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Foreign policy

Commitment to peace and security

Germany participates widely in multilateral cooperation and promotes democracy, and human rights all over the world.
UN-Einsatz
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On the international stage, Germany enjoys a very broad network of close contacts. It maintains diplomatic relations with almost 200 countries and is a member of various important multilateral organisations and informal international coordination groups such as the “Group of Seven” (G7). Heiko Maas (SPD) has been Federal Foreign Minister since 2018. The Federal Foreign Office, which is based in Berlin Berlin Once a year, during the Berlinale film festival, the world of the silver screen focuses its attention on Berlin. And the city’s inhabitants are used to global interest. After all, the people of Berlin have lived in a capital city since 1458. However, there is also a shady side to the city’s history… Read more › , has around  12,100 staff members. In total, Germany maintains 227 missions abroad.

The primary objective of German foreign policy is to ensure peace and security in the world. The basic premises on which this rests include the nation’s full integration into the structures of multilateral cooperation. In concrete terms this means: constructive partnerships with the Member States of the European Union (EU) and transatlantic partners, , support of the right of Israel to exist, active and committed involvement in the United Nations United Nations The United Nations (UN) are the foundations and cornerstone of the international system. So as to adapt it to the political realities of the present day, Germany is in favour of a reform of the UN. Since 1996 Germany, which is the fourth largest contributor to the UN budget, has been one of the UN… Read more › (UN) and the Council of Europe, as well as the strengthening of the European security structure through the OSCE OSCE With its 57 member states, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) is a comprehensive forum for cooperation at the pan-European level. OSCE missions are active above all in conflict prevention and management. Germany makes a substantial contribution to finance and man-power… Read more › . In the second half of 2020 Germany will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union Council of the European Union The Council (of Ministers) is the most important EU legis­lative committee. Each member country delegates one minister. The Council and the EU Parliament share legislative powers and responsibility for the EU budget. The Presidency of the Council) rotates every six months. Read more › European Union European Union In 1957, the Federal Republic was one of the six founder members of the current European Union (EU). Since 2013, the EU has consisted of 28 member states and the euro is the official tender in 19 of them. Germany contributes about 20% to the EU budget. Günther Oettinger (CDU), the former Prime… Read more › .

Crisis prevention and stabilisation

Together with its partners, Germany promotes peace, security, democracy, and human rights Human rights The respect and strengthening of human rights worldwide are a cornerstone of German Federal Government policy. Together with its EU partners it is committed to protecting and continually advancing human rights standards throughout the world. This occurs in close collaboration with the institutions… Read more › all over the world. Alongside crisis prevention, stabilisation, disarmament, and arms control, the broad notion of security promulgated by Germany embraces sustainable economic, ecological, and social aspects. These include a globalisation that offers opportunities for everyone, cross-border envir­onmental and climate protection, and dialogue between cultures and religions.

Since the end of the East-West conflict, new opportunities and challenges have emerged for German foreign policy. On the basis of its multilateral relations, Germany has accepted the increased responsibility it has been accorded since reunification in 1990. Through its many and continually increased efforts, Germany nowadays plays a role in the stabilisation of crisis regions and the political resolution of conflicts.  It also participates in the maintenance of peacekeeping structures, and through the deployment of personnel to UN-mandated peace missions plays a role in crisis management.

Germany does this on the basis of a value-based definition of interests. Nowadays there is hardly any crisis that does not at some point in time impact on Germany. For this reason, the long-term stabilization of crisis-torn countries is always also in Germany’s interest. The guidelines “Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace” adopted in 2017 form a compass for German actions in international crises and in dealing with armed conflicts, as recognizing and defusing conflicts before they escalate is the focus of responsible foreign policy. The German soldiers, police officers, and civil experts deployed on EU, OSCE OSCE With its 57 member states, the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) is a comprehensive forum for cooperation at the pan-European level. OSCE missions are active above all in conflict prevention and management. Germany makes a substantial contribution to finance and man-power… Read more › , UN and NATO Nato The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949. This defense alliance now has 29 member states; Germany joined in 1955. The German Armed Forces are part of NATO’s mission in Kosovo and of the NATO-led Resolute Support operation in Afghanistan. NATO’s HQ is in the Belgian capital… Read more › missions, as well as those of the European Council European Council The European Council determines the political guidelines of the EU. Chaired by the President it assembles at least twice a year and is made up of the heads of state and government as well as the President of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy. Read more › and the Organization of American States (OAS) play an important role in crisis prevention and peacekeeping.

Spending on government development cooperation in USD billion

Source: Preliminary figures, status April 2020, OECD/DAC

Active humanitarian aid

Budget for humanitarian aid worldwide in 2018 (in US dollars billion)

Source: Statista

Germany provides humanitarian aid to help people who on account of crises, conflicts, or natural disasters are in acute distress and are unable to resolve the situation on their own. The aim is to enable those affected to survive in dignity and safety, to give them prospects, and to alleviate suffering. To this end, Germany works with organisations of the United Nations United Nations The United Nations (UN) are the foundations and cornerstone of the international system. So as to adapt it to the political realities of the present day, Germany is in favour of a reform of the UN. Since 1996 Germany, which is the fourth largest contributor to the UN budget, has been one of the UN… Read more › and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as well as with German and international humanitarian non-governmental organisations. As a donor guided by principles, Germany bases its actions on the needs of the people affected by crises and disasters. Furthermore, Germany champions compliance with international humanitarian law, humanitaraqin principles and the preservation of humanitarian space. Humanitarian workers must be given the protection to which they are entitled by international law.

In the age of globalisation and digitisation, and against the backdrop of a fast-changing world, alongside classical foreign policy new fields are increasingly on the agenda, including, for example, “malign cyberoperations” or attempts via propaganda to influence public opinion.