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The sectoral dialogues organised by the Economic Affairs Ministry aim to achieve a results-oriented, interactive discussion with sectoral representatives from companies, associations and trade unions in order to identify issues in the sectors, and prioritise and develop measures. The goal is to work with sectoral representatives to develop specific measures to strengthen the competitiveness of German industry. The sectoral dialogues are generally organised in three stages: they consist of public online consultations, sectoral dialogues at working level in the Economic Affairs Ministry, and a final meeting of the top-level representatives with the Minister.

Basic elements of the three-stage sectoral dialogues

1. Public online consultations

A tailored questionnaire is drawn up covering sector-specific and horizontal issues – such as skills shortage, Industrie 4.0 or sustainability. The aim is to identify high-priority sectors with a special need for action.

2. Sectoral meeting at working level

Once the most important and topical issues have been identified via the evaluation of the online consultation, some 80 representatives of companies, associations and trade unions are invited to an interactive workshop ("world café") in the Economic Affairs Ministry. The participants can develop specific proposals for measures to respond to the key issues and questions. In particular, it is necessary to ensure that the future measures are practical and balanced.

3. Meeting of top representatives with the Minister

In a third stage, the top representatives from the relevant sector discuss the consolidated catalogue of measures with the Economic Affairs Minister. Feasibility and efficiency are discussed, and the measures and follow-up activities are made as specific as possible, prioritised and agreed.

This is usually followed by a monitoring process in order to review the status of implementation and the results of the priority measures in good time and - if necessary - to fine-tune them.