Richard Kühnel, I.2 Competition in the Services Sector in:

Oliver Holtemöller (Ed.)

How Can We Boost Competition in the Services Sector?, page 23 - 24

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8487-4676-7, ISBN online: 978-3-8452-8902-1,

Bibliographic information
Competition in the Services Sector (Richard Kühnel) Richard Kühnel, Representative of the European Commission in Germany I will not introduce the European Commission; I believe that in times such as these, we have made it to the media almost every day. It is not always a good sign, but it expresses that in times like these, we need European an‐ swers to the big issues of our times. As we all know, we are in a stage of permanent crisis management. It started in 2008 with the financial crisis, which kept engulfing Europe time and again in different waves, then there was migration and now the British referendum. Those crises are so impolite to come more or less at the same time, or quickly one after another, that we never really get the chance of getting out of crisis mode. Though apart from the crisis mode, for us as Commission and Union it is very important that we do not lose sight of the long-term agenda for a reform process for Europe. Because on the day that the crises will break, whenever it will come, we will ask ourselves and certainly also the population of Europe what we have done for being able to meet global competition that we are facing, whether we want to or not. It is very important to recognise the signs of time and to give the requisite answers. The services sector certainly is a sector where, as Europe, we ought to be in a catching-up process in order to keep up with the global pace. And within Europe, that applies just as much to Germany. I hope we will not be stepping on anyone’s toes, when we look at that in some more detail today. Because, notwithstanding all the economic power that Germany radi‐ ates, in the services sector not everything is as it should be, also in the way that we look at it. Therefore, within the framework of our country-specific recommendations, we point out every year again that more needs to be done in the services sector in Germany. And today we are here to provide some analytical support to the discussions and to help us understand better what the impediments are – you have already touched upon some of those impediments, professor. Of course, we can see that Germany is very well regulated in that re‐ gard. We know – there are many sensitivities – of the master’s diploma, the craftsmen’s regime, etc. We understand all that, but one ought to ask oneself: Compared to other sectors of the German economy and also com‐ I.2 I.2 Competition in the Services Sector (Richard Kühnel) 23 pared to other services sectors in other European member states, is all that still necessary? And analysing that a little is an important task that may not be put off all the time. My modest contribution, my empirical field study is also my feeling, now that I have lived in your beautiful country for two years: Pre‐ cisely in the services sector, insufficient services offered on the supply side correlate with low service expectations on the customer side. I am sure that we have enough material here and also the graphs that you have shown, professor, form a basis for the discussion, I believe. I be‐ lieve that Mrs State Secretary did not exactly agree with every graph. Per‐ haps one should also scrutinise a little how things are presented and de‐ veloped, but for us it is an important process. A colleague has come from Brussels, Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, who is right now ensuring that we, as Commission, make progress in the ser‐ vices sector. A services directive and services passport are on the agenda. Therefore, the discussion that we will have with you today will also pro‐ vide very important input for us, because obviously we do not want to for‐ mulate our policies, our proposals and our recommendations in a political vacuum, but rather in a permanent process of exchange, at the medium stages also with science and guiding intellectual forces, as is happening to‐ day. I am looking forward to an exciting and stimulating discussion and ex‐ press my thanks particularly also to Mrs State Secretary Zypries for join‐ ing us here, for speaking a few introductory words and paint us the situa‐ tion from the point of view of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs. Particularly in this reform process, which we are trying to implement as Commission during the European Semester, the German Ministry of Eco‐ nomic Affairs is a very important partner and I believe that in many ques‐ tions indeed we do share the same or at least a similar opinion. The recommendations that we proffer are not to be understood as nega‐ tive criticism or as patronisingly lifted index finger, but as contribution to a political reform process that is in the interest of the whole of Europe and certainly also in the interest of the member states and, in this case, in the interest of Germany. I Introduction 24

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‘How Can We Boost Competition in the Services Sector?’ is a key question in the process of creating a more effi-cient economic environment in Germany. This book contains a collection of conference contributions on service sector reforms from members of academic institutions, ministries, the EU Commission and other organisations. The conference consisted of a keynote on the importance and implementation of structural reforms in Europe and two panels that dealt with the evaluation of past reforms in the services sector and the potential scope and effects of further reforms.

Since the 1990s, productivity growth in Germany and other Member States of the European Union has been significantly lower than in the US. The development of productivity growth in the services sector is estimated to account for two thirds of this widening gap. The European Commission advocated reforms in the services sector in its country-specific recommendations for Germany. At a conference in Berlin in July 2016, experts from various fields presented and discussed studies on service sector reforms.

With contributions by

Oliver Holtemöller, Brigitte Zypries, Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, Dirk Palige, Henrik Enderlein, Stefan Profit, Davud Rostam-Afschar, Paolo Mengano, Oliver Arentz, Erik Canton, Jochen Andritzky


„Wie können wir den Wettbewerb im Dienstleistungssektor stärken?“ Dies ist eine Schlüsselfrage für eine größere Leistungsfähigkeit des ökonomischen Umfelds in Deutschland. Dieses Buch versammelt Konferenzbeiträge von Mitgliedern wissenschaftlicher Einrichtungen, von Ministerien, der EU-Kommission und anderen Organisationen zu Reformen im Dienstleistungssektor. Die Konferenz umfasste einen Eröffnungsvortrag zur Bedeutung und Durchführung von Strukturreformen in Europa und zwei Gesprächsforen zur Bewertung vergangener Reformen im Dienstleistungssektor und zur möglichen Reichweite sowie zu den möglichen Auswirkungen weiterer Reformen.

Die Zunahme der Produktivität ist seit den 1990er Jahren sowohl in Deutschland als auch in anderen Ländern der Europäischen Union deutlich geringer als in den USA. Es wird geschätzt, dass die Entwicklung des Produktivitätszuwachses im Dienstleistungssektor für zwei Drittel dieses zunehmenden Abstandes verantwortlich ist. Die Europäische Kommission spricht sich in ihren länderspezifischen Empfehlungen zu Deutschland für Reformen in diesem Sektor aus. Auf einer Konferenz im Juli 2016 in Berlin stellten Experten aus unterschiedlichen Bereichen Studien zu solchen Reformen vor und diskutierten deren Ergebnisse.

Mit Beiträgen von

Oliver Holtemöller, Brigitte Zypries, Joaquim Nunes de Almeida, Dirk Palige, Henrik Enderlein, Stefan Profit, Davud Rostam-Afschar, Paolo Mengano, Oliver Arentz, Erik Canton, Jochen Andritzky