MIWI provided policy advice for AfD economic strategy panel

On June 20, 2024, a high-profile discussion panel organized by the “Economy, Energy, Digital” working group of the AfD parliamentary group in the Bavarian State Parliament took place. Titled “From China to Söder: Economic Policy Challenges for Bavaria”, renowned economists and Bavarian AfD representatives gathered to discuss current and future-oriented economic policy challenges. The event highlighted the high economic competence of the AfD and provided significant impetus for formulating its economic policy positions.

The expert panel, consisting of Dr. Ulrich van Suntum, Emeritus of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Münster and former Secretary General of the German Council of Economic Experts (SVR), Dr. Hendrik Hagedorn, economist at the MIWI – Institute for Market Integration and Economic Policy, Oskar Lipp, economic and industrial policy spokesperson for the AfD parliamentary group in the Bavarian State Parliament, and Johannes Meier, chairman of the “Economy, Energy, Digital” working group, comprehensively discussed key topics such as the shortage of skilled labor, Chinese competition, and the planned economic tendencies of the CSU.

Securing Skilled Labor from a Right-Wing Perspective

A central topic was securing skilled labor. Bavaria faces a skilled labor gap with 157,000 open positions. Criticism was directed at uncontrolled mass immigration of mostly unqualified and integration-resistant individuals, which burdens the social system. The citizen’s allowance discourages the willingness to work, and since 2014, 80,000 highly qualified German professionals have left Bavaria on a net basis. Proposed solutions include a return to the principle of reciprocity in social policy, limiting asylum seekers to benefits in kind, incentives for the return of German emigrants, tightly controlled immigration based on the Japanese model, and an educational offensive for unskilled workers. Long-term measures emphasized active family policies with tax advantages and better childcare, as well as the opportunities of digitalization and robotization.

Dealing with Competition from China

In dealing with Chinese competition, participants generally supported free trade and opposed punitive tariffs on exports from China, even if they are subsidized. Affordable Chinese exports would leave German consumers with more money to invest in German products. It was emphasized that the German state should not select and protect key industries. Strategic infrastructures such as telecommunications should be protected, and the relocation of high technologies should be prevented when it comes to Chinese investments. However, capital inflows from China were principally welcomed. The monopolization of the German economy by American corporations and investment funds should also be reversed. Germany should rely on a market economy while confidently defending national economic interests.

Green Economic Policy from Söder and Aiwanger

The CSU was criticized for evolving from a pro-market party to a planned economy party. Examples cited include Corona restrictions, the Supply Chain Act, stricter climate protection laws, mandatory solar roofs, nuclear and coal phase-out, CO2 tax, and support for the Green Deal. Instead, the AfD called for a return to the Social Market Economy based on ordoliberal principles. Competitiveness should be achieved through attractive location conditions, not through subsidies and protectionism. This includes drastically lowering taxes and duties, eliminating bureaucratic hurdles, ensuring affordable and base-load capable energy, and securing skilled labor.


Dr. Hendrik Hagedorn, economist from the MIWI Institute for Market Integration and Economic Policy, played a significant role in the discussion. The MIWI Institute provides economic policy advice to right-wing parties, including the AfD, and assists the AfD in formulating its economic policy positions. Dr. Hagedorn’s participation underlined the expert economic insights contributing to the AfD’s policy development.



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