Germany’s large economy has been an excellent performer for many decades. Governance and regulatory systems have important traditional strengths, including both a clear, well-conceived competition law and policy as well as key regulatory instruments. It is no surprise that regulatory quality is a core objective in a country founded on the rule of law and with a long-standing tradition of professional administration. Building on its traditional strengths, regulatory reform can improve the functioning of markets. The government has recently launched a wide range of reforms, including Agenda 2010, to help increase employment, reduce public spending and cope with a rapidly ageing population. As well as labour market reforms, future plans include the introduction of greater competition in key product markets such as the retail trade and crafts. Further substantial progress is also needed in the liberalisation of infrastructure sectors. This report also argues for adjustments to regulatory governance traditions so that necessary changes can take place more quickly, at least cost to the economy and with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. Communicating reform objectives and benefits will help sustain momentum and public support.
Germany is one of many OECD countries to request a broad review by the OECD of its regulatory practices and reforms. This review presents an overall picture, set within a macroeconomic context, of regulatory achievements and challenges including regulatory quality, competition policy, and market openness. Its special focus is on regulatory progress in the electricity, gas, pharmacies, and telecommunications sectors.
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The background material used to prepare this report is available at: www.oecd.org/regreform/backgroundreports.