Dr. Schmachtenberg is Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), a position he has held since March 2018. He is responsible for the areas Social Insurance/Provision for Old Age, Participation/Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities, Social Compensation/Social Assistance and European Employment and Social Policy. After studies of Mathematics and study stays in the USA and Norway he earned a doctorate in economics. Since 1990 he has held various leading positions in the field of labour and social affairs at state and federal level. He has many years of experience in labour market policy, participation/matters relating to persons with disabilities and European labour market and social policy. His responsibilities included in particular the Federal Participation Act, the further development of the Act on Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the National Action Plan regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In his three-year term of office as director of the Indo-German programme for social security at the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) he also gained experience in international development cooperation work.
This event brought together perspectives from different states to share best practices on the EU's legislative role in social policies.