The German economy is considered the powerhouse of Europe. Even though it was anticipated to be a dead man amongst Europe's big players like France in the early 2000s, it has become a rising Star, nowadays. This development started to develop with the big reforms that took place in the early 2000s. Back then Schröder's infamous "Agenda 2010" was nothing more than a phantasm to bring Germany back to the days of former glory. But over this decade these harsh reforms turned the Economy into the one we know today.
The "Agenda 2010" was basically a reform catalogue for the German welfare system and the labor market to make the country's economy more competitive. Especially the welfare system was known to not create any incentives for unemployed people to go working because it would cover the needs of unemployed too well. Due to this, the idea to cut the welfare money, especially for long term unemployed workers arose. The general idea of saving money with the Agenda 2010 was not just a side effect it was more or less unavoidable because of the Treaty of Lisbon that forced Germany to save money.
The "Agenda 2010" had an especially huge impact on the further economic development of Germany. A big part of the Agenda were reforms concerning the business culture, because jobs can't be created 'from scratch' in a western market economy. By having this in mind, pro-employer reforms were decided. This did not just have an impact on the job market, but also raised the General amount of investments in the small firm sector, the backbone of the economy.
It is fair to say that the "Agenda 2010" brought the German economy to today's glory. Especially the other powerhouses in Europe turn green with envy, when they look at the reforms that took place in Germany during the early 2000s. It might not have made such a huge impact, if the 2008 Euro Crisis wouldn't have happened. But especially the crisis showed the competitiveness of the German economy compared to the rest of Europe. Now Germany is in a very comfortable position in comparison to the other European countries.The meaning of the "Agenda 2010" for Germany becomes quite obvious, when considering, that even chancellor Merkel thanked Schröder (who actually is a member of a rivaling party) for the harsh, but necessary steps he rung in in the early 2000s.