Europe’s microtechnology industry watches government formation in Germany with mixed feelings
Representatives of the microtechnology industry in Europe are partly concerned and partly relaxed about the impact the long government formation process in Germany might have on the European Union. As part of its annual economic data survey, the IVAM Microtechnology Network has asked industry representatives whether they believe that the delay in forming a government in Germany harms the EU and 45 percent responded with „yes“, 44 percent with „no“, and 11 percent are undecided.
More than five months have passed since the federal elections in September 2017 until the two strongest parties in Germany agreed on a coalition government – longer than ever before in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. At the same time, the European Union is facing the challenge of initiating reform processes, among other things as a consequence of the Brexit vote in Britain and the right-wing populist and nationalist tendencies in many EU member states.
International news coverage implied that an effective government in Germany was essential for these and other economic and fiscal reforms and, in part, gave the impression that the European Commission was incapacitated for action without a stable government in Germany.
It is above all microtechnology experts from Germany who share this view. Just over half (50.7 percent) of the industry representatives in Germany consider the delayed government formation to harm the European Union. In other countries, an average of just under 30 percent think so.
Respondents from Germany also believe that Germany has done more harm to itself than Europe: they say that Germany has suffered a damage to its image as a result of the political turmoil, lost credibility and weakened its position within the EU. Important strategic issues have been reserved by other nations, notably France. In addition, concerns were expressed that a German government that was unable to act could not exert enough influence on the next EU research framework program, which is currently being prepared.
Other voices, on the other hand, consider a careful and well thought-out government formation process to be more important than the outward effect, also to take a stand for democracy and against increasing populism – especially since the executive government was not completely incapable of action during the coalition talks. Some say that the actual problem of the European Union was not a temporarily leaderless Germany, but the lack of vision.