The five trends shaping Germany to 2030
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election campaign highlighted a lack of focus on the longer-term issues facing Germany, says academic Horst Opaschowski.
Her reluctance to articulate a vision for the future reflected a more general failing among policymakers and chief executives to think hard about the changes to the social and economic backdrop over the next 20 years. Challenges include new attitudes to work, structural shifts in the labour force, the role of women and an increasingly aged population.
“Mrs Merkel does her homework, but she doesn’t really think in those terms,” said Professor Opaschowski, a futurologist who advised former chancellor Helmut Kohl. “In terms of policy, she will continue her current approach. Nothing will change.”
The French cabinet, by way of contrast, recently presented its vision of France in 2023.
The subsequent vision of gleaming factories, full employment and social harmony may have lacked detail and been criticised as a stunt - but for Opaschowski that kind of ‘future gazing’ is an essential part of a politician’s brief.
Here are the trends Opaschowski thinks will shape Germany:
The new work formula - 0.5 x 2 x 3: In the new jobs market, 50 per cent of employees will earn twice as much as before, but have to work three times as hard in return. The ‘lucky’ half risk stress and burn-out, while much of the remaining 50 per cent will have to take on side jobs to make ends meet. Inflation and old age poverty are already growing concerns in Germany where many workers agreed to reduced salaries during the economic downturn in return for
Women in power: Angela Merkel’s rise to power is no isolated incident. Women's influence will also grow considerably in companies, particularly in upper management, reflecting the qualifications gap that is already opening up between the sexes. For this to happen, Germany will need to address its childcare system but that does not necessarily mean more state support. “The market will regulate so the best women will go where they get the best work-life balance. Companies have to offer them support, either by providing their own crèches or giving vouchers for childcare”
However higher female participation is also a response to poorer families’ need for dual incomes.
A new kind of prosperity: Germans increasingly define prosperity in broader terms than just money. Prosperity will be founded on four pillars – wealth, ecology, social harmony and individual health and wellbeing. “Prosperity will mean something different. Yes, people still want money but quality of life is just as important. That doesn’t mean a return to the sixties when people refused to perform, but rather a new balance between performance and life.
Retirement on pause: Older generations will demand the right to decide when they want to stop working rather than retiring at a predetermined age. Companies will also be keener to hold onto older employees – often as advisers and coaches – to retain institutional memory and know-how.
Smarter immigration: Since the 1970s, immigrants to Germany have largely been ‘guest workers’, employed in often-menial positions. Germany will need to follow countries such as Canada and Australia in pursuing a “best heads” policy and attracting highly qualified graduates if it wants to maintain its advantage over other economies.
This communication has been prepared by The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V., The Royal Bank of Scotland plc or an affiliated entity (‘RBS’). This material should be regarded as a marketing communication and has not been prepared in accordance with the legal and regulatory requirements to promote the independence of research and may have been produced in conjunction with the RBS trading desks that trade as principal in the instruments mentioned herein. This commentary is therefore not independent from the proprietary interests of RBS, which may conflict with your interests. Opinions expressed may differ from the opinions expressed by other divisions of RBS including our investment research department. This material includes references to securities and related derivatives that the firm’s trading desk may make a market in, and in which it is likely as principal to have a long or short position at any time, including possibly a position that was accumulated on the basis of this analysis material prior to its dissemination. Trading desks may also have or take positions inconsistent with this material. This material may have been made available to other clients of RBS before it has been made available to you and regulatory restrictions on RBS dealing in any financial instruments mentioned at any time before is distributed to you do not apply. This document has been prepared for information purposes only. This document has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information believed to be reliable but no representation, warranty or assurance of any kind, express or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein and RBS and each of their respective affiliates disclaim all liability for any use you or any other party may make of the contents of this document. This document is current as of the indicated date and the contents of this document are subject to change without notice. RBS does not accept any obligation to any recipient to update or correct any such information. Views expressed herein are not intended to be and should not be viewed as advice or as a recommendation. RBS makes no representation and gives no advice in respect of any tax, legal or accounting matters in any applicable jurisdiction. You should make your own independent evaluation of the relevance and adequacy of the information contained in this document and make such other investigations as you deem necessary, including obtaining independent financial advice, before participating in any transaction in respect of the securities referred to in this document. This document is not intended for distribution to, or use by any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation. The information contained herein is proprietary to RBS and is being provided to selected recipients and may not be given (in whole or in part) or otherwise distributed to any other third party without the prior written consent of RBS. RBS and its respective affiliates, connected companies, employees or clients may have an interest in financial instruments of the type described in this document and/or in related financial instruments. Such interest may include dealing in, trading, holding or acting as market-makers in such instruments and may include providing banking, credit and other financial services to any company or issuer of securities or financial instruments referred to herein. This marketing communication is intended for distribution only to major institutional investors as defined in Rule 15a-6(a)(2) of the U.S. Securities Act 1934 (excluding documents produced by our affiliates within the U.S.). Any U.S. recipient wanting further information or to effect any transaction related to this trade idea must contact RBS Securities Inc., 600 Washington Boulevard, Stamford, CT, USA. Telephone: +1 203 897 2700. In Singapore, this marketing communication is intended for distribution only to institutional investors (as defined in Section 4A(1) of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) of Singapore). In Hong Kong, this marketing communication is intended for distribution only to Professional Investors (as defined in Schedule 1 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance of Hong Kong).
Issuers mentioned in any material may be investment banking clients of RBS Securities Inc. and RBS Securities Inc. may have provided in the past, and may provide in the future, financing, advice, and securitization and underwriting services to these clients in connection with which it has received or will receive compensation. Accordingly, information included in or excluded from this material is not independent from the proprietary interests of RBS Securities, Inc., which may conflict with your interests.
For further information relating to materials provided by RBS, please view our RBSMarketplace Terms and Conditions: RBSM Terms and Conditions
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. 90312. Registered Office: 36 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2YB. The Royal Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V., established in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Registered with the Chamber of Commerce in The Netherlands, No. 33002587. Authorised by De Nederlandsche Bank N.V. and regulated by the Authority for the Financial Markets in The Netherlands.
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc is in certain jurisdictions an authorised agent of The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. and The Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. is in certain jurisdictions an authorised agent of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc.
Copyright © 2013 The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. All rights reserved. This communication is for the use of intended recipients only and the contents may not be reproduced, redistributed, or copied in whole or in part for any purpose without The Royal Bank of Scotland plc’s prior express consent.
Copyright © 2013 RBS Securities Inc. All rights reserved. RBS Securities Inc. member FINRA ( http://www.finra.org) / SIPC (http://www.sipc.org), is a subsidiary of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc. RBS is the marketing name for the securities business of RBS Securities Inc.