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The state & politics

Joint Tasks

The Federal Republic of Germany is a value-based, vibrant democracy with a diverse political landscape.
Reichstagskuppel
© Nuwanda/iStockphoto

Germany is a value-based, democratic, economically successful, and cosmopolitan country. The political landscape is diverse. After the elections Elections Every four years, the parties stand in the general elections to the Bundestag. Traditionally, the turn-out is high in Germany, and following a high in the 1970s, when the turn-out was over 90 percent, since reunification it has been around 80 percent. Read more › for the 20th German Bundestag in September 2021, the SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens, and the FDP formed a coalition for the first time.

Turnout for elections to the Bundestag (in per cent)

Source: Federal Statistical Office

Age structure of eligible voters

Source: Federal Statistical Office

Allocation of seats in the Bundestag

Sitzverteilung Bundestag

Federal Chancellor Federal chancellor The Federal Chancellor is the only member of the Federal Government to be elected. The constitution empowers him to personally choose his ministers, who head the most important political authorities. Moreover it is the Chancellor who determines the number of ministries and their responsibilities… Read more › Olaf Scholz (SPD) has been in office as Head of Government since December 2021. He succeeded CDU politician Angela Merkel, who ruled Germany for 16 years and was the first woman in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany to hold this office. Since the formation of the new German government, Robert Habeck (The Greens) has been Vice Chancellor as well as the Minister of Economics and Climate Protection, and Annalena Baerbock (The Greens) Federal Foreign Minister. The FDP leader Christian Lindner assumed the office of Federal Finance Minister. The Federal Cabinet consists of 15 specialist ministers in total and the head of the Federal Chancellery. The basis for the shared work of the governing parties is the coalition agreement entitled “Daring more progress. Alliance for Freedom, Justice and Sustainability.”

The 20th German Bundestag incorporates seven parties in total with 736 members of parliament: SPD, CDU, CSU, Alliance 90/The Greens, FDP, AfD, and The Left. Ever since the first Bundestag election in 1949, the CDU and its sister party CSU, which only stands in Bavaria Bavaria The “beer state” of Bavaria also produces fine wine in the Franconia region. The Oktoberfest, Neuschwanstein Castle and the magnificent Alpine scenery attract more foreign tourists than does any other federal state. Yet the slogan “Laptop and Lederhose” demonstrates that there is more to Bavaria… Read more › , have formed a single parliamentary party. Of the 736 MPs, the coalition parties take 416 (SPD 206, Greens 118, FDP 92). The opposition consists of CDU/CSU (197 seats), AfD (80), The Left (39) and four non-attached MPs.

The plans of the Federal Government

The start of the new government at the end of 2021 was marked by the fight against the Coronavirus. “Defeating the pandemic is our most urgent task right now, and we are devoting all our efforts to it,” reads the coalition agreement of the three parties. One major focus for the government is climate protection. In its agreement for the government’s work during the four-year legislative period, it emphasizes that the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times is a “top priority”.

The Federal Government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › has formulated clear goals for greater climate protection: The target for 2030 is that 80 percent of energy requirements in Germany will be covered by renewable energy sources. The phase-out of coal is also planned by 2030. In its place, the government aims to advance wind and solar energy. By the end of the decade, the coalition aims to have at least 15 million electric vehicles on the roads. Rail transport is to be reinforced at the same time.

The government’s work will also focus on the further expansion of digital infrastructure. “We want to utilize the potential of digitization for people’s development, for prosperity, freedom, social participation, and sustainability,” write the SPD, the Greens, and the FDP in their coalition agreement.

The German labour market remains attractive for skilled workers from abroad. The Skilled Workers Immigration Immigration As early as the 19th century Germany attracted a large number of immigrants and since the 1950s has emerged as the European country with the largest immigrant population. In 1950, there were about 500,000 foreigners in Germany, accounting for a mere one percent or so of the population. This has… Read more › Act, which came into force back in 2020, facilitates greater immigration Immigration As early as the 19th century Germany attracted a large number of immigrants and since the 1950s has emerged as the European country with the largest immigrant population. In 1950, there were about 500,000 foreigners in Germany, accounting for a mere one percent or so of the population. This has… Read more › for qualified workers from non-EU countries. In future, an “opportunity card”, similar to those in Canada or Australia and using a points system, will also make it easier for job-seekers to come to Germany.

Responsibility for Europe and the world

For decades, Germany’s foreign policy has been based on clear principles: The Federal Government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › is committed to international cooperation, works closely with its European partners, and advocates democracy, peace, 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 › worldwide. “We act in the European self-image, embedded in the historical peace and freedom project that is the 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 › (EU)”, the government partners explain. They also emphasize that Germany, as the fourth-largest economy in the world, has a global responsibility to international cooperation: “We accept it and will deepen and establish partnerships in our foreign, security, and development policy Development policy German development policy as a constituent part of a global structural and peace policy endeavors to improve living conditions in partner countries. The Federal Government, in close collaboration with the international community, is committed to fighting poverty, to peace and democracy, to… Read more › and defend our values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.”