Today, the British government has officially notified the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the European Union. Professor Achim Wambach, PhD, President of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), comments on Brexit.
As a result of globalisation and the associated phenomena of migration, climate change, and digitalisation, Europe now stands on the brink of enormous economic and social changes. Professor Lothar Späth, former Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg and one of the early initiators of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), was ahead of his time in anticipating these challenges. At a memorial event jointly organised by the Baden-Württemberg state government and ZEW in Mannheim on 21 March 2017, ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach, Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann MdL, and EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger discussed Lothar Späth’s intellectual, economic, and political legacy, while noting the lessons it holds for Europe today.
The immigration of large numbers of refugees in 2015 has presented Germany with the challenge of integrating newly arriving foreigners. A recent ZEW study examined the integration of a group of refugees participating in the HEIMSTÄRKE football project, which aims to promote integration into German society and the German labour market through sport. The study suggests that participation in the project has positive effects. It also considered the migrants' socio-economic characteristics, the financial costs of their escape, and aspects of their integration into the labour market. The ZEW study was carried out as part of the 'Real-World Lab Asylum' project in the Rhine-Neckar region.
The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany improved slightly by 2.4 points in March 2017, with the indicator now standing at 12.8 points. The long-term average, which has been calculated since the survey was begun, is 23.9 points. "The fact that the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment only shows a slight upward movement is a reflection of the current uncertainty surrounding future economic development. With regard to the economic situation in Germany, no clear conclusions can be drawn from the most recent economic signals for January 2017. While industrial production and exports witnessed a positive development, the figures for incoming orders and retail sales were less favourable. The political risks resulting from upcoming elections in a number of EU countries are keeping uncertainty surrounding the German economy at a relatively high level," comments ZEW President Professor Achim Wambach.
Between 2005 and 2015, public spending on research and development (R&D) in Germany has seen a nominal increase of around 50 per cent. In 2015, federal and state R&D expenditure in the research and business sector amounted to 25.08 billion euros. This increase, however, is not sufficient to meet the target set by the German government, which hoped to see the share of public R&D spending reach 1.15 per cent of the GDP by 2025. These are the findings of a recent study carried out by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim on behalf of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation (EFI).