It is essential for the government to receive specialist advice on a regular basis, especially because it is not possible to adequately address future challenges without a solid foundation in academic research. The Advisory Board to the Federal Ministry of Finance is an expert body that has repeatedly provided valuable ideas and proposals for Germany’s economic and fiscal policies for over 60 years.

In its search for rational solutions, the Advisory Board sees itself as the academic “conscience” of the government – not least because of its independence, which is stipulated in its statutes. It has always been part of the board’s role, and still is today, to challenge policy-makers.

The papers produced by the Advisory Board cover a very wide range of issues, including German reunification, the European integration process, tax reform and prospects for budgetary consolidation, to name just a few examples. Against the backdrop of German and European unification, the Advisory Board developed important guidelines and reform proposals relating to the equalisation of Länder finances in Germany as well as the significance of the Maastricht criteria for federal and Länder debt limits.

In March 2009, the Advisory Board to the Federal Ministry of Finance celebrated the 60th anniversary of its founding. The board advises the German finance minister in an independent capacity, with its members serving on a voluntary basis. It has a free hand when it comes to selecting the issues to focus on.