Agenda 2010

The Agenda 2010 is a series of the German Government , a Social-Democrats / Greens Coalition at that time, which aims to reform the German welfare system and labor relations. The declared objective of 2010 is to promote economic growth and thus reduce unemployment.

The Agenda

On March 14, 2003, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder gave a speech before the German Bundestag outlining the proposed plans for reform. He pointed out which areas of the world would he focus on: the economy, the system of social security, and Germany’s position on the world market.

German finance minister Hans Eichel had the responsibility of implementing socially unpopular measures (eg as a 25% reduction in the basic rate of income tax), cuts in the cost of absorption for medical treatment and drastic cuts in pension benefits, and cuts in unemployment benefits . The Proposed Measures Were ostensibly in according with the market liberalization adopté approach by the EU ’s Lisbon Strategy . The name Agenda 2010 is a reference to the Lisbon Strategy ’s 2010 deadline.

The Bertelsmann media group [1] [2]

A series of changes in the labor market known as the Hartz plan started in 2003 and the last step, Hartz IV , came into effect on January 1, 2005. These changes affect unemployment benefits and job centers in Germany, and the very nature of the German system of social security.


Politicians, industrial leaders, trade unions, the media and the population consider the Agenda 2010, especially the Hartz IV law, as the largest cut in the German system of social security since World War II .

While industrial leaders and both the conservative and the liberal liberalized parties, such as the CDU , the CSU , and the FDP strongly supported Agenda 2010 as they implemented their long-term demands, there was a strong upholding in Schröder’s own social democratic party . After Schröder is threatened with a history of resign (with no obvious success as Chancellor), they have been so vital to his government, he has received an 80% vote of confidence and a 90% approval from his coalition partner, the Greens .

The leaders of the Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in Germany took the „highly unusual step“ of publicly expressing their support for the government’s proposals. „The old methods no longer work“, the chairman of the Evangelical Church, Manfred Kock, said. The leader of the country’s Catholics, Cardinal Karl Lehman, called Schröder’s proposals „absolutely necessary“. [3]

Schröder had won the 2002 federal election, among other things, the promise to the social security system. Schröder’s SPD left the party, [3] but the more prominent left-wing politicians stayed on. Although the changes eventually went through, Gerhard Schröder, after adverse opinion polls, resigned as a chairman (though not as Chancellor ) in February 2004, to give way to Franz Müntefering .

This development left the PDS (with only 2 out of 603 members of the federal parliament) as the only outspoken opponent to the 2010 agenda policies was somewhat inconsistent. In the federal states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommernand Berlin , Where There are SPD-PDS-coalitions (and later SPD- Left Party coalition), PDS / Left Party Ministers Actively Implemented Agenda 2010 laws.

The German Trade Union Federation (DGB), the most influential group outside parliament and historically interwoven with the SPD, massively stepped up their discourse against Agenda 2010, especially prior to the Hartz IV law in July 2004, but the rumble subsided quickly after a summit meeting with Schröder in August 2004. The trade unions suffer from a lot of attrition in that process. There have been no strikes against the 2010 agenda as the German constitution is prohibited politically motivated strikes, but some demonstrations at least have been organized and supported by the unions.

In December 2003, the Bundesrat , dominated by the opposition to the CDU party, blocked some of the reforms on the subject of political compromise. the measures taken.

Dissatisfaction with Agenda 2010, and in particular with Hartz IV , protesters in the streets of Berlin , Leipzig and other large cities particularly in eastern, but also western Germany over the summer of 2004 (see Monday demonstrations, 2004 ).

Dissent with the Agenda 2010 had also promoted the foundation of a new political party, the Electoral Alternative for Labor and Social Justice (WASG) by SPD members and union activists. The North American Westphalia State Election, where it gained 2.2% of the votes and no seat, against what it considered „the neoliberal consensus“ displayed by the governing body center-left political parties and the more conservative opposition alike. For the German Federal Election, 2005 the WASG formed a successful electoral alliance with The Left Party.PDS, which reached 8.7% of the votes. In June 2007 both parties merged to a new party, The Left .


The next aftermath of the 2010 Agenda was in the process of being slowed down to 5.2 million people in February 2005 [4] and Schröder called German companies „lazy“ for failing to hire more workers. [5] Beginning in 2005, however, unemployment figures were declining, in May 2007, unemployment was at 3.8 million people, at 5½ year low. [6] The apparent success of the US pension plan in the United States. [7]

A debate about the socioeconomic results of the 2010 Agenda was published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in late 2006. The study classified 4 percent of people living in West Germany and 20 percent of people living in East Germany as living in “ precarious “ socio-economic conditions. ALTHOUGH the topic of Social Conditions in Germany Was much debated as a result of this study, with Many People (Including Those in Schroeder’s own party) laying blame is Schröder and his Hartz IV Reforms for the growing economic inequality in Germany, no policy-have exchange was enacted as a direct result of the study. [8]

As of 2008, the share of national income had been cut to a 50-year low of only 64.5%. [9]

Another sign that economic inequality has risen in Germany can be seen in the fact that the number of Germans living in the poverty line has increased from 11% in 2001, [10] to 12.3% in 2004, [11] and about 14% in 2007. According to 2007 government statistics, one of six children was poor, a post-1960-record, with more than a third of all children in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen.

Voters seemed to respond to the 2010 Agenda and Hartz IV reforms negatively. In the 2004 elections to the EU parliament, the SPD reached an all-time postwar national election low of only 21% of the votes.

The SPD lost by a wide margin in the 2005 regional election in North Rhine-Westphalia „heartland“, where the regional SPD government was replaced by a CDU – FDP coalition, giving the winners a working majority in the Bundesrat, the federal legislature’s upper house. The Social Democrats are disappointed with the agenda 2010 reforms.

Subsequently, Chancellor Schröder triggered a loss in a vote vote, which, in turn, necessitated an early general election. In the autumn of 2005, one year ahead of schedule, the general elections were held and the Social Democrats were defeated.

By 2011, the rate of decline was 10% in the mid-decade to around 7%, its lowest since the early 1990s. [12]

Some scientists see the job market in the European Agenda 2010 as one of the causes of the European debt crisis . [13] [14] [15] [16]

See also

  • Politics of Germany
  • Demographics of Germany


  1. Jump up^ „Ohne Bertelsmann geht nichts mehr“(„Without Bertelsmann nothing works“),Heiseonline, 9 November 2004(in German)
  2. Jump up^ In Their book on the Bertelsmann AG and Bertelsmann Foundation, authors Hersch Fischler and Frank Böckelmann assert That „The Foundation succeeded through the advancement of Agenda 2010 to make Their mark Significantly. It is not Widely unknown que la Foundation HAS decisively Determined the academic, health, economic, and labor market policy since the start of the Schröder government. “ Böckelmann, Frank & Hersch Fischler,Bertelsmann: Hinter der Fassade of the Medienimperiums(Bertelsmann: Behind the facade of the media empire); Eichborn, Germany; September 2004,ISBN 978-3821855516 (in German)
  3. ^ Jump up to:b „Schroeder faces day of reckoning“ by John Hooper, The Guardian , 30 May 2003
  4. Jump up^ „German jobless rate at new record“BBC News, 1 March 2005
  5. Jump up^ N-TV.DE [ dead link ]
  6. Jump up^ „Germany Posts Month 21 of Declining Jobless Rate“ . New York Times. January 4, 2008.
  7. Jump up^ „Will the Congress be held up to the end of the post-election hangover?“. . September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on January 7, 2011.
  8. Jump up^ N-TV.DE [ dead link ]
  9. Jump up^ Global Wage Report 2012/13, Chapter 5, of theInternational Labor Organization.
  10. Jump up^ Population below poverty line,CIA Factbook
  11. Jump up^ „EU-wide comparable poverty data available for the first time“ . Archived from the original on 2007-05-03 . Retrieved 2007-05-03 .
  12. Jump up^ „AFP: German unemployment and retail sales steady“ . Yahoo News. 2011-08-31 . Retrieved 2011-09-23 .
  13. Jump up^ Nicholas Crafts, Peter Fearon,The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today, Oxford University Press, 2013,ISBN 978-0-19-966318-7, p. 445
  14. Jump up^ Bibow, Jörg (2012). „The euro debt crisis and Germany’s euro trilemma“. Working Paper, Levy Economics Institute 721 . SSRN  2060325  .
  15. Jump up^ Steffen Lehndorff,A triumph of failed ideas: European models of capitalism in the crisis, CASE, 2012,ISBN 9782874522468, p. 79 ff
  16. Jump up^ Young, Brigitte; Semmler, Willi (2011). „The European Sovereign Debt Crisis: Is Germany to Blame?“. German Politics & Society . 29 (1): 1-24. doi :10.3167 / gps.2011.290101 .