Structural Policy in East Germany – A Discussion about the Common Task “Improvement of Regional Economic Structure“
After the reunification – more than ten years ago – the convergence process in the eastern German regions has started. Unfortunately, the convergence process has decelerated since 1995. For this reason, economists and politicians are discussing the kind of government aid, which has been applied since the early nineties. The paper deals with the Common Task “Improvement of Regional Economic Structure“ (Gemeinschaftsaufgabe “Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur“). It is one of the most important instruments for the “Reconstruction East“. Empirical studies have shown that this instrument has led to an additional growth impulse. However, for the last ten years the budget of the Common Task has decreased. Under the restriction of scarce financial resources the governments of the federal states have to adjust their regional programmes. Economists and politicians dispute to change unselective into selective (regional and sectoral) government aid. The article shows that in particular the Federal State of Brandenburg as well as the Free State of Saxony are focusing the Common Task on specific industrial sectors and certain regions.