For growth and value creation

BDA AGENDA 18/21 | COMMENT OF THE WEEK | 19 August 2021

Florian Hahn, Member of the German Bundestag (CDU/CSU) and Chairman of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union

Berlin, 19 August 2021.

It is not only the Corona pandemic that is challenging the economy: climate protection, digitalization and globalization are also fundamentally changing the conditions for growth and value creation. Moreover, the economy is facing additional demands from the employee side, e.g. with the desire for flexibility and equal opportunities.

In my opinion, a strong industrial base for our German as well as for the European model of prosperity and the affordability of climate protection are decisive prerequisites for growth and value creation.

To enable us in Europe to better cope with the economic consequences of the pandemic, the EU Commission has launched a gigantic economic stimulus package in the form of the Corona Fund "Next Generation EU" (NGEU). It has a volume of around EUR 672.5 billion, divided into grants of up to EUR 312.5 billion and loans of up to EUR 360 billion.

Particularly because of the Corona pandemic, which has deeply affected our economy, I advise not to overdo it with supposed social benefits. Because sustainable social improvements will only come with economic growth and improved competitiveness.

That is why I am still of the opinion that the EU-COM has not only exceeded its competences with its proposal for appropriate minimum wages in Europe. In Germany, we have a functioning system of wage determination and the updating of minimum wages. Why should we throw this system overboard without necessity?

The EU Commission's proposals for the so-called "Green Deal" require a huge effort. This will not be easy. However, all sectors must make their contribution if this is to succeed. As the CDU and CSU, we spoke out early on in favour of technology-open and innovation-promoting incentives and market-based solutions instead of bans. The EU Commission has followed suit in many areas.

Emissions trading in modified form remains the best system for reducing CO2. Social compensation is of great importance here. In this respect, the proposed climate social fund is the right signal. However, I am very sceptical about the proposed border adjustment mechanism. I have great doubts that the EU will be able to push through this new instrument against the rest of the world.