The Saar Economy in Structural Change

The Saar economy faces current and future challenges that are unique in Germany. The acute need for transformation in the Saarland, which is particularly significant compared to other federal states, is due primarily to the strong industrial character of the Saar economy. This is confirmed by a study conducted by DIW Econ on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Europe and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour, Energy and Transport of the Saarland

The economic policy decisions of the next few years are crucial for the Saarland – as for all federal states – to meet the challenges induced by decarbonisation, digitalisation and demographics against the backdrop of current climate and energy policy developments, especially in the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Stricter climate protection laws, the consequences of the Ukraine war and the energy price shock, and individual company decisions present the Saarland with acute transformation challenges. Moreover, due to the interplay of industrial importance, a low degree of diversification, the concentration on sectors particularly affected by the transformation and strong sectoral interdependencies, these are particularly great for the Saar industry.

The acute transformation challenges meet with structural challenges, such as the declining demographic development of the Saar population or the enormous conversion processes and costs of the Saar economy in advancing digitalisation.

The financial strength of the Saarland is just sufficient to meet the structural challenges. However, it does not allow for significant and unforeseen expenditures. Therefore, extensive investments are necessary to stabilise the Saar economy in the long term concerning the acute challenges and simultaneously secure its independent financial capacity to act. Otherwise, there is a risk of destabilising the entire Saar economy.

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