Germany: National Employment Policy Action Plan, September 2004

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Series Title
Publication Date October 2004
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The German Government adopted a draft of its National Employment Policy Action Plan for 2004 on 15 September 2004. The Plan, as required by the EU, outlines the implementation of the Union's policy guidelines in Germany's national employment policy.

With an economy only slowly recovering after three successive years of stagnation and an unemployment rate of 10.5% in 2003 Germany is in dire need of substantial restructuring of its overly rigid labour market. However, the reform package launched by the Government in 2003 under the name 'Agenda 2010' has sparked a great deal of controversy within the country. 'Hartz IV', the fourth and most disputed of the Hartz laws which are named after Volkswagen manager Peter Hartz, head of a Government appointed commission, will enter into force on 1 January 2005. It will merge unemployment assistance and welfare assistance to form a new system which is predicted to leave many worse off.

EU: Legislation and Policy Making

European Commission: DG Employment and Social Affairs: European Employment Strategy: National Action Plans 2004: Germany
European Commission: DG Employment and Social Affairs: European Employment Strategy: National Action Plans: NAPs 2004
European Commission: COM(2004) 239, 'Strengthening the implementation of the European Employment Strategy', 7.4.2004

EU: Background

European Commission: DG Employment and Social Affairs: European Employment Strategy

International Organisation

OECD: Policy Brief, Economic Survey of Germany 2004
OECD: Economic Survey - Germany 2004
IMF: Publications: IMF Survey Vol.32, No.20, 'Prospects are bright for Europe's largest economy if reforms are carried out', 17.11.03
OECD: Press Release, 'OECD calls for further reform and a more dynamic regulatory framework in Germany', 30.6.04

National/regional/local official organisation

Germany: Federal Government: News, 'A majority of Germans now saying yes to reforms', 29.9.04
Germany: Federal Government: Press Release, 'Reforms intended to help create jobs', 16.9.04
Germany: Federal Government: Press Release, 'Agenda 2010 - the path to new strength', 26.3.04
Germany: Federal Government, Speech by Gerhard Schr�der: 'Agenda 2010: Sticking to our goals, reforming our means', 7.9.03.
Germany: Federal Government: News, 'Schr�der: No going back on reforms', 23.9.04
Germany: Federal Government: News, 'No alternative to Agenda 2010 reforms', 5.7.04
Germany: Embassy to the United Kingdom: Business, Labour and Economics: Agenda 2010
Germany: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour: Labour: Labour Law: 'German Labour Law - A Brief Overview'
Germany: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour: Publications: 'Information on Finance, Economic Activity and Labour in Germany', 29.1.04
Germany: Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour: National Action Plan for Employment Policy 2003
Germany: Federal Government: News, 'Agenda 2010', 9.7.04
Germany: Federal Government: Policy Statement 'Germany gets going - greater dynamism for growth and employment', 3.7.03

Stakeholder organisation

CESifo: Publications: CESifo Forum, Vol.5, No.2, Summer 2004: 'Activation versus other employment policies - Lessons for Germany'
CESifo: Publications: CESifo DICE Report, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2003, 'National institutional systems in global competition and the inertia of German labour market institutions'
European Foundation for the Imporvement of Living and Working Conditions: European industrial relations observatory on-line: Germany
Bertelsmann Foundation: International Reform Monitor: Germany: Labour market: Agenda 2010
SPD [German Social Democratic Party]: Politics: 'The Courage to Reform', Resolution Passed by the Extraordinary Party Congress on 1 June 2003 in Berlin

Commercial publisher and media

Financial Times: Germany fails to appease critics of reforms, 13.8.04
The Economist: Germany. It's those people, all over again, 14.8.04
BBC News: German welfare rallies escalate, 17.4.04
BBC News: Schr�der holds firm on reforms, 18.8.04
Financial Times: Industry chiefs back Schröder's jobless benefit cuts, 18.8.04
Financial Times: Schröder refuses to water down proposed jobless benefits cuts, 19.8.04
Financial Times: A failure that haunts German politics, 23.8.04
The Economist: Face value. Two Hartz beat as one, 4.9.04.
BBC News: Reforms fuel anti-Schroeder mood, 6.9.04
Financial Times: German jitters, 12.8.04 (editorial)
Financial Times: Strategy search, 25.6.04 (editorial)
BBC News: Germans protest at reform plans, 30.8.04
Financial Times: Jobless protest offers just a faint echo of 'Monday rally', 11.8.04
Financial Times: Anything going wrong? Blame German unemployment reform, 9.8.04
BBC News: Germans protest over benefit cuts, 9.8.04
Financial Times: OECD hails German reforms but wants more, 6.8.04
BBC News: Benefit plans 'rob German children', 5.8.04
Financial Times: German leader refuses to let the critics rain on his reform parade, 17.7.04
Financial Times: Party in distress: 'The SPD has betrayed its electoral promises and its principles', 14.7.04
Financial Times: Schröder to put brake on German reform drive, 12.7.04
Financial Times: Schröder plans hard sell of reforms to public, 10.7.04
Financial Times: Unions attack major labour market reforms, 2.7.04
The Economist: German elections: A Houdini runs out of tricks, 19.6.04
Financial Times: Schr�der to pursue reforms in spite of 'bitter' election defeat, 15.6.04
Financial Times: SPD chairman steps up attack on 'misguided' trade unions, 7.7.04

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