporting requirements for posting would noticeably relieve the burden on companies. Germany and France should therefore advocate uniform rules for the entire EU internal market," says VDMA Executive Director Brodtmann. The German mechanical engineering sector alone accounts for around 200,000 postings to the entire EU every year. The VDMA estimates that companies incur bureaucratic costs of at least 51 million euros a year.