Germany Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

Germany Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal republic consisting of 16 federal states (Bundesländer), a chancellery and parliamentary democracy. The government is divided between the federal level and the individual states. In the government after the elections in September 2021, which was formed after long negotiations by the SPD, Grünen and FDP coalition, there were significant personnel changes. Olaf Scholz became chancellor. Check computerminus to learn more about Germany political system.

The current composition of the government:

Federal Chancellor: Olaf Scholz (SPD),

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection: Robert Habeck (Grünen)

Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs: Annalena Baerbock (Grünen)

Federal Minister of the Interior: Nancy Faeser (SPD)

Federal Minister of Justice: Marco Buschmann (FDP)

Federal Minister of Finance: Christian Lindner (FDP)

Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Hubertus Heil (SPD)

Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture: Cem Özdemir (Grünen)

Federal Minister of Defense: Christine Lambrecht (SPD)

Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth: Lisa Paus (Grünen)

Federal Minister of Health: Karl Lauterbach (SPD)

Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: Volker Wissing (FDP)

Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: Steffi Lemke (Grünen)

Federal Minister for Education and Research: Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP)

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development: Svenja Schulze (SPD)

Federal Minister for Construction and Housing: Klara Geywitz (SPD)

Federal Minister for Special Tasks, Head of the Office of the Federal Chancellery: Wolfgang Schmidt (SPD)

Foreign policy of the country

German foreign policy has been largely under review since the SPD, Greens and FDP coalition government took office in December 2021. Germany’s firm anchoring within NATO and the EU remains stable, Chancellor Scholz’s government continues to strengthen transatlantic relations, but the contours of Germany’s future policy towards Russia and China remain unclear, especially as a result of Russian aggression in Ukraine. The Russian invasion of Ukraine fundamentally disrupted the current German Eastern policy in the spirit of Wandel durch Handel (change through trade), significantly accelerated the trend of reducing the number of German companies in Russia, and fundamentally contributed to Berlin’s decision to reduce dependence on Russian fossil energy imports (coal and oil by 2022, natural gas until 2024) to zero. In the context of Russian aggression, the federal government also announced its intention to create an extra-budgetary fund for the modernization of the Bundeswehr in the amount of EUR 100 billion and promised an increase in defense spending of 2% of GDP. Germany is thus faced with the decision of whether it wants to remain a civilian economic world power, or whether, after the collapse of its current policy towards Russia, it will strive for leadership in the military field as well. The decision will be presented as part of the first national security strategy, which should be presented in autumn 2022. However, it is already participating within NATO in strengthening the Eastern wing of the Alliance. As part of the announced reform of the export policy, interdepartmental preparation of the law on the control of arms exports is underway. Chancellor Scholz’s current policy towards Beijing shows signs of continuity with Chancellor Merkel’s policy, at the same time, however, the chancellor’s first foreign trip in the Asian region was to Tokyo, not Beijing. By the end of 2022, the federal government’s first ever strategy towards China is to be published. Although the latter remains Germany’s largest trading partner, information is already leaking out about the government coalition’s intention to identify and gradually break down dependencies in critical areas, create robust EU instruments for possible countermeasures, and focus on finding new markets in the Asian region and strengthening partnerships with Japan and India. Despite the worsening situation in Mali, the federal government plans to maintain its engagement in the Sahel region. The key priority of the foreign policy of Chancellor Scholz’s government is the protection of the climate and the fight against the causes and consequences of its changes. This is related not only to a considerable amount of investment in the so-called the green transition of the German economy and the unchanging negative attitude towards nuclear energy, but also humanitarian and development aid directed to endangered developing countries and the intention to create a so-called climate club during the G7 presidency in 2022. Germany’s multilateral engagement in the field of peace policy (e.g. the Berlin process for the countries of the Western Balkans, the resolution of the crisis in Libya, the E3 and the maintenance of the JCPoA), but also through the DE-FR initiative of the Alliance for Multilateralism and investments in the COVAX health platform or in climate policy, remains strong. As part of development cooperation, the government has committed to spending 0.7% of GNP. At the UN, Germany continues to strive for a seat as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the period 2026-2027. The relentless streamlining of the EU as a world actor and the creation of European synergies remains a strategic goal for Berlin in the pursuit of its national interests. Germany is traditionally the largest net contributor to the EU budget. The European policy of the federal government is nevertheless strongly focused on achieving consensual solutions in the Council of the EU. In addition to the current priorities of ecological and digital transformation, the traditional priorities of federal governments in the EU include economic and industrial policy. Among the current priorities of the government coalition in the area of ​​EU policies are the change of the founding treaties of the EU, the reform of the debt rules, the banking union and the conditional joint coverage of deposits, the support of research and infrastructure within the framework of the Multiannual Financial Framework, the strengthening of the strategic sovereignty/solidarity of Europe in the field of energy supply. Check relationshipsplus for Germany defense and foreign policy.

Population

Number of inhabitants and population density:

According to the German Statistical Office, 8million inhabitants live in Germany (2021), compared to 2020, the Federal Statistical Office recorded no increase or decrease. Between 2011 and 2019, the population in Germany grew slightly, but the years 2020 and 2021 remained constant due to the covid-19 pandemic. At the end of 2021, approximately 4 million people of working age (25 to 59) lived in Germany. In Germany, since 1972, the death rate has been higher than the birth rate of the population. The number of children born in the Federal Republic of Germany has been slowly increasing over the years (795,500 births in 2021), but the death rate is still high (1,023,000 deaths in 2021). About 233 inhabitants/km2 live in Germany.

Demographic composition:

As of 31/12/2021, approximately 1million foreigners lived in Germany. The largest minority living in Germany has long been the Turkish, followed by the Polish, and the Syrian minority is then the third largest. In recent years, a significant increase in the number of residents from Italy, Romania, Albania and Afghanistan has been observed. According to the Federal Statistical Office, every fourth German has ancestors with a migration history.

Confession:

In Germany, 2million inhabitants profess the Roman Catholic Church, 20.2 million inhabitants are Protestant, million are Muslims, and 93,700 inhabitants profess Judaism. Rome – the Catholic and Evangelical churches report about 222,000 inhabitants who left the institution of the church last year..