Less paperwork for added competitiveness

Members of Bavaria's Landtag, Thorsten Freudenberger and Jenny Schack, visit Wanzl

Germany will elect its European Parliament representatives on 9 June. In the run-up to the election, two members of Bavaria's Landtag (state-level parliament) Thorsten Freudenberger (Neu-Ulm ward) and Jenny Schack (Günzburg ward), both of whom are from the CSU party, visited Wanzl’s company headquarters in Leipheim. On 3 May, they got to experience Wanzl’s capabilities for themselves and also joined Oliver Weirauch, Chairman of the Wanzl Board of Management, to discuss the European Union's influence on the international family-run business.

As a global player with 11 international production sites in 7 countries, 27 sales outlets and around 50 agencies, Wanzl is an innovation leader for solutions in retail and also in the business areas of intralogistics, access systems, airports and hotels. The company, based in the Swabian region of Bavaria, remains true to its roots in everything it does, which is why it invests continuously in upgrades to its German sites. Thorsten Freudenberger and Jenny Schack were able to gain a good impression of this during their tour of Wanzl Plant IV in Leipheim. “The production of up to one million shopping trolleys per year has impressed me with its automation!” emphasised Thorsten Freudenberger, while Jenny Schack pointed out: “Wanzl is a prime example of the success of our regional SMEs, making it an ambassador for the strength of our local companies in the Günzburg district and beyond.” Even during the tour itself, one issue came up time and again: what does the political-ecological tension between Germany as a centre for business and the European Union mean to SMEs like Wanzl? Oliver Weirauch, Thorsten Freudenberger and Jenny Schack held an in-depth discussion on this topic following the plant tour. “Prior to the visit, I went round various divisions within the company to hear what they had to say. The basic gist was that too many, excessively complex EU regulations, often in parallel with existing German ones, created an enormous amount of paperwork. This is at the expense of our competitiveness on an international comparison. In addition, the sometimes excessive requirements make it more difficult to comply with fundamentally sensible guidelines, for example for supply chains, labour and employment standards or carbon footprint. We would like to see better judgement and more harmonisation regarding which laws and regulations are mandatory for all companies,” explained Oliver Weirauch. Jenny Schack agrees: “It is politicians’ job is to make the underlying conditions for economic success easier for companies. We need to bring the focus back to this principle: not just talking about reducing bureaucracy, but also providing very concrete relief in this area.” Thorsten Freudenberger added: ”We take the legitimate concerns of businesses seriously. At the same time, a company like Wanzl, which operates throughout Europe, benefits massively from the European single market, which we want to strengthen.”

After the discussion, Oliver Weirauch’s conclusion was positive: “We had a very interesting discussion and I would like to thank Ms Schack and Mr Freudenberger for taking the time to visit us in person. It is important for Wanzl that politicians also actively listen to SMEs and take their needs into account. We hope that they both show good judgement in future political decisions.”