Speaking to the business daily Handelsblatt, Schröder said Germany’s biggest need was more people in its workforce.
When asked whether an Agenda 2030 was necessary, he said, “Absolutely. We need a convincing concept, above all because of the ageing of the population.”
He contradicted his own centre-left Social Democratic Party’s opposition to delaying the retirement age from 65 to 67 years. “Retirement at 67 is right,” he said.
His Agenda 2010 was highly controversial when it was introduced between 2003 and 2005, as it made sharp cuts to Germany’s previously very generous social security system, and changed some employment laws in a bid to tackle high unemployment.
Schröder also said he favoured a legal quota for women in some areas of business – if not the management boards then at least the supervisory boards, he said. If a start was not made there, the number of women in top business positions would never increase, he said.
Germany’s demographic problems – an increasingly old population not producing enough children to fill the job market – must be tackled with greater efforts to integrate immigrants already in Germany, he said, and by having a targeted immigration policy to attract skilled workers to the country.