Germany is a value-based, democratic, economically successful, and cosmopolitan country. The democratic parties compete against one another – but they also have mutual respect for one another and form coalitions at various political levels. Together, the people in Germany have made the gradual fusion of east and west Germany, a major issue since 1990, into a success story.
The primary objective of German foreign policy is to ensure peace and security in the world. 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.
Germany is the largest economy in the European Union (EU) and the fourth largest in the world after the USA, China, and Japan. The German economy has its great innovativeness and strong focus on exports to thank for its competitiveness and global networking.
Internationally, Germany leads the way in climate protection and is a pioneer in the development of renewable energy sources. With the changes to the energy sector, referred to as the Energy Reform, Germany is leaving the age of fossil and nuclear energy clearly behind it and heading fast for a future that hinges on sustainable energy sources.
Germany is well positioned as an academic hub. The reforms of recent years have taken effect, research has a more international focus than ever before. With numerous measures and reforms, the government and higher education institutions took the initiative to advance Germany as a hub of knowledge and place it on a more international footing.
With some 81.2 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous nation in the European Union. The modern, cosmopolitan country has developed into an important immigration country. A good 16.4 million people in Germany have a migratory background. Germany is now among those nations with the most liberal immigration rules.
Germany’s reputation as a major cultural nation rests on the great names of the past, such as Bach, Beethoven and Brahms in music, Goethe, Schiller and Thomas Mann in literature. Moreover, there are exceptional examples of German Modernists in all art genres. It bears noting that the country has embraced outside influences and developed a new narrative.
A love of nature and cities alike, healthy food and gourmet restaurants, a strong sense of tradition and a cosmopolitan mind-set – Germany is one of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world. The 2014 United Nations’ Human Develop-ment Index (HDI) puts Germany sixth out of a total of 187 countries.
Germany’s path to a liberal constitutional democracy and a functioning parliamentary system involved many historical ruptures: particularism in the early years of the Modern age, the failure of the March Revolution and the Weimar Republic through to the “flaw in history” caused by National Socialism. Unity and liberty, key concepts since the 19th century, also occupied Germans during the nation’s division after the Second World War. Not until reunification in 1990 was the “German issue” resolved.
The Federal Republic of Germany lies in the heart of Europe and is a cosmopolitan, democratic country with a great tradition and a lively present. Germany is the European Union’s most populous nation with 81.2 million inhabitants. Facts and figures at a glance.