The Ending of Solidarity Pact Payments: Are the “Neue Länder” Prepared Sufficiently?
Up to 2019, the “Neue Länder” in Germany are benefitting from financial transfer within the framework of the solidarity pact. From 2005 to 2007, the “Neue Länder” were able to improve they financial situation and used the solidarity pact payments efficiently. However, these payments are decreasing annually. This implies a significant financial reduction to the “Neue Länder’s” overall budgets and a considerable challenge for their future investments. This article analyses publications by the governments of the “Neue Länder” about their medium term budget planning and related progress reports from the year 2006. The consolidation of their budgets seems to be an essential aspect in the policy strategy of “Neue Länder” due to limited tax autonomy and legal restrictions on their expenditures. However, we identified several consolidation strategies with regard to infrastructural priorities, restructuring of administration, and creation of reserves. The public revenues of the “Neue Länder” are expected to decline in 2009 due to the current recession. In case that there are no fundamental changes in the underlying economic structures, the financial scope of the “Neue Länder” is going to be increasingly constrained, in particular with regard to future investments.