Germany

Germany Destinations Travel Guide

 

Language: German

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Calling Code: 49

 

Description of Germany

Germany or officially the Federal Republic of Germany is the most populous state in Central Europe , a member state of the European Union and a state party to the Schengen Agreement. Germany extends from the coasts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea in the north with their beaches and mud flats to the Alps in the south, the largest part is flat or covered by low mountain ranges, the so-called low mountain ranges. However, the country is best known by travelers for its cultural treasures - since the late Middle Ages it has been one of the centers of Europe in almost all disciplines of art, and despite the devastation in the world wars, architecture has survived from Romanesque and Gothic to postmodernism.

 

Since ancient times, the Latin name Germania is known for the settlement area of the Teutons and Germanic tribes. The existing since the 10th century Holy Roman Empire, which consisted of many dominions preceded German Confederation founded in 1815 a precursor of the German nation state, founded in 1871, known as the German Reich, which developed rapidly from agrarian to industrialized state.

After Germany lost World War I, 1918 its saw the formation of the democratic Weimar Republic. The National Socialist dictatorship starting in 1933 with political and racist persecution and the murder of six million Jews began the devastating Second World War, which ended in 1945 in Germany's defeat. The land occupied by the victorious powers was divided in 1949. The founding of the Federal Republic as a democratic West German state with West binding on 24 May 1949 was followed by the founding of the Socialist GDR on 7 October 1949 as East German State under Soviet hegemony. The inner German border was sealed off after the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. After the peaceful revolution in the GDR in 1989, the solution of the German question followed by the reunification of both parts of the country on 3 October 1990.

 

Travel Destinations in Germany

Berlin Sanssouci Castle

 

Northern Germany

Bremen

 

Hamburg

Hamburg Hamburg Wadden National Park

 

Lower Saxony

Hanover
Brunswick
Celle
Cuxhaven
Göttingen
Hildesheim
Lüneburg
Oldenburg
Wolfsburg
Harz National Park
Lower Saxon Wadden National Park

 

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Rostock
Schwerin
Stralsund
Greifswald
Wismar
Neubrandenburg
Bad Doberan
Sassnitz
Peenemünde
Binz
Kühlungsborn
Güstrow
Heringsdorf
Hiddensee
Jasmund National Park
Müritz National Park
Schwerin Castle
Western Pomerania Lagoon Park

 

Schleswig-Holstein

Kiel
Flensburg
Husum
Itzehoe
Lübeck
Neumünster
Ratzeburg
Sankt Peter-Ording
Schleswig
Eutin Castle
Glücksburg Castle
Plön Castle
Schleswig-Holstein Wadden

 

Western Germany

North Rhine-Westphalia

Düsseldorf
Aachen
Bonn
Cologne
Dortmund
Duisburg
Essen
Münster
Wuppertal
Eifel National Park

 

Rhineland- Palatinate

Trier
Mainz
Cochem
Koblenz
Landau in der Pfalz
Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Speyer
St. Goar
Worms
Freusburg
Burg Eltz
Rhine Valley

 

Saarland

Homburg
Merzig
Mettlach
Neunkirchen
Saarbrücken
Saarlouis
St Wendel
Roman Villa Borg

 

Central Germany

Hesse

Saalburg
Darmstadt
Frankfurt am Main
Fulda
Gießen
Hanau
Kassel
Limburg an der Lahn
Marburg
Wiesbaden
Arolsen Castle
Auerbach Castle
Burg Ludwigstein
Kellerwald-Edersee National Park
Löwenburg Castle

 

Thuringia

Erfurt
Eisenach
Gera
Gotha
Jena
Mühlhausen
Nordhausen
Rudolstadt
Saalfeld
Sonneberg
Suhl
Weimar
Buchenwald Concentration Camp
Hanstein Castle
Schloss Elisabethenburg
Hainich National Park
Schloss Reinhardsbrunn

 

Eastern Germany

Brandenburg

Potsdam
Brandenburg an der Havel
Cottbus
Eisenhüttenstadt
Falkensee
Frankfurt an der Oder
Ludwigsfelde
Mühlberg
Oranienburg
Senftenberg
Werder (Havel)

Elbtalaue

Beelitz Military Hospital

Lower Oder Valley National Park

 

Saxony

Leipzig
Dresden
Bautzen
Chemnitz
Freiberg
Görlitz
Meissen
Plauen
Zwickau
Moritzburg Castle
Blankenhain Castle
Festung Königstein
Gnandstein Castle
Osterstein Castle
Saxon Switzerland National Park

 

Saxony-Anhalt

Magdeburg
Dessau
Halle
Blankenburg
Eisleben
Halberstadt
Lützen
Merseburg
Naumburg
Osterwieck
Quedlinburg
Stendal
Stolberg
Thale
Wernigerode
Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Falkenstein Castle
Huysburg
Rudelsburg
Stecklenburg
Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm
Giebichenstein Castle

 

Southern Germany

Baden- Württemberg

Heidelberg
Wachenburg
Stuttgart
Freiburg
Konstanz
Baden-Baden
Karlsruhe
Ulm
Mannheim
Tübingen
Bear Cave
Fog Cave
Helfenstein Castle
Hohenneuffen Castle
Hohenzollern Castle
Kaltenburg Castle
Katzenstein Castle
Lichtenstein Castle
Ludwigsburg Palace
Burg Meersburg
Nippenburg castle
Rötteln Castle
Salem Abbey
Sausenburg Castle
Schneeburg castle
Schwetzingen Castle
Sigmaringen Castle
Steinsberg Castle
Wildenstein Castle
Windeck Castle

 

Bavaria

Munich
Bayreuth
Augsburg
Bamberg
Landshut
Nuremberg
Passau
Regensburg
Würzburg
Bavarian Forest National Park
Berchtesgaden National Park
Blutenburg Castle
Brennhausen Castle
Ettal Abbey
Herrenchiemsee Palace
Hohenschwangau Castle
King's House on Schachen
Linderhof Palace
Luisenburg Rock Labyrinth
Fortress Marienberg
Mespelbrunn Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle
Nymphenburg Palace
Plassenburg Castle
Burg Rieneck
Burg Rotenhan
Schloss Johannisburg

 

Getting here

Entry requirements

Visa
In general, foreigners who want to stay, work or study in Germany for more than 90 days per 180 days generally require a visa. EEA citizens and Switzerland are exempt from this rule. Other states have special regulations, such as the required residence permit can be obtained after entry or it applies only to certain, for example, biometric (travel) passes. Which regulation applies to which state is to be seen on the list of states regarding the visa requirement or freedom of the Federal Foreign Office. If the visa requirement exists, a visa must be applied for in person at the competent German mission abroad. Application forms are also multilingual online. Often, the purpose of the trip is to provide adequate financing for the stay, proof of valid travel health insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros and the willingness and ability to return to the country of origin in due time. In addition, the identity card or passport must be valid for up to 3 months after re-departure. A "Schengen visa" (60 €) entitles you to stay in the entire Schengen area for 3 months, the national visa (75 €) for Germany for longer stays. Both visas are valid only with a note to work or study (more under study and work ). Depending on the reason for the entry, the processing can take several days or months (eg gainful employment).

Customs regulations
Not every commodity can be safely imported to Germany, there are many restrictions and prohibitions. The specific provisions can be found on the website of the German customs. In addition, the provisions of the country of origin (and transit countries) should be known.

Drugs
Medicines may be carried for personal use according to the recommended dosage for a maximum of 3 months. Counterfeit, potentially lethal and common substances used in doping are prohibited. Taking narcotics (containing medicines) is only permitted with a medical certificate (original with translation) and official certification of the respective country of origin.

Cash
When prompted or on request, specify the type, value, origin, etc. orally. Cash and securities with a value of more than € 10,000 must be registered in writing when entering from outside the EU (online form in German or English ) and handed over to the next customs office without being requested. If the information is not or incomplete or turns out to be wrong (as accurate as possible, better the value higher than too low) fine up to € 1,000,000 are possible. In particular, the purpose should be plausible, because officials may be entitled to secure these funds.

Pets
To enter, dogs, cats and ferrets need a tattoo or a microchip (mandatory after 2011), a valid rabies vaccination and an EU pet passport (from the EU) or an official veterinary certificate (not from the EU). Otherwise the chargeable departure (of the animal), several months of quarantine or euthanasia threatens. The entry may only be made via a few ways (by plane or ship, competent authorities ). More than 5 pet animals is a commercial import.

Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Bull Terrier and their puppies and crosses are classified as dangerous and may not be imported or kept. There are exceptions for a period of up to 4 weeks or for specially trained dogs (eg guide dogs, service dogs, etc.). In addition to the usual required documents, the harmlessness must be proven.

 

By plane

The most important airports in Germany are Frankfurt am Main (FRA), Munich (MUC), Dusseldorf (DUS) and Berlin-Tegel (TXL). Hamburg (HAM), Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF), Cologne-Bonn (CGN), Stuttgart (STR), Hannover (HAJ), Nuremberg (NUE), Bremen (BRE), Leipzig Halle (LEJ), Dresden (DRS), Münster / Osnabrück (FMO), Saarbrücken (SCN) and Erfurt-Weimar Airport(ERF) are other important airports for international aviation. There are also a number of other regional airports, so there is an airport near every half-million city.

The increase in point-to-point traffic, as well as the hub with low-cost carriers or traditional scheduled airlines has meant that smaller airports have been expanded and thus created an even larger range of flights in the area. These airports include Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN), Dortmund (DTM), Weeze (NRN), Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden (FKB), Memmingen (FMM), Paderborn-Lippstadt (PAD) and Friedrichshafen(FDH). From here, there are usually bus connections to the next larger cities. However, since these airports are also far away from the eponymous cities, the costs for the journey and very long travel times must be considered. An extreme example is the airport Frankfurt-Hahn in Hunsrück in Rhineland-Palatinate: the next big cities are Koblenz and Trier (both 50 km), while the eponymous city of Frankfurt am Main is more than 120 kilometers away in Hesse.

Also of interest are the border-near airports Salzburg (SZG), Innsbruck (INN), Zurich (ZRH), Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (BSL / MLH / EAP), Strasbourg (SXB) and Luxembourg (LUX). Some of them are even included in systems such as RAIL & FLY of Deutsche Bahn.

"Flag Carrier" and undisputed "top dog" at many German airports is the Lufthansa, which is no longer in state ownership, but still maintains excellent contacts in politics. In the meantime, Lufthansa has made many flights to Eurowings , the intragroup low-cost carrier, where you have to pay extra for virtually everything (except the flight itself). After the bankruptcy of Air Berlin Germany's second airline is the Germania , which is mainly specialized in the holiday traffic, but also "exotic" destinations such as Iceland or Tehran from smaller German airports flies to. Other German airlines are Condor and TUIfly . In addition to low-cost airlines, which often fly to smaller airports in Germany with cheaper fees and often delete routes when subsidies are canceled, there are also several foreign flag carriers, which connect their respective hubs to the larger German airports, mostly Frankfurt or Munich.

 

There are budget flights to almost every city in Europe from Germany. The major budget airlines in Germany are easyJet, Ryanair (now also offering a limited number of flights within Germany), Eurowings (for flights within Germany, too) and Wizz Air (for flights to Eastern Europe) which all offer several connections to many countries throughout Europe. The main hubs for easyJet are Berlin-Schönefeld and Dortmund, for Ryanair Hahn and Weeze and for Eurowings Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart. Most of those airlines also fly into and out of other airports but usually with a more limited choice of connections.

For (budget) flights to European holiday destinations, for example round the Mediterranean, some of Germany's other carriers are Condor (Thomas Cook) (also for main tourist destinations throughout the world) and TUIfly. Germania also has a number of international destinations.

 

Entry requirements

When entering via air, special entry requirements must be observed. At many German airports, there is the so-called "two-channel check-in procedure" for faster clearance, which means that there are two ways to enter the country. During the green output for notifying free goods, which is red output for notifying paid goods determined. In the red exit there are constant checks and here the goods are registered with the customs, but also in the green exit there are often (event-related) controls. In case of doubt, the red output should always be used.

 

By train

Traveling by train to Germany is possible in principle from all neighboring countries. Hourly or two-hour long-distance connections are available from Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France. To all other neighboring states (except Luxembourg, only regional traffic) there is a regular connection to the respective capital.

However, cross-border regional traffic is still expandable. Gradually, the trains from the 70s is replaced by multiple units and in local transport by double decker trains, with more and more routes are taken over by private companies. With the exception of Austria, Switzerland and Sweden, all neighboring states have other traction power grids and signaling systems. Because of this, only a few trains can travel in neighboring countries. Only the 3rd ICE generation was equipped with multi-flow systems, so that these multiple units now also go to the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

If possible you should not use the relatively expensive normal fare of the train. There are various discounts, with which there are train ridesalso attractively priced (including use of the Bahncard, savings rates with train binding). It should be noted that in Germany the reservation of seats in long-distance trains is recommended on weekends and holidays, as most seats are reserved. Travelers with a discount subscription (Austrian Vorteilscard, Swiss Half-Fare Card / GA) receive a discount on rail travel to Germany in international traffic (reductions analogous to the BahnCard 25). Since many savings offers (especially those in long-distance traffic) according to the load, one can say that a reservation is not necessary, if you get the day before the trip still a ticket for 29 €. According to statistics of the German railway, the long-distance trains on Tuesday at 12 o'clock are the most vacant.

Swiss people are advised to book the tickets from their place of residence or border station directly at Deutsche Bahn or their Internet portal (tickets will be sent to Switzerland without additional fees) and not via the SBB (fees are often much higher there). It must be stated whether one owns a Half-Fare Card or GA.

 

Several European high-speed trains cross into and out of Germany:
The ICE brings you at 300 km/h top speed from Frankfurt (3.25 hr), Cologne (2.5 hr) or Düsseldorf (2.25 hr) to Amsterdam. The train journey from Frankfurt to Paris (320 km/h) using the ICE will take about four hours; going from Hamburg to Paris can take eight and a half hours. There is also an ICE line from Frankfurt to Brussels via Cologne.
The Thalys brings you from Cologne (Köln) to Paris in approximately four hours and to Brussels in about two hours.
The TGV brings you from Marseille, Lyon and Strasbourg to Frankfurt, and from Paris, and Strasbourg to Munich.
Between Stuttgart and Milan you can travel with one stop in Zurich, the fastest trans alpine train connection. The Italian and German lines feeding into the Gotthard Base Tunnel (which opened in late 2016) are being upgraded. The German and Swiss railways plan to introduce new services along this route for the 2018 schedule.

 

Name

The name "Germany" comes from the Latin "Germania", which goes back to the writings of ancient authors of the 1st century AD and is derived from the ethnonym "Germans" (lat. Germanus). The name was first used by Julius Caesar in his "Notes on the Gallic War" regarding the tribes living beyond the Rhine. The word itself probably has non-Latin roots and comes from the Celtic "gair" ("neighbor").

In German, the state is called "Deutschland" (from the Pragerm. Þeudiskaz). "Deutsch" (from the Proto-German Þeodisk) originally meant "related to the people" and meant primarily the language. "Land" means "land, country". The modern form of writing the name of the country has been used since the 15th century.

After the accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990, it was decided, by mutual agreement between the governments of Germany and Russia, not to decline the word "Germany" in the official name of the state. Correct: "Federal Republic of Germany" (not "Federal Republic of Germany"). The abbreviation "FRG" was actively used in the USSR and in the GDR and is used today in Russian. In Germany itself, this abbreviation (BRD) is not accepted in the official language and only the full form of the name or the phrase “federal republic” (German: Bundesrepublik) is used, when it is clear that this country is meant.

The asteroid (241) Germany, discovered in 1884 by the German astronomer K. Luther, and the element of the periodic table of chemical elements germanium, discovered in 1886 by the German chemist K. Winkler, are named from the toponym Germany.

 

Geography

Relief
The northern part of Germany is a low-lying plain formed during the ice age (North German Plain, the lowest point is the Neuendorf-Saxenbande in Wilstermarsh, 3.54 m below sea level). The surface of the North German Plain has preserved traces of ancient glaciation - chains of low moraine ridges and hills. The western part of the lowland is occupied by swampy lowlands - marches, the formation of which is caused by the lowering of the platform. In the central part of the country, forested foothills adjoin the lowlands from the south, and the Alps begin to the south. The highest point in Germany is the Zugspitze at 2962 m.

Rivers and lakes
A large number of rivers flow through Germany, the largest of which are: the Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Weser and Oder, the rivers are connected by canals, the most famous canal is the Kiel Canal, which connects the Baltic and North Seas. The Kiel Canal begins in the Bay of Kiel and ends at the mouth of the Elbe River. The largest lake in Germany is Lake Constance, with an area of ​​540 km² and a depth of 250 m.

 

Climate

Germany is located in a temperate climate zone, in the north the climate is maritime, to the south it becomes temperate continental. This is due to the fact that the weather is often changeable. In the middle of summer it can be warm and sunny, but the very next day it can get cold and rainy. Truly extreme natural events (severe droughts, tornadoes, storms, severe frost or heat waves) are relatively rare.

Average temperatures in July are from +14 in the mountains to +22°C in the valleys. Average January temperatures range from +4 in the valleys to -5°C in the mountains. The average annual temperature is +5-+10°C. The lowest temperature in Germany was −46°C, such an indicator was recorded in the 20th century in the south of the country, in its mountainous part at an altitude of 1601 m above sea level in an area with coordinates of about 47ºС. sh. and 12º in. d. at Lake Funtensee.

Specially protected natural areas
Germany has 14 national parks, 19 biosphere reserves, more than 100 natural parks and many other protected natural areas and natural monuments.

 

History

The first mention of the ancient Germans appeared in the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. One of the first mention of the Germans dates back to '98. It was made by the Roman chronicler Tacitus (lat. Tacitus). The entire territory of modern Germany east of the Elbe (Slavic Laba) until the 10th century was inhabited by Slavic tribes. By the XII-XIV centuries, these lands gradually became part of various German state formations that made up the so-called Holy Roman Empire. As these territories became part of the German states for several centuries, the local Slavs were gradually almost completely assimilated by the Germans. This process lasted until the late Middle Ages and the beginning of a new time, and in some places, with the last, not yet fully assimilated Slavic people of Germany - Luzhans, it continues to this day.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, the Frankish state was formed, which, after three centuries, under Charlemagne, turned into an empire (800 year). Karl's empire covered the territory of a number of modern states, in particular Germany. However, the empire of Charlemagne did not last long - the grandchildren of this emperor divided it among themselves, as a result of which three kingdoms were formed - the West Frankish (subsequently France), the East Frankish (later Germany) and the Middle Kingdom (soon divided into Italy, Provence and Lorraine).

Traditionally, the date of the founding of the German state is considered to be February 2, 962: on this day, the East Frankish king Otton I was crowned in Rome and became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire; this empire was a confederation of lands (German: Land), each of which had its own army and minted its own coin. At the head of the Holy Roman Empire was the emperor, elected by the council of electors, there was a body representing the land - the Reichstag (German: Reichstag). Each of the lands was an estate monarchy with a landtag (German: Landtag).

This situation continued until 1806, when, under pressure from Napoleon I, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist and its emperor began to bear only the title of Emperor of Austria. The number of German states was significantly reduced; the Rhine Union was created, which was also a confederation consisting of independent lands. At the head of the Rhine Union was the Federal President, who was the Emperor of the French, the body representing individual lands - the Bundestag (German: Bundestag).

The Congress of Vienna contributed to the further unification of the German states, as a result of which the German Union was formed from 38 German states, which also remained a confederation of independent lands. At the head of the German Union was the Federal President, who was the Kaiser of the Austrian Empire from the Habsburg dynasty, the Bundestag was the body representing the lands. The transformation of the monarchical German states from absolute monarchies to constitutional began - the conversion of the Landtags from irregular meetings of representatives to permanent qualified parliaments.

After the revolution of 1848, a conflict was brewing between the growing influence of Prussia and the Austrian Empire. This led to the war of 1866, in which Prussia won and annexed a number of German principalities. The German Union collapsed.

On August 10, 1866, the North German Union was created - a federal state with a form of government in the form of a dualistic monarchy, a single army and a single monetary system were created. In 1867, the North German Union Constitution was adopted, establishing the Federal Council (German Bundesrat), formed by the heads of state, and the Reichstag (German Reichstag), elected by the people, on the basis of universal suffrage, as legislative bodies, and the post of State President (German . Reichspräsident), which was the king of Prussia as head of state. The introduction of universal suffrage in the elections to the Landtags began.

On December 10, 1870, the Reichstag renamed the North German Union into the German Empire (German Deutsches Reich), and the President of the North German Union into the German Emperor (German Deutscher Kaiser).

Earl Otto von Bismarck was appointed chancellor of the German Empire. Political parties emerged: the Socialist Workers Party of Germany, the liberal German Progressive Party and the National Liberal Party, the conservative German Center Party and the German Conservative Party.

 

The growth of German national identity led the heyday of German culture, science and philosophy. In the 19th century, such distinguished figures as composer Richard Wagner, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, economist Karl Marx, writer Heinrich Heine, physicists Heinrich Hertz and Max Planck, among many others, created in Germany. The Germans Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented the car. Sigmund Freud laid the foundation for psychoanalysts.

In 1914, Germany entered the First World War. On November 4–9, 1918, Germany was swept by an anti-monarchist uprising, and the rebels began to form workers councils (arbeiterrat) at the enterprise level. On November 9, the King of Prussia fled to the Netherlands, where he abdicated soon, the German Empire was proclaimed the German Socialist Republic, on November 10 the General Meeting of the Berlin Workers' and Soldiers' Councils (Vollversammlung der Berliner Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte), elected provisional bodies of state power - the Executive Council of Workers' Workers and the Soldiers Councils of Greater Berlin (Vollzugsrat des Arbeiter- und Soldatenrates Groß-Berlin) and the Council of People's Commissioners (Rat der Volksbeauftragten), the latter consisted of representatives of the SPD and the recently left more left-wing Nez -volatile Social Democratic Party of Germany, Chairman of People's Representatives (Vorsitzende des Rates der Volksbeauftragten) have become the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert, Philipp Shaydeman and independent Social Democrat Hugo Gaza. On December 16-21, 1918, at the last Imperial Congress of Workers 'and Soldiers' Councils, a constitution was decided to convene the 2nd German National Assembly, the Central Council of the German Socialist Republic (Zentralrat der Deutschen Sozialistischen Republik) was elected as the interim parliament, and the composition of the Council of People's Commissioners was approved . The elections to the Second German National Assembly took place on January 19, 1919, with the SPD taking the first place and on February 10, 1919, the Law on Provisional Imperial Power was passed, according to which the State Committee (Staatenausschuss) elected by the land governments and the National Assembly became the legislative bodies. elected by the people, head of state - the Imperial President, elected by the National Assembly, the executive body - the Imperial Ministry (Reichsministerium), appointed by the Imperial President, consisting of the Imperial Prime Minister Minister (Reichsministerpräsident) and imperial ministers. On June 28, 1919, a peace treaty was signed at Versailles between France, Great Britain and the USA on the one hand and Germany on the other, according to which the defeat of the latter was actually ascertained. West Prussia and Poznan moved to Poland, Alsace to France, Eipen to Belgium, Saar was transferred under the control of the League of Nations, German military formations were withdrawn from the Rhine Province, as a result of which an attempt was made to completely separate it from Germany. The Imperial army was disbanded, instead of it the Imperial defense limited in number (German Reichswehr) was created.

On June 30, 1919, the Second German National Assembly adopted the Constitution, according to which the legislative bodies were the State Council (Reichsrat), appointed by the land governments, and the Reichstag, elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot, the head of state - the State President ( German Reichspräsident) elected by the people, the executive body is the State Government (German Reichsregierung), consisting of the State Chancellor (German Reichskanzler) and state ministers (German Reichsminister), appointed by the State President and responsible to the Reichstag, the German Empire remained a federal state, consisted of lands, the legislative bodies of the land were parliament elected by the people, the executive bodies were state ministries (German Staatsministerium), consisting of prime ministers (Ministerpräsident) and state ministers (German: Staatsminister), representative bodies of local self-government - provincial parliament (Provinziallandtag, in the provinces of Prussia), Kreistag (German Kreistag), city assembly of commissioners (Stadtverordnetenversammlung), community offices (Gemeindevertretung), local government executive bodies - land committees (Landesausschuss, in the provinces of Prussia), district committees (Kreisausschuss), magistrates (Magistrat), community councils (Gemeins authorities in local units - land governors (Landeshauptman, in the provinces of Prussia), landrats (in the districts), burgomaster, constitutional oversight body - the State Court of Justice (Staatsgerichtshof), the highest court - the State ud (Reichsgericht).

 

The largest political parties were: the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the power-oriented workers' councils of the Communist Party of Germany (KKE), the liberal democratic - the German Democratic Party (DP), the conservative democratic party - the Center Party (PC), the liberal - the German People’s party (NNP), conservative monarchist - German National People's Party (NNNP). Three democratic parties (SPD, DP, HRC) formed the Weimar Coalition, which opposed revanchism, and if this coalition did not have an absolute majority in parliament, it entered into a large coalition with the NNP.

On January 30, 1933, the Reich Chancellor of Germany appointed the chairman of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) Adolf Hitler. This event marked the end of the Weimar Republic. Germany was declared a unitary state, the landtags were abolished, the functions of the legislative bodies of the German lands were transferred to the appointed state governors, and the Reichsrat was also abolished. On February 1, 1933, the Reichstag was dissolved.

In 1933-1945, Germany pursued an aggressive expansionist and revanchist policy, which in 1939 led to the Second World War. The regime that existed in Germany under the Nazis is called the Third Reich.

After the unconditional surrender of Germany in World War II on May 8 (in the USSR on May 9) 1945, the German Reich was liquidated. The restoration of state independence of the German lands began, power from state governors was taken away and transferred to the restored Landtags by a temporary assembly (Beratende Versammlung). The land of Prussia was liquidated as a “source of militarism and reaction in Germany” by the Law “On the Elimination of the Prussian State” adopted on February 25, 1947 by the Allied Control Council. The provinces of Prussia gained independence. East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, Lower Silesia, Upper Silesia, Western Pomerania were liquidated, their territories were divided between the USSR and the Polish People's Republic. The Germans from these territories, as well as from the Sudetenland, were deported, and these territories themselves were settled by Poles, Russians, Czechs. Luxembourg's independence was restored, the Sudetenland returned to Czechoslovakia, Epen - Belgium, South Tyrol - Italy, Alsace was transferred to France. On the territory of the rest of the German-speaking states, occupation troops remained, four zones of occupation were formed to control the occupation forces:

French, which includes the southern part of Württemberg, the southern part of Baden and the southern part of the Rhine region and the Palatinate;
British, which includes the northern part of the Rhine region, Westphalia, Hanover, Braunschweig, Oldenburg, Schaumburg-Lippe;
American, which includes Bavaria, Hesse, the northern part of Baden and the northern part of Württemberg;
Soviet, which includes Saxony, Halle-Merseburg, Magdeburg, Anhalt, Thuringia, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg and Western Pomerania;
Berlin was also divided into four sectors.

First, political parties were allowed in the Soviet, and later in other areas of German occupation - the Communist Party of Germany (KKE) and all three parties of the former Weimar coalition — the SPD, the Democratic Party, and the Human Rights Council — were restored. However, soon the party elite of the Democratic Party together with the former members of the NNP create the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP) (in the Soviet zone of occupation - the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)), and the party elite of the Human Rights Center together with the former members of the NNP create the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) As a result, DP and HR are marginalized.

In the Soviet zone of occupation, an attempt is made to recreate the likeness of the Weimar coalition, which leads to the creation of a "Democratic bloc", which includes the KKE, the SPD, the LDP, the East German CDU, whose governing body was formed on the basis of the parity of all parties included in the bloc. Similar blocks were created at the land level, on a parity basis of these parties, temporary land meetings were formed, which also included representatives of some public organizations. In April 1946, the SPD and the KKE in the Soviet zone of occupation merged into the Socialist Unified Party of Germany (SED), whose governing bodies were formed on the basis of the parity of the former communists and social democrats. The SDPG of the other three zones refused such a union, the KPD organizations became the organizations of the SEDG of these zones.

In 1946-1947, land and district assemblies, community councils (or community representations) elected by the population were recreated, and in the elections in them in the Soviet zone of occupation, in which the KKE and the SPD were merged into the SED, the SED received the majority, in the rest the majority received either SPD, or CDU.

 

On May 29, 1947, the United Economic Council for the United Economy (Wirtschaftsrat des Vereinigten Wirtschaftsgebietes), elected by the Landtags and the Land Council (Länderrat) elected by the land governments and the Administrative Council (Verwaltungsrat), formed by the Economic Council, was created in the British and American zones of occupation. In the Soviet zone of occupation, the German People’s Congress (Deutscher Volkskongress) arose, consisting of delegates from parties and public organizations, who elected from among its members the German People’s Council (Deutscher Volksrat). On March 1, 1948, the Bank of German Lands was established by the occupation administration of the British and American zones of occupation, which on June 20, 1948 began issuing the German mark.

In response to this, in the Soviet zone of occupation on July 20, 1948, a German issuing bank was established in the GDR, which began issuing cash, and on July 24, the issue of the German mark of the German issuing bank began. On September 1, 1948, a Parliamentary Council (Parlamentarischer Rat) was convened in Bonn, elected by the Landtags, which passed on May 8, 1949, and enacted the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany) on May 23 and elected the Federal President, recognized as the lands of the western zones of occupation. This basic law established the Bundesrat and the Bundestag as legislative bodies, the position of the Federal President (Bundespräsident) as head of state, and the Federal Government (Bundesregierung) as the executive body. In the Soviet zone of occupation, direct elections were held to the Third German People's Congress, which on October 7, 1949 put into effect the Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and elected the President. Under this constitution, the Länderkammer Chamber of Lands, the GDR People’s Chamber (Volkskammer) as legislative bodies, the President of the GDR (Präsident) as head of state and the government as the executive body were established by this constitution. In 1950, elections were held in the Bundestag and the People’s Chamber.

In 1951, the Bank of German Lands was transferred to Germany, in the same year the German Issuing Bank was transferred to the GDR. In 1952, the lands were abolished in the GDR, the territory of the state was divided into districts. April 25, 1952 Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern united in the land of Baden-Württemberg.

On June 7, 1955, the Bundeswehr armed forces were created, and the FRG itself was admitted to NATO. A year later, on March 1, 1956, the GDR armed forces were created - the National People's Army (NNA) (Nationale Volksarmee), and the GDR itself joined the Warsaw Treaty Organization (ATS). At the same time, at first both the Bundeswehr and the NNA were not numerous and were staffed by volunteers, however, in 1957 a conscription for active military service was introduced in the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 1962 a conscription for active military service was introduced in the GDR, and in the same year the NNA was introduced to East Berlin. In 1956, the Saar entered the FRG. In 1958, the Chamber of Land of the GDR was abolished, and in 1960 the post of President of the GDR was abolished.

In 1973, the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany became members of the United Nations (UN).

On October 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and West Berlin were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (Germany), the People’s Chamber and the Government of the GDR were abolished.

 

Administrative division

Germany is a state with a federal structure; consisting of 16 equal subjects - lands (Land)

The lands are divided into districts (German: Kreis) and extra-district cities (German: Kreisfreie Stadt), the states of Hamburg and Berlin are divided into city districts (German: Bezirk), districts are divided into cities (German: Stadt) and communities (German: Gemeinde), non-district cities - into urban areas (German: Ortschaft), districts of the lands of Hamburg and Berlin into quarters (German: Ortsteil), cities, communities, districts and quarters are divided into residential areas (German: Wohngebiet). Bavaria has an intermediate link between the land and the district - the administrative district (German: Bezirk).

The legislative bodies of the lands are the Landtags (in Hamburg and Bremen - the Burgerschafts (Bürgerschaft), in Berlin - the Chamber of Deputies elected by the population; the executive bodies are the land governments (Landesregierung) (in Bremen, Hamburg and Berlin - the Senates (Senat)) , each of which consists of a land prime minister (Landesministerpräsident) (in Berlin - the Ruling Burgomaster, in Hamburg - the First Burgomaster) and land ministers (Landesminister) (in Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg - senators) appointed by the Landtags. Each land has a land constitution and may, on certain matters, enact land laws.

The representative bodies of the districts are the kreistags (Kreistag), elected by the population, the executive bodies are the district committees (Kreisausschuss), each of which consists of the landrat (Landrat) and members of the district committee, in Rhineland-Palatinate there are also district boards (Kreisvorstand), consisting of the landrat and district assistants (Kreisbeigeordneter).

The representative bodies of cities are city councils (states) (Stadtrat) (in Hesse and Brandenburg - city representative assemblies (Stadtverordnetenversammlung), in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg - city representative offices (Stadtvertretung), elected by the population, executive bodies - burgomasters (in Hesse - magistrates (Magistrat) consisting of the burgomaster and members of the magistrate).

The representative bodies of the communities are gemeinderats (Gemeinderat) (in Hesse, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg and Schleswig-Holstein - community representations (Gemeindevertretung)), elected by the population, executive bodies - burgomasters (in Hesse - community boards (Gemeindevorstand), consisting of the burgomaster and members of the community board).

The representative bodies of the districts of the states of Berlin and Hamburg are the district meetings of the commissioners (Bezirksverordnetenversammlung) in Berlin or the district meetings (Bezirksversammlung) in Hamburg, the executive bodies are the district administrations (Bezirksamt), consisting of the district mayor (Bezirksbürgermeister) and members of the district government.

The representative bodies of the districts are district councils (Ortschaftsrat), local councils (Ortsbeirat) (in Schleswig-Holstein, Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt), local councils (Ortsrat or Ortsbeirat) (in Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Brandenburg), district councils (Bezirksrat or Bezirksbeirat) (in Saarland, Baden-Württemberg), district representations (Bezirksvertretung) (in North Rhine-Westphalia), district committees (Bezirksausschuss) (in Bavaria), representative offices of localities (Ortsteilvertretung) (in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), councils of parts of places (Ortsteilrat) (in Thuringia) elected by the population, executive bodies - burgomasters of places (Ortsbürgermeister) (in Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt), burgomasters of parts of places (Ortsteilbürgermeister) (in Thuringia), elders of places (Ortsvorsteher) (in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony), district mayors (Bezirksbürgermeister) (in Saarland, North Rhine-Westphalia), district elders (Bezirksvor steher) (in Baden-Württemberg).

Judicially, the territory of Germany is divided into lands and districts (each has one supreme land court, while general, labor and financial courts are built according to lands and districts or groups of districts, administrative and social only by lands), regions (Region, for each one land court each) and plots (Amt, each with one district court).

Cities
The largest cities in Germany are Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne. The next most important is the fifth most populated city in Germany and the financial metropolis of Frankfurt am Main, Germany's largest airport. It is the third largest airport in Europe and the first in terms of revenue from air cargo. The Ruhr Basin is the region with the highest population density.

 

Population

Population statistics from 1954 to 2019
The Federal Republic of Germany is only slightly larger in area than neighboring Poland, but twice as large in population. As of 2020, the population of Germany was 83,190,556. In Germany, as in many other, both developed and developing countries of the world that have completed the demographic transition and are in the last, final phase of the demographic transition, the birth rate is below the replacement level. Since 1972, the birth rate in Germany has been lower than the death rate. According to 2013 data, out of 8.1 million families with minor children, about 2.5 million families (31%) had migrant roots, that is, at least one of the parents was either a foreigner, or a migrant who took German citizenship, or is a German settler from countries of the USSR or Eastern Europe. At the same time, the total number of families with minor children has decreased in comparison with 2005, when there were 8.9 million of them. According to official figures, in 2013, 29.6 million migrants and their descendants lived in Germany (including 12.1 million migrants with German citizenship), which is 25.6% of the population of Germany. Of these, about 7.2 million people are descendants of migrants and were born already in Germany. In 2015, the share of the population with migration roots was 21% (including 36% in the group “children under 5 years old”). As of 2016, there were a total of 18.6 million immigrants and their direct descendants (including ethnic German repatriates), or 22.5% of the German population. As of 2019, the UN estimated that 13.1 million immigrants and their descendants lived in Germany, or 15.7% of the country's population.

In 2015, the demographic development was as follows. Birth rate - 8.98 ‰, mortality - 11.26 ‰, natural increase (decrease) - -2.28 ‰, migration balance - 14.19 ‰.

The rural population is less than 10%, almost 90% of the German population lives in cities and urban areas adjacent to them. As of 2021, 77.5% of the German population lived in cities.

Population of the largest cities (residents) (31.12.2018).

Population structure
According to The World Factbook, the national composition of Germany as of 2020: 86.3% Germans, 1.8% Turks, 1% Poles, 1% Syrians, 1% Romanians, 8.9% other nationalities. groups. Lusatian Serbs (60,000) live in the lands of Brandenburg and Saxony, and Danes (50,000) live in the northern regions of Schleswig-Holstein. There are 6.75 million foreign citizens in the country, of which 1.749 million are Turks, 930 thousand are citizens of the republics of the former Yugoslavia, 187.5 thousand are citizens of the Russian Federation and 129 thousand are citizens of Ukraine.

Since 1988, 2.2 million migrants of German origin and 220 thousand contingent refugees (including members of their families) have arrived in Germany from the post-Soviet states for permanent residence, thus making up one of the largest Russian-speaking diasporas in the world.

The Muslim population in Germany is 3.2-3.6 million, although this number is sometimes disputed. According to some other sources, 4.3 million Muslims live permanently in Germany, of which approximately 63.2% are of Turkish origin.

The age structure of the German population as of 2020: 0-14 years old - 12.89%; 15-64 years old - 64.12%; 65 years and older - 22.99%. The average age of the German population according to The World Factbook for 2020 was 47.8 years (4th place in the world), including 46.5 years for men and 49.1 years for women. The ratio of the number of men and women: the entire population - 0.96 (2020). Average life expectancy of the population of Germany as of 2021: total - 81.3 years; men - 78.93 years; women - 83.8 years. As of 2021, the birth rate is 8.63 newborns per 1,000 inhabitants (212th in the world). The total fertility rate (TFR) is 1.48 births per woman. Due to the demographic aging of the population, the mortality rate is steadily increasing, as of 2021, the mortality rate is 12.22 deaths per 1,000 people (13th place in the world). As of 2021, Germany's net migration rate is relatively low at 1.58 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants (54th in the world). As of 2019, the average age of a woman at first birth in Germany is 29.8 years (for comparison, in the Republic of Korea, the country with the lowest TFR in the world is 0.84 births per woman in 2020, the average age of a woman at first birth in 2019 year was 32.2 years).

 

Languages

The official literary and business language is German. Along with this, the population uses Low, Middle and High German dialects (10 main and more than 50 local), which are also spoken by residents of the border regions of neighboring states; the dialects themselves are often very different from the literary language. There are also dialects in the regions on the borders of the lands in the country. The recognized languages ​​of national minorities include Danish, Frisian, Lusatian, Gypsy, and also as a regional language - Low Saxon (Low German), which has been recognized by the EU since 1994.

According to estimates, about 6 million people in Germany speak Russian to some extent, including more than 3 million immigrants from the countries of the former USSR (and their descendants), mainly from Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. Also in Germany they speak Turkish (2.1 million), the languages ​​of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia (720,000), Italian (612,000). Migrants who do not speak German often find themselves in an information vacuum and/or become dependent on sources of information.

Migration
According to OECD research, Germany ranks second in the world in terms of attractiveness for immigrants after the United States.

According to the report on migration, in 2013 Germany received the largest number of migrants since 1993.
The number of migrants who entered in 2013 increased by 13% compared to 2012, while the number of those who left increased by only 12%. As a result, 429,000 more people entered Germany than those who left.
58% of migrants entering Germany are EU citizens.
The main immigrants, as before, since 1996, are citizens of Poland.
Since the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU in 2007, the number of migrants from these countries has increased.
There has also been an increase in migration from Croatia since its accession to the EU on July 1, 2013.
Due to the economic crisis, migration from southern European EU states such as Spain and Italy has increased.
Compared to 2012, the number of applications for asylum has increased by 70%.
Migration from non-EU countries is still high.
Germany is an attractive country for students. 86,000 people started their studies in Germany in 2013.
In 2013, 44,311 family reunification visas were issued.
Every fifth inhabitant of Germany has a migration background.
Germany is the second most popular immigration country in the world after the United States. As of 2016, there were a total of 18.6 million immigrants and their direct descendants (including ethnic German repatriates), or 22.5% of the German population. As of 2019, the UN estimated that 13.1 million immigrants and their descendants lived in Germany, or 15.7% of the country's population.

 

Religion

Since 1919, the Church in Germany has been constitutionally separated from the state. Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are guaranteed by the German constitution.

The composition of the population of Germany by religion as of 2020: 54% Christians, 4.3% Muslims, 1% profess other religions, 40.7% non-religious.

As of 2020, the majority of the German population is Christian (54% of the population), while Catholics make up 26.7%, Lutherans - 24.3%, Orthodox - 1.9%, other Christians - 1.1%.

Part of the believers are Muslims (from 5% to 6.9%), Jehovah's Witnesses (about 164,000 or 0.2%) and members of the Jewish communities (about 100,000 or 0.12%). 40.7% of the German population is not religious, mostly residents of the largest cities in Germany, such as Berlin or Hamburg and the population of eastern Germany of the former GDR (about 70% -80% there).

Germany was converted to Christianity during the time of the Franks. The Baptist of Germany is considered to be Saint Boniface, who was the Bishop of Mainz and converted a significant part of modern Germany to Christianity (he suffered martyrdom from the pagans in 754). At the beginning of the 16th century, the Church Reformation began in Germany and Switzerland, based on the teachings of Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Luther. As a result of the Reformation and the religious wars that accompanied it (the main of which was the Thirty Years' War of 1618-1648), Germany was divided into Catholic and Protestant (Lutheran) regions. The main principle, enshrined in the Augsburg religious world (1555), was the principle of cujus regio, ejus religio, that is, the subjects of one or another feudal lord were obliged to accept his faith: Catholic or Protestant.

Article 7:3 of the Basic Law guarantees the study of religion as a regular subject. Despite the state's right to oversee teaching, religious studies are conducted in accordance with the principles of religious communities. Since December 12, 1999, a law has been in force in Hamburg, according to which (in accordance with Article 7 of the Basic Law) a religious subject is compulsory for study. In Bavaria, religion lessons are also a compulsory subject in all comprehensive schools. Land authorities pay up to 90% of the costs associated with the teaching of religion in schools. Grades obtained in religious subjects are taken into account when transferring to senior classes. Christianity, in general, is allocated from 7% to 8% of the total number of hours of the school curriculum.

Several federal states, namely Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, in 1970 insisted on a Christian basis for education in public schools, stipulating in their legislation that such values ​​as "fear of God" and "love of neighbor" were the general goals of education. They also introduced congregational prayer. The German Federal Court has therefore ruled in several judgments that the state must pay tribute to the influence of Christianity on common cultural values.

 

State structure

Berlin is the capital of Germany. Meanwhile, in the course of lengthy negotiations regarding the conditions for transferring the capital from Bonn to Berlin, the former managed to keep most of the federal ministries on its territory, as well as a number of the main important federal departments (for example, the federal audit chamber).

Germany is a democratic, social, legal state. It consists of 16 lands. The state structure is regulated by the Basic Law of Germany. The form of government in Germany is a parliamentary republic.

Germany is a democratic state: “All state power comes from the people. It is carried out by the people through elections and voting, as well as through special bodies of legislation, executive power and justice.

The head of state is the federal president, who performs rather representative functions and appoints the federal chancellor. The Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany takes the following oath: "I swear to devote my strength to the good of the German people, to increase their wealth, to protect it from damage, to observe and protect the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, to conscientiously fulfill my duties and observe justice in relation to everyone." If desired, he can add the religious wording "God help me." The Federal Chancellor is the head of the German government. He directs the activities of the Federal Government. Therefore, the form of government in Germany is often also called chancellor democracy.

Germany has a federal structure. This means that the political system of the state is divided into two levels: the federal level, at which national decisions of international importance are made, and the regional level, at which the tasks of the federal lands are solved. Each level has its own executive, legislative and judicial authorities. Although the states have unequal representation in the Bundesrat, legally they have equal status, which characterizes the German federation as symmetrical.

The German Bundestag (parliament) and the Bundesrat (organ of representation of the states) carry out legislative and legislative functions at the federal level and are authorized by a two-thirds majority in each of the bodies to amend the constitution.

Political parties
Electorally successful political parties in Germany receive state funding. Each party that has been represented in the Bundestag for 12 years has a special fund, which is fully funded by the state. An example is the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

Left
Left - Left Socialist Party
Union 90/The Greens - Ecological Party

centre-left
Social Democratic Party of Germany - Social Democratic Party
Pirate Party of Germany - Pirate Party

centrists
Free Democratic Party of Germany - liberal party

centre-right
Christian Democratic Union of Germany - Conservative Party (Bavarian Land Association - Christian Social Union)

Rights
The alternative for Germany is a Eurosceptic right-wing conservative party
The National Democratic Party of Germany is a far-right party in Germany.

Stages of reforming the federal system
After the adoption of the Basic Law in 1949, the German authorities repeatedly made attempts to improve the federal system. The first large-scale reform was carried out by the "grand coalition" government (CDU/CSU-SPD) under Chancellor KG. Kiesinger in 1966-1969. As a result of the reform, the interweaving of the interests of the lands and the federal center received a new dimension.

In the financial sector, the principle of "cooperative federalism" was introduced, which will become one of the stumbling blocks at the present stage of the history of Germany.

Under the Schroeder government (1998-2005), the goal was to carry out a large-scale constitutional reform of federalism in order to simplify the political processes in the country, make them more transparent to the population and less dependent on momentary party calculations. The reform was designed to redistribute powers between the center and the subjects of the federation, clarify the legislative competence between the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, and ultimately increase the viability of the state as a whole.

The number of laws requiring the mandatory approval of the Bundesrat was planned to be reduced to 35-40% by removing laws on the principles of administration of all lands from the coordination mechanism with the Bundesrat. That is, in the future, the Länder will have to proceed from federal regulations, which implies giving the Landtags greater responsibility.

In March 2003, the Federalism Convention (composed of the heads of state parliaments and the leaders of the factions of the parties represented in them) approved the "Lübeck Declaration", containing specific measures to modernize the federal system.

 

On October 17, 2003, the Commission on Federalism was created, which included the then Secretary General of the SPD F. Müntefering and the Chairman of the CSU and Prime Minister of Bavaria E. Stoiber.

On November 18, 2005, a coalition agreement between the CDU / CSU and the SPD (“Together for Germany - with courage and humanity”) was signed, which stipulated the proposals of these parties on the division of powers and responsibilities between the lands and the center.

On July 7, 2006, after the approval of the Bundesrat, the reform entered into force.

The innovation package covers the following areas:

1. Education. Now the current issues of education are within the competence of the lands, and they will be directly transferred funds from the federal budget. This excludes misuse of the received funds.

2. Distribution of income. Federal laws cannot set tasks for cities and communities that require additional material expenses from local governments. If federal laws interfere with the competence of the Länder, these laws must necessarily obtain the consent of the Bundesrat.

3. High school. Completely relegated to the jurisdiction of the lands. The Federation may participate in the financing of scientific research, but only with the consent of the Länder.

4. Environmental protection. The Federation can develop framework legislation, but the Länder can make decisions that deviate from it. In doing so, the EU environmental regulations must also be taken into account.

5. Budget. Introduction of the "Stability Pact on the model of the EU". In connection with the problem of land debts, eventual debt sanctions will be 65% on the shoulders of the federation, and 35% on the shoulders of the lands.

6. Land legislation. The competence of the Länder included housing law, issues of assemblies, associations and the press, the penitentiary system, hunting legislation, opening hours of shops, rules for opening restaurants.

7. Fight against terrorism. The exclusive competence of the federation (Federal Office of the Criminal Police), along with nuclear energy, registration of citizens, regulation of the circulation of weapons and explosives.

8. Public service. Land competence.

On December 15, 2006, a new stage of federalism reform started. The main issues unresolved at the 1st stage were: the reduction of debts of the lands, distortions in the financial relations between the federation and the lands and the lands themselves.

The essence of the problem is that all the lands must carry out federal tasks, but their possibilities for this are very different.

Therefore, the German Constitution (paragraph 2, article 107) states that “the law must ensure a commensurate equalization of differences in the financial capabilities of the lands; at the same time, the financial capabilities and needs of the communities should be taken into account ”For this, there was a procedure for equalizing the budgetary provision of the regions, that is, part of the funds of the“ rich lands ”are redistributed in favor of the“ poor ”, sometimes with infusions from the federal budget.

Formally, the federal state structure in Germany has two levels: the federation as a whole state and the states as members of this state. But in reality, there is also a "third", informal level of relations between the federation and the lands - "cooperative federalism"; that is, along with the horizontal self-coordination of the lands, the practice of vertical coordination along the federation-Land axis has developed: the participation of the federation in land financing. Within the framework of vertical coordination, commissions are created from representatives of the federation and the states.

The main problems of horizontal and vertical relations in Germany are related to the distribution of financial resources between rich and poor federal states and the implementation of the principle of "equivalence" of living conditions.

"Horizontal" alignment allows you to help underdeveloped regions by redistributing the income that the federation and the states receive jointly (corporate and income tax). This situation causes a lot of criticism, primarily from the liberals (FDP, O. Lambsdorf), who are in favor of reducing the "charitable" role of the state.

Politicians of other parties also agree with similar proposals. For example, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Stoiber (CSU), calls for increased regionalization, and the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Teufel (CDU), calls for a reduction in the number of lands and an increase in legislative (legislative) terms.

Briefly, their ideas for reforming federalism can be formulated as follows:
Assignment to each level of its tax powers; the transition of all lands to the status of "solid financial units";
Reducing the "horizontal alignment" of land budgets;
Cancellation of mixed financing;
Reducing the legislative competence of the federation in favor of the lands by limiting the powers of the center to such areas as defense, law and order, human rights, foreign policy and “framework” regulation of environmental, economic and social policy issues;
Significant limitation of the Bundesrat's veto power. The general principles of administration in the Länder were removed from the topics of the bills requiring the mandatory approval of the Bundesrat.

 

The search for a more effective model of federalism is complicated in Germany by three factors: the aggravation of contradictions between poor and rich lands, the presence of competing projects of large political parties, and the needs of European federalism, which is forced to take into account both the experience of states with centralized government (England and France) and the experience of federations (Germany). ).

Foreign policy
In foreign policy, the West-oriented German Chancellor K. Adenauer (1949-1963) acted in accordance with the slogan of the ideologist of South German liberalism K. von Rottek: "Freedom without unity is better than unity without freedom." German European Policy 1949-1963 how the relationship between ends and means is divided into two stages.

In its first phase (from 1949 to the mid-1950s), it was the means by which West Germany planned to rebuild its economy, create its own armed forces, and achieve recognition by world powers. Foreign policy was pursued for the sake of domestic.

At the second stage (from the mid-1950s to 1963), now domestic policy was carried out for the sake of foreign policy: Germany strove to become not just an independent, but also a strong state. European military policy of Germany in 1958-63. was based on rapprochement with France (Berlin-Paris axis) and the rejection of the plan of "multilateral nuclear forces" proposed by the United States. The signing of an agreement on German-French cooperation drew a line under the centuries-old confrontation between these states.

Adenauer recognized the international management of Ruhr industry established by the Petersberg Accords, considering this as the basis for future Western European integration. In 1950, Adenauer adopted the plan developed by R. Schuman to create the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Adenauer also supported the idea of ​​creating a European Defense Community (EDC) proposed by W. Churchill.

In 1952, the Bonn Treaty was signed, which abolished the occupation status and granted the Federal Republic of Germany state sovereignty.

On May 5, 1955, the Paris Agreements came into force, the most important of which was the agreement on Germany's entry into NATO. However, at that time, Germany's sovereignty could not be called full-fledged: foreign troops remained on its territory, Germany was deprived of the right to possess many types of strategic weapons.

In 1959, a conference of four powers was held in Geneva: the USA, Great Britain, the USSR and France, which ended with the actual recognition of the existence of three German states: the FRG, the GDR and West Berlin.

One of the important priorities of Germany's foreign policy is the deepening of the integration of the EU states. Germany plays a decisive role in the construction and organization of European structures. At the same time, from the very beginning, the goal was to dispel the post-war fear of the neighboring countries of Germany and to make redundant the restrictions imposed by the Soviet occupying forces. Since 1950, Germany has become a member of the Council of Europe, and in 1957 signed the Treaty of Rome, which later became the foundation of the European Union: Germany joined the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

So, the important results of the European policy of Germany in 1949-63. became: the recognition of Germany's sovereignty and its status as an important European partner and the beginning of the formation of the foundations of Germany's economic power.

Germany has been a member of the Group of Ten since 1964.

During the Cold War, Germany's foreign policy was severely limited. One of its main tasks was the reunification of West Germany with East Germany. Military-politically, Germany was closely connected with the NATO bloc. American nuclear warheads were stationed in West Germany.

Modern Germany is considered to be the nodal center both between East and West, and between the Scandinavian and Mediterranean regions, the countries of Western and Eastern Europe.

With the accession of the GDR to the FRG, the threat of using the GDR as a springboard for the deployment of foreign troops was eliminated, the risk of turning Germany into an object of the use of nuclear weapons, as well as the dangerous game of "third countries" on the contradictions between the GDR and the FRG, was eliminated.

Until recently, one of the most controversial was the question of the possibility of using the German armed forces outside the sphere of joint responsibility of NATO.

According to the constitution, Germany has no right to take part in wars of conquest. This limitation is the subject of ongoing controversy. Its armed forces stand to protect the sovereignty and integrity of Germany and the NATO countries.

 

Only recently has the Bundeswehr taken part in various activities aimed at maintaining peace. This became possible after the decision of the Constitutional Court, which allowed the use of the German Armed Forces for UN peacekeeping missions, and for each specific case, the consent of the Bundestag is required, which until now was given only with temporary restrictions. In this case, the use of weapons only for self-defense is allowed. All attempts by various parties to get the Constitutional Court to review this issue have so far been rejected. German troops took and are taking part in resolving the following conflict situations:

1992 - 1996: Operation SHARP GUARD using warships and reconnaissance aircraft in the Adriatic Sea against Yugoslavia;
1993 - 1995: UN Force Operation in Somalia UNOSOM II;
1999 - present: NATO war against Yugoslavia, operation KFOR;
2002 - present: NATO war in Afghanistan, operation ISAF;
2002 - present: Operation Enduring Freedom with the participation of the naval contingent in the coastal waters of East Africa and the Mediterranean Sea;
2003 - present: With AWACS reconnaissance aircraft, with the right to cross Iraqi airspace, but without the right to occupy.
2005 - present: Maintaining peace in Sudan as part of Operation UNMIS.
2006 - 2008: Participation in the armed mission of the EU to ensure elections in the Congo
2006 - present: Protection of the coastal waters of Lebanon in order to suppress the smuggling of weapons (as part of the UNIFIL mission)
2008 - present: Somali Coastal Patrol under Operation ATLANTA (Counter Piracy).
2012 - present: NATO Mission to protect the Turkish-Syrian border with Patriot anti-aircraft systems.

 

Legal system

The constitutional oversight body is the Federal Constitutional Court (German: Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG), the constitutional supervision bodies of the lands are the constitutional courts of justice (Verfassungsgerichtshof) (in Thuringia, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Bavaria, Berlin), land constitutional courts (Landesverfassungsgericht) (in Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), state courts of justice (Staatsgerichtshof) (in Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Hesse, Lower Saxony), constitutional courts (Verfassungsgericht) (Brandenburg, Hamburg) .

The highest court in criminal and civil justice is the Federal Supreme Court (German: Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) in Karlsruhe. One step below are the highest land courts (German Oberlandesgericht, then the land courts German Oberlandesgericht and the lowest level of the judicial system - district courts (German Amtsgericht).

The highest court of administrative justice is the Federal Administrative Court (German: Bundesverwaltungsgericht, BVerwG) in Leipzig, the courts of appeal of administrative justice are the supreme administrative courts (Oberverwaltungsgericht) in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse - administrative courts of justice (Verwaltungsgerichtshof), courts of first instance administrative justice - administrative courts (Verwaltungsgerichte).

The highest court of labor justice is the Federal Labor Court (German: Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG), the courts of appeal of labor justice are the land labor courts (Landesarbeitsgericht), the courts of first instance of labor justice are the labor courts (Arbeitsgerichte).

The highest court of social justice is the Federal Social Court (German: Bundessozialgericht, BSG), the courts of appeal of social justice are the Land Social Courts (Landessozialgericht) (one for each land, exceptions are Brandenburg and Berlin, as well as Lower Saxony and Bremen have a common land social court), courts of first instance of social justice - social courts (Sozialgerichte).

The highest court of financial justice is the Federal Financial Court (German: Bundesfinanzhof, BFH) in Munich, the regional financial courts are financial courts (Finanzgericht).

There is also a copyright court - the Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht), a court for professional discipline - the Disciplinary Court of the North (Truppendienstgericht Nord).

Most of the litigation is the responsibility of the Länder. Federal courts are mainly engaged in review cases and check the decisions of the courts of the Länder for formal legality.

Bodies of prosecutorial supervision - the Prosecutor General at the Supreme Court of Germany (German: Generalbundesanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof, GBA), the prosecutors general of the lands, the prosecutors of the zemstvo courts.

Each federal state has its own constitution.

 

Economy

Germany does not have large reserves of any minerals. A rare exception to this rule, which applies to the entire Central European region, is coal, both hard (Ruhr basin) and brown. Therefore, its economy is concentrated mainly on the industrial production and service sectors. The basis of the economy (from 70% to 78% (2011), in different years) is services, 23-28% - production. Also developed is the production of goods, machinery and various equipment, which make up a significant part of German exports. The agricultural sector makes up 0.5-1.5% of GDP, which employs the same number of the economically active population of the country.

With a GDP of $2.811 trillion (PPP), Germany was in fifth place in the world in 2009 (after the US, China, Japan and India). In addition, Germany occupies one of the leading places in the world in terms of export volumes. Exported products are known throughout the world [source not specified 3250 days] under the Made in Germany brand. In terms of living standards, the country ranks 6th in the world, according to the Human Development Index.

The share of Germany in world GDP is 3.968%
The share of Germany in the GDP of the EU countries is almost 30%
GDP per capita - about 40 thousand dollars
State budget deficit for 2006 - 1.7%
State budget deficit for 2010 - 4.2%
State budget deficit for 2011 - 0.8%
State budget surplus for 2012 - 0.1%
State budget surplus for 2013 - 300 million euros
Government spending in Germany is up to 50% of the country's GDP.
SMEs in Germany account for approximately 70% of jobs and 57% of GDP generated.
In general, industry accounts for 38% of GDP, 2% for agriculture, and 60% for services.
The shadow sector of the economy is approximately 15% of GDP

In 1994, the country's economy was hit hard by a scam by real estate dealer Jurgen Schneider, when his construction corporation was unable to pay its colossal debts.

According to official figures, in 2011 the average number of unemployed in Germany was 3.0 million (7% of the German working-age population).

Agriculture
Germany has highly productive agriculture. In terms of agricultural production, grain production and livestock production, Germany is second only to France, and in terms of milk production it ranks first within the EU. Germany is a country of predominantly small family farms. The efficiency of agricultural production in Germany is significantly higher than the EU average. At the same time, Germany lags behind in the average yield of corn and sugar beets. Agriculture plays a subordinate role in the agro-industrial complex.

About 70% of agricultural products are produced by animal husbandry. Cattle breeding is the main branch of animal husbandry in Germany, it provides more than 2/5 of all marketable agricultural products, with milk accounting for the bulk (about ¼). The second place in importance is occupied by pig breeding. The country's self-sufficiency in milk and beef systematically exceeds 100%, but in pork it is less than 4/5.

Dairy and meat cattle breeding is most typical for well-moisturized coastal, alpine and pre-alpine regions rich in meadows and pastures, as well as for the periphery of urban agglomerations. Due to the rather cold winters, stall keeping of livestock is common. Pig breeding is developed everywhere, but especially in areas close to ports of entry of imported feed, areas of cultivation of sugar beets, potatoes and fodder root crops. Broiler production, production of eggs, veal, as well as pig breeding are concentrated in large livestock farms, the location of which is little dependent on natural factors.

Of the total grain production in the European Union, Germany accounts for slightly more than 1/5, but it stands out mainly in the production of rye (3/4 of the harvest), oats (about 2/5) and barley (more than ¼). The areas of cultivation of sugar beet largely coincide with the areas of wheat crops.

There are significantly more fodder crops than food crops, since a large amount of fodder grain, especially corn, is imported. Nevertheless, the country ranked (2012) the seventh largest exporter of wheat in the world (6.2 million tons). Of the fodder grains, barley is the most important; some varieties of spring barley are grown specifically for use in the production of beer, which is considered the national drink in Germany (consumption per capita is about 145 liters per year). The world's largest hop-growing area Hallertau is located in Bavaria.

Of great importance is the cultivation of fodder root crops (fodder beets, etc.), corn for green fodder and silage, alfalfa, clover, and other fodder grasses. Of the oilseeds, rapeseed is the most important, the crops of which are more than 10 times higher than the crops of sunflower.

 

In areas with high natural soil fertility, the main crops are wheat, barley, corn and sugar beets. The poorer soils of the North German Plain and the mid-altitude mountains are traditionally used for rye, oats, potatoes and natural fodder crops. The traditional nature of German agriculture has been significantly altered by technological progress. Today, the so-called light soils are more valued, due to their suitability for mechanical processing, using artificial fertilizers; for example, corn is now widely cultivated also in the North German Plain, where it is replacing the potato.

The warm climate of the river valleys, intermountain basins, and lowlands of southwestern Germany favors the cultivation of crops such as tobacco and vegetables; the latter are also grown in the area of ​​the Elbe marches below Hamburg and in the Spreewald region south of Berlin. Fruit plantations are especially characteristic of the mountain slopes of southern Germany, the lower reaches of the Elbe near Hamburg, the region of the Havel lakes near Potsdam, and the environs of Halle. The valleys of the Upper Rhine, Main, Neckar and Lower Elbe are famous for their gardens.

Viticulture surpasses, in terms of marketable products, horticulture and vegetable growing combined. Vineyards are located mainly in the valleys of the Rhine, Moselle and other rivers in southern Germany, as well as in the Elbe valley near Dresden.

Industry
The main industries are machine-building, electrical engineering, chemical, automotive and shipbuilding, coal mining.

The proven reserves of brown coal in Germany amounted to 40.5 billion tons. Basically, they are concentrated in the federal states of North Rhine - Westphalia, Brandenburg and Saxony.

 

Infrastructure industries

Energy
In 2002, Germany was Europe's largest consumer of electricity (512.9 terawatt-hours). Government policy involves the conservation of non-renewable sources and the use of energy from renewable sources such as solar energy, wind energy, biomass, hydropower and geothermal energy. Energy-saving technologies are also being developed. The German government plans that by 2050, half of the electricity demand will be covered by energy from renewable sources.

The ratio of the main energy sources in the production of electricity in Germany in 2018: 40.4% - RES (wind power - 20.4%, hydropower - 3.1%, bioenergy - 8.3%, solar energy - 8.4%), 24 1% - brown coal, 13.5% - hard coal, 13.3% - nuclear energy, 7.7% - gas.

In 2000, the government and the German nuclear industry announced the decommissioning of all nuclear power plants by 2021. In 2010, the government abandoned the previous cabinet's plans to shut down the country's nuclear power plants until 2021 and decided to extend the operation of nuclear power plants until the 2030s.

“Due to quixotic energy policies, household electricity bills in Germany are 40% higher than the European average,” The Economist noted in June 2013. Leonard Birnbaum, a member of the board of directors of the largest energy company in Germany, EON Corporation, noted in January 2014 that the costs of German citizens for electricity are at an "alarmingly high level."

 

Transport

The basis of the transport system is made up of railways, carrying about 2 billion passengers a year. Their length is more than 39 thousand km[89]. Some roads are adapted for the movement of high-speed Intercity-Express trains.

At the beginning of 2003, 53 million cars (including cars) were registered in Germany. Motor roads of all classes make up more than 230 thousand km, autobahns - about 12 thousand km.

The German merchant fleet has 2,200 modern ships.

Defense
Russia's invasion of Ukraine led to a radical change in German defense policy. At an emergency meeting of parliament on February 27, 2022, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced an additional allocation of $113 billion for the needs of the army. He also said that Germany is starting direct arms supplies to Ukraine. Observers note that Vladimir Putin has achieved what NATO has spent years on: a massive increase in German defense spending.

Standard of living
The living wage is 9168 euros per year. The minimum standards for housing: for one person - 45 m², for two - 60 m², for three - 75 m², and so on.

95% of the able-bodied population of the country is insured against the provision of medical services and the purchase of medicines.

From January 1, 2019, the minimum wage in Germany is €1557.00 per month and €9.19 per hour (gross). From January 1, 2020, the minimum wage is €1,584 per month and €9.35 per hour (gross). As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the average wage in Germany is €3,771 (gross) and €2,315 (net) per month.

 

Social politics

Social policy is aimed at the maximum mitigation of inequality among the population. Produced by increasing the taxation of wealthy citizens and the distribution of benefits among low-income residents. A number of laws are aimed at supporting the autonomy of every person within the country, at giving him the opportunity to independently build his life. The state sets as its primary goal to help and support a person in his endeavors and ensure that he achieves social well-being.

The system of social protection of the population
The model of social protection that existed in Germany (called “corporate”, “continental”, “conservative” or “Bismarckian”) is considered one of the most effective among European countries. Germany was the first country to introduce a social insurance system. As early as the 1890s, under Bismarck, three laws were passed that formed the basis of this system: the law on sickness insurance for industrial workers, the law on insurance against industrial accidents, and the law on disability and old-age insurance (1891).

At the beginning of the 20th century, the development of social insurance led to a reduction in the retirement age to 65 with 35 years of insurance experience. Early retirement pension (from the age of 60) was assigned to miners with many years of work experience.

The modern model of social protection in Germany was formed under the influence of the changes that took place in the country in the 50-60s of the XX century, and changed as a result of the coming to power of each new party.

The concept of the social market economy was developed to rebuild the German economy after World War II. Its political implementation is associated with the personalities of L. Erhard and A. Müller-Armak. The term "social market economy" was introduced by Müller-Armac. L. Erhard was the first Minister of Economics, and then became the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. Under his leadership, the concept of a social market economy was developed and then implemented in Germany. The social task of the state was not the redistribution of social benefits, but the provision of framework conditions for the activities of individuals, encouraging their consciousness, independence and responsibility for their own well-being. The result of the implementation of these principles was the "German economic miracle". According to L. Erhard, the state should provide social assistance in accordance with the moral principles of society (the most vulnerable and low-income segments of the population - the disabled, orphans, large families, pensioners), but support competition and fight dependency. After the resignation of Chancellor L. Erhard, Keynesian methods of economic stimulation were given priority in domestic policy; the state assumed the role of distributor of the national income.

During the rapid economic growth, due to a shortage of workers, guest workers from southeastern Europe were allowed to enter the country. In the mid-1970s, about 4 million people lived in the country (11% of the workforce). This was the reason for the increase in state social spending, which, after the oil crises, laid a heavy burden on the state treasury. The state took measures to restrict immigration, which provoked an increase in taxes. Layoff protection and tariff autonomy laws were passed to restore economic stability. This led to the fact that only three major players remained on the market: the state, trade unions and employers. This weakened competition and made it possible for trade unions to demand higher wages, a reduction in the working week, etc. Another feature of this period is the desire of the state to redistribute income not vertically (to reduce the differentiation of society), but horizontally (within the middle class).

The modern model of social protection in Germany has the main characteristics: the principle of professional solidarity, the principle of redistribution, the principle of assistance and the principle of self-government of insurance institutions.

The principle of professional solidarity
Insurance funds are being created, managed on an equal footing by employees and employers. These funds receive deductions from salaries in accordance with the “principle of insurance”. The system establishes a strong link between the level of social protection and the success and duration of employment. This model assumes the development of a system of social insurance benefits differentiated by types of labor activity. In contrast to the social-democratic model, the corporate model is based on the principle of personal responsibility of each member of society for their own destiny and the position of their loved ones. Therefore, here self-defense, self-sufficiency play a significant role.

 

The principle of redistribution
This principle applies to a small part of the low-income sections of society. Social assistance is provided regardless of previous contributions and is financed from tax revenues to the state budget. The right to receive such assistance belongs to persons who have special merits before the state, for example, civil servants or victims of war.

Assistance principle
This principle is an indispensable element of the social protection system, since the previous principles do not take into account all insurance risks. According to the principle of assistance, social assistance can be received by everyone who needs the amount necessary for him, if he does not have the opportunity to improve his financial situation on his own.

Principle of Self-Government of Insurance Institutions
The management of the social insurance system is carried out directly by interested persons-employers and employees, which ensures the most complete representation of the interests of both parties. There are three main actors involved in social protection at the regional and local levels: national or local business associations, trade unions and the state. The system of social protection of Germany is characterized by the division of institutions providing social insurance according to areas of competence: organizations for pensions, sickness and accidents at work operate separately. Unemployment insurance is not included in the general system of social protection, but falls within the competence of the federal department for labor, that is, it is carried out within the framework of the policy of promoting employment of the population. The financing of the compulsory social insurance system (in addition to it, there is private, of course) is carried out according to a mixed system: from the contributions of insured workers and their employers (medical, pension and unemployment insurance) and from general tax revenues to the state budget. A special position is occupied only by accident insurance, which is financed by contributions from the employer. In the event of financial difficulties for social insurance bodies, the state acts as a guarantor of the fulfillment of their obligations, which indicates a special role of social protection bodies in maintaining stability and social justice.

At the present stage of history, the former model of socio-economic development of Germany is in crisis. The tax burden reaches 80% of the income of the population, there is a high level of unemployment, which is chronic, the distribution of income is inefficient and non-transparent, the quality of public services does not meet the requirements of the time. Due to the aging of the population (its growth in 2000 was only 0.29%), social security spending is steadily increasing. The high level of benefits for the unemployed generates dependency in society. Against the backdrop of falling economic growth, unemployment has become an acute problem in Germany (at the beginning of 2002, more than 4 million unemployed people were registered).

Large companies, skillfully using loopholes in the legislation to reduce taxes, often seek privileges for themselves. In the pension sector, the policy of the "contract of generations" was unofficially proclaimed, when pension contributions are made from the income of the working population. Given the aging of the German population, the tax burden is increasing sharply, and there are not enough funds for payments from the pension fund. Problems arise in relation to those segments of the population who do not have a permanent job and, accordingly, are not entitled to receive insurance benefits, while the level of state assistance is extremely low. Therefore, these categories are forced to rely on local charitable organizations and public assistance. Accordingly, the corporate model of social policy leads to the emergence of a "dual society".

Unions
Among the European models of social partnership, one of the most successful and stable is the German one. The formation of a social partnership system in Germany dates back to the end of the 19th century. An important role in Germany is played by the traditions of interaction between social partners, the experience of conflict-free problem solving, and high civic consciousness. By the middle of the 20th century, a system was developed that included unemployment insurance, government measures to promote employment, a negotiating mechanism between trade unions and employers' unions (tariff autonomy), and the like.

 

The "German" model provides for the conclusion of a large number of industry agreements, which practically neutralizes negotiations at the enterprise level. According to the Basic Law "The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and social state" and through the adoption of relevant laws, the state largely determines the framework conditions in the field of social and labor relations.

So, the State contributes to the creation of the necessary conditions for resolving conflicts, and legally extends collective agreements to "non-unified" employees.

Labor legislation in Germany is also at a high level of development. One of the features of German trade unions is that there is no primary trade union organization at German enterprises, but there is a representative of the trade union. He is a member of the works council of the enterprise. The production council of the enterprise establishes contacts between the administration and trade unions. In relations between employers and employees, these councils have no right to take sides. They cannot organize strikes, and are called upon to defend the interests of the company as a whole. There are such works councils in all sectors of the economy.

In Germany, 85% of all workers who are members of any trade union are members of the Association of German Trade Unions.

The Association of German Trade Unions is the largest (6.6 million members) and influential trade union organization in Germany, created back in 1949.

The association of German trade unions represents the interests of workers in the private and public sector, employees and officials. It consists of eight branch trade unions:

Industrial Union "Construction-Agriculture-Ecology" (IG Bauen-Agrar-Umwelt);
Industrial Trade Union "Mining, Chemical Industry, Energy" (IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energy);
Trade Union "Education and Science" (Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft);
Industrial Union "IG Metall" (IG Metall);
Trade Union "Food-Delicatessen-Restaurants" (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten);
Police Union (Gewerkschaft der Polizei);
Trade Union of Railway Workers TRANSNET
United Service Workers Union (Verdi)

In its program, the Association of German Trade Unions adheres to the idea of ​​​​social solidarity, that is, it advocates a fair distribution of jobs and incomes, social subsidies, benefits, the development of accumulation funds, the fight against unemployment, equal chances for success regardless of origin, skin color and sex - the proportion of women in the SNP - 31.9%.

In the economy, SNPs support the concept of a socially oriented market economy that meets the interests of established social structures.

The UNP is a member of the European Trade Union Confederation, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, the Advisory Committee to the OECD and represents the German trade union movement in the EU, UN, IMF, WTO and ILO.

Their slogan is "Save the welfare state through reform." Other priorities include the development of infrastructure and public sector utilities, maintaining a high quality of life. A special role in this, according to the UNP, belongs to the state: active state intervention serves as a guarantor of social order and justice.

The UNP opposes general privatization and deregulation and calls for a redistribution of responsibility for regulating markets between trade unions and the state. It is necessary to limit privatization so that citizens do not pay for the state's mistakes related to the sale of highly profitable business areas to private hands.

The public sector must also address environmental issues and set the norm in the economic and social spheres.

The role of local self-government in public life as a form of citizens' participation in politics is especially emphasized. Creating an affordable housing market that takes into account the opportunities of people with low incomes is one of the main tasks of state “social construction”.

Key tasks of social policy:
Job Opportunity Guarantee
Prevention of poverty and related social exclusion
Integration of disabled people, prevention of their social and professional exclusion
development of affordable health care, family support, school education.
protection of the elderly, development of a system of social insurance funds (accumulation funds), increase in social benefits (increase in federal pension subsidies), benefits, accumulation funds, fight against unemployment.

 

German Bureau of Officials and Tariff Union (DBB)
(Federal Chairman - Peter Hazen)

“Proximity is our strength,” says the German Confederation of Officials. The DBB represents the tariff-political interests of public sector and private sector employees. The trade union has more than 1.25 million members. This trade union is supported by 39 other trade unions and 16 state organizations.

The title of the union's recent program is "Challenging the Future - Creating Opportunities". The DBB says it puts "People First" and calls for a fight against job cuts. The trade union position itself as an association of reformers. “Reforms are not through cost savings… First of all, the rights of the people. Every individual matters." The DBB, like the UNP, advocates equal opportunities for all, especially in matters of gender equality (for example, the DBB has 320,000 women and 150,000 youth aged 16-27).

The DBB expresses its concern about the emerging deficit of public funding.

In 2003, the DBB Congress of the Union in Leipzig presented the program "Reformist model of the 21st century". It contains proposals for a long-term, citizen-friendly reconstruction of public administration.

DBB proposes a "new career model":

According to education and experience, everyone can take a proper post.
Flexible work schedule
Reform of labor legislation on wages and working hours
Against slogans like "we will increase working hours, we will refuse public holidays"
Preservation of jobs for workers and employees
Protection of the income of the population in accordance with the economic situation in the country
Extending the working conditions of the West German states to the East German ones (high wages, social guarantees, fixed working week, etc.)
Organization of the work of employees in accordance with the job law that contributes to the success and productivity of labor
Performance related pay
Autonomy in negotiating wage increases and comprehensive labor contracts nationwide
High performance and humane management of recruited employees

The union works closely with the EU on labor law issues. In 1991 DBB participated in the creation of the European Trade Union Confederation (8 million members).

German Christian Trade Union Association

This trade union represents the interests of religious workers and officials. The German Christian Trade Union Association (CGB) is the third largest trade union association in Germany. Under his leadership are 16 separate tariff negotiators in a wide variety of industries such as railways, hospitality or agriculture. The CGB advocates for the extension of Christian values ​​to working life. In its program, the CGB emphasizes that the CGB is a voluntary association of independent trade unions.

The main priorities of the CGB:
Implementation of Christian social values ​​in work, economy, public life and society
Protection of socially vulnerable segments of the population, public unity.
Freedom of association/union in accordance with the Basic Law (workers can choose any representative to protect their interests)
Promoting trade union pluralism in Europe and Germany
Human rights and freedoms are the main value of the rule of law, against all types of extremism

The trade union also advocates the development of a social market economy model that combines the advantages of a competitive economy with social responsibility. The CGB encourages the development of social partnership between employees and employers. Personal performance is the basis for fair job evaluation. Particular attention should be paid to people with limited working capacity.

As far as Christian values ​​are concerned, Sunday should remain a day of rest as an important foundation of the Christian way of life.

The CGB advocates minimal government intervention in tariff autonomy. The task of the Christian social tariff policy is to ensure the fair participation of workers in social production.

The family is the basis of society, it is necessary to intensify social policy to support the institution of the family.

Preservation and creation of jobs determine the tariff policy of the CGB. The CGB excludes political strikes as a means of defending the interests of workers, and advocates for the rights of workers to participate in the management of the enterprise and for a fair tax system "burdening all social groups according to their ability to pay."

The expansion of the European Community poses great challenges to Germany, primarily in economic and social policy. The CGB stands for the equalization of the living conditions of all EU countries, taking into account the characteristics of the Member States.

 

United Trade Union of Service Workers

It has over 2 million members. Employee representation was brought to life in 2001 by the merger of five separate trade unions from the economic sectors: financial services, municipal services, logistics, trade and media. Consists of 13 industry divisions and extensive network organizations.

Unions of local governments
The German Union of Cities and Communities (Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund), created in 1973 by the merger of the Congress of German Communities (Deutscher Gemeindetag) and the Union of German Cities (Deutschen Städtebund)
Congress of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag)
German Rural Congress (Deutscher Landkreistag)
Congress of Bavarian Districts (Bayerischer Bezirketag)

 

Healthcare

After reunification in 1991, ordinary polyclinics were closed in the GDR and converted into doctors' offices. Public health authorities play absolutely no role in the health sector except in disasters and catastrophes. All university hospitals (clinics) with inpatient treatment remained in the hands of the state. To secure funding, German hospitals contract with insurance companies and also receive government investment subsidies from tax revenues. Thus, dual funding is provided, which is completely separated from the funding of doctor's offices (praxis). Numerous reforms of health legislation have attempted to avert the threat of looming double funding of expensive infrastructure (for example: the purchase of medical equipment).

 

Culture

The culture of Germany includes the culture of both the modern Federal Republic of Germany and the peoples that make up modern Germany, before its unification: Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, etc. A broader interpretation of "German culture" also includes the culture of Austria, which is politically independent of Germany, but inhabited by Germans and belongs to the same culture. German (Germanic) culture has been known since the 5th century. BC e.

Diversity of culture is characteristic of modern Germany, there is no centralization of cultural life and cultural values ​​in one or several cities - they are dispersed literally throughout the country: along with the famous Berlin, Munich, Weimar, Dresden or Cologne, there are many small, not so widely known, but culturally significant places: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Naumburg, Bayreuth, Celle, Wittenberg, Schleswig, etc. In 1999, there were 4570 museums, and their number is growing. They receive almost 100 million visits per year. The most famous museums are the Dresden Art Gallery, the Old and New Pinakotheks in Munich, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Historical Museum in Berlin and many others. There are also many palace museums (the most famous is Sanssouci in Potsdam) and castle museums.

Literature
Among the most mean. novels - "Doves in the Grass" by W. Köppen (1951), "House without a Master" by G. Böll (1954), "Stone Heart" by A. Schmidt (1956). From the 2nd floor. 1960s the experiment was activated. literature. Representatives of concrete poetry (F. Mohn, H. Heisenbuttel, E. Gomringer) were guided by the symbolic and playful nature of the word. The leading trend in German literary criticism is receptive criticism, which has been developing since the 1960s. (W. Iser, H. R. Jauss).

Education
Berlin Humboldt University.

 

Sport

In Germany, physical culture and sports are quite well developed. According to the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), in 2009, about 25-30% of the German population (24-27 million people) were members of various sports organizations. Every year the number of people involved in sports in the country increases by 5-6%.

The German national football team is one of the strongest and most successful teams in the world: it has 12 World Championship medals (4 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze), 8 European Championship medals (3 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze) and 2 Cup medals confederations (1 gold and 1 bronze).

Tennis is also very popular in Germany. The German representatives of this sport, Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, have managed to achieve great fame in the world. Graf is also currently the only tennis player in history to win the Golden Grand Slam. In addition, she held the status of the strongest tennis player in the world for the longest time, and in 2000 she was recognized in Germany as the athlete of the century.

No less popular in Germany and motorsport. German racer and Formula 1 participant Michael Schumacher became the first seven-time world champion in history, and is also one of the most successful and famous racers on the planet.

Biathlon in Germany is also quite famous. The representative of Germany in this sport, Magdalena Neuner, is a two-time Olympic champion, a three-time World Cup winner and the only twelve-time biathlon world champion in the world.

 

Holidays

In Germany, there are state and church holidays. Some holidays are days off throughout the country, others - only in some federal states, regions, and even only in a single city (Augsburger Friedensfest).

Some significant dates are not holidays in the truest sense of the word, but are associated with important events in German history.

Many holidays have a long history based on ancient rites and religious holidays. A number of holidays are reflected in the calendars as a holiday and therefore a non-working day. All-German holidays are the New Year (January 1); Easter; Labor Day (May 1); Ascension; Day of the Holy Trinity; German Unity Day (October 3); St. Nicholas Day (December 6, German Nikolaustag); Christmas (December 25-26). In addition, each land and administrative unit with appropriate powers has the right to determine local holidays, such as Rosenmontag (in Dusseldorf, Cologne, Mainz, Nuremberg), Epiphany, Reformation Day and others.

Carnivals and folk festivals
Oktoberfest
Walpurgis Night
love parade
M'era Luna Festival
Wave-Gotik-Treffen
Nibelungen Festival in Worms
Kiel week

 

Mass media

Press
The German newspaper market is characterized by a small number of national newspapers and a well-developed local press. The reason for this development of the press market was that the modern German media landscape is rooted in the post-war years, when the Western allies, having closed all the media that existed in Nazi Germany, began to create their own media system, naturally focusing on the development of publications within their own occupation zones. That is why there are relatively few nationwide newspapers in Germany, and most of them appeared after 1949, that is, after the formal occupation status of West Germany ended and the FRG was created. Conventionally, the German press can be divided into three categories:

national newspapers (distributed throughout the country);
supra-regional newspapers (überregionale Zeitungen) - distributed in more than one region, but not throughout the country;
local press - newspapers of one region, one district, city, and so on.

Television and radio broadcasting
Broadcasting has been conducted since 1923. In 1923-1926. broadcasting was carried out by private companies, in 1926-1933. - joint-stock companies and limited liability companies with the participation of the Imperial Ministry of Posts and Lands and the Imperial Broadcasting Society, controlled by the Imperial Ministry of Posts, in 1933-1934. - limited liability companies controlled by the Imperial Broadcasting Society, and the Imperial Broadcasting Society itself, in 1934-1945. - Imperial Broadcasting Society, in 1945-1948. radio stations of the occupying military administrations, in 1948-1962. - state institutions of the lands, in 1962-1984. - state institutions of the lands and the federal state institution "German Radio", in 1984-1994. — State institutions of the Länder, the federal state institution Deutsche Radio and private radio companies, since 1994 — State institutions of the Länder, the State Corporation Deutschlandradio and private radio companies. In the eastern lands, broadcasting in 1948-1991. carried out by central government agencies.

Television broadcasting in Germany has been conducted since 1936, in 1936-1945. it was conducted by the Imperial Broadcasting Society, in 1952-1963. - state institutions of the lands, in 1963-1984. — state institutions of the Länder and the federal state institution Second German Television, since 1984 — state institutions of the Länder, the federal state institution Second German Television and private television companies. In the eastern lands in 1952-1991. radio broadcasting was carried out by the central state institution "Television of the GDR".

 

Armed forces

Germany is one of the most active NATO countries, providing the military-political alliance during all peacekeeping operations (Afghanistan, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Somalia, and so on) with a significant proportion of personnel. German troops were also part of the UN multinational force in Central and West Africa.

Since 2000, the foreign operations of the Bundeswehr annually cost the country's budget about 1.5 billion euros.

On November 10, 2004, German Defense Minister Peter Struck announced plans to reform the armed forces, according to which the number of military personnel and civilians employed in servicing parts of the Bundeswehr will be reduced by a third (35 thousand military personnel and 49 thousand civilians will be fired), and 105 permanent military garrisons on German territory will be disbanded.

Along with the reduction, reforms were carried out in the system of recruiting the army and the basic principles of its application. On July 1, 2011, the mandatory military conscription into the German army was discontinued. Thus, the Bundeswehr moved to a fully professional army.

The reform of the principles of the use of the army means the reduction of the Bundeswehr's strongholds from a total of 600 to 400. First of all, this will affect the bases of the ground forces in the country. The Ministry of Defense sees no point in keeping heavily armed units within German borders. Since the whole world is now considered the area of ​​​​possible operations of the Bundeswehr, it was decided that it would be more correct to maintain military bases outside of Germany, on the territory of NATO countries in Eastern Europe, where the main NATO strike groups will soon be relocated.

At the same time, the terminology is changing - it is supposed to place here not “military bases”, but “strongholds for rapid deployment” and “zones of cooperation in the field of security”, that is, bridgeheads that will become the basis for “rapid deployment of armed forces against terrorists and hostile states”.

During the reform, by 2010, the German troops were divided into 3 types:
base forces (170 thousand), stationed in Germany and consisting of command and control units, logistics and support services;
rapid reaction forces (55 thousand people), which are intended for combat operations anywhere in the world;
peacekeeping contingent (90 thousand).
Another 10,000 servicemen will form an emergency reserve under the direct control of the Chief Inspector of the Bundeswehr. Each of the three corps will include units of the ground, air force, naval forces, joint support forces and medical and sanitary service.

In connection with the above, heavy armored vehicles and artillery systems will no longer be purchased for the armament of the army. This is due to the increased mobility requirements for the rapid reaction forces. At the same time, Germany will buy 180 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft.

The body for coordinating law enforcement agencies is the Federal Security Council (Bundessicherheitsrat), consisting of the chancellor, the head of the chancellor's office, the ministers of foreign affairs, the interior, defense, finance, economics and justice.