Foreign relations of Germany
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is a Central European country and member of the European Union, G4, G8, the G20, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It maintains a network of 229 diplomatic missions abroad and holds relations with more than 190 countries. As one of the world's leading industrialized countries it is recognized as a major power in European and global affairs.
Primary institutions and actors
The three cabinet-level ministries responsible for guiding Germany's foreign policy are the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Foreign Office. In practice, most German federal departments play some role in shaping foreign policy in the sense that there are few policy areas left that remain outside of international jurisdiction. The bylaws of the Federal Cabinet (as delineated in Germany's Basic Law), however, assign the Federal Foreign Office a coordinating function. Accordingly, other ministries may only invite foreign guests or participate in treaty negotiations with the approval of the Federal Foreign Office.
With respect to foreign policy, the Bundestag acts in a supervisory capacity. Each of its committees – most notably the foreign relations committee – oversees the country's foreign policy. The consent of the Bundestag (and insofar as Länder are impacted, the Bundesrat) is required to ratify foreign treaties. If a treaty legislation passes first reading, it is referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which is capable of delaying ratification and prejudice decision through its report to the Bundestag.
In 1994, a full EU Committee was also created for the purpose of addressing the large flow of EU-related topics and legislation. Also, the committee has the mandate to speak on behalf of the Bundestag and represent it when deciding an EU policy position. A case in point was the committee's involvement regarding the European Union's eastern enlargement wherein the Committee on Foreign Affairs is responsible for relations with ECE states while the EU Committee is tasked with the negotiations.
There is a raft of NGOs in Germany that engage foreign policy issues. These NGOs include think-tanks (German Council on Foreign Relations), single-issue lobbying organizations (Amnesty International), as well as other organizations that promote stronger bilateral ties between Germany and other countries (Atlantic Bridge). While the budgets and methods of NGOs are distinct, the overarching goal to persuade decision-makers to the wisdom of their own views is a shared one. In 2004, a new German governance framework, particularly on foreign and security policy areas, emerged where NGOs are integrated into actual policymaking. The idea is that the cooperation between state and civil society groups increases the quality of conflict resolution, development cooperation and humanitarian aid for fragile states. The framework seeks to benefit from the expertise of the NGOs in exchange for these groups to have a chance for influencing foreign policy.
In 2001, the discovery that the terrorist cell which carried out the attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001, was based in Hamburg, sent shock waves through the country.
The government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder backed the following U.S. military actions, sending Bundeswehr troops to Afghanistan to lead a joint NATO program to provide security in the country after the ousting of the Taliban.
Nearly all of the public was strongly against America's 2003 invasion of Iraq, and any deployment of troops. This position was shared by the SPD/Green government, which led to some friction with the United States.
In August 2006, the German government disclosed a botched plot to bomb two German trains. The attack was to occur in July 2006 and involved a 21-year-old Lebanese man, identified only as Youssef Mohammed E. H. Prosecutors said Youssef and another man left suitcases stuffed with crude propane-gas bombs on the trains.
As of February 2007, Germany had about 3,000 NATO-led International Security Assistance Force force in Afghanistan as part of the War on Terrorism, the third largest contingent after the United States (14,000) and the United Kingdom (5,200). German forces are mostly in the more secure north of the country.
However, Germany, along with some other larger European countries (with the exception of the UK and the Netherlands), have been criticised by the UK and Canada for not sharing the burden of the more intensive combat operations in southern Afghanistan.
Germany is the largest net contributor to the United Nations and has several development agencies working in Africa and the Middle East. The development policy of the Federal Republic of Germany is an independent area of German foreign policy. It is formulated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and carried out by the implementing organisations. The German government sees development policy as a joint responsibility of the international community. It is the world's third biggest aid donor after the United States and France. Germany spent 0.37 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on development, which is below the government's target of increasing aid to 0.51 per cent of GDP by 2010. The international target of 0.7% of GNP would have not been reached either.
Germany is a member of the Council of Europe, European Union, European Space Agency, G4, G8, International Monetary Fund, NATO, OECD, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, UN, World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization.
European integration has gone a long way since the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the Elysée Treaty. Peaceful collaborations with its neighbors remain one of Germany's biggest political objectives, and Germany has been on the forefront of most achievements made in European integration:
Most of the social issues facing European countries in general: immigration, aging populations, straining social-welfare and pension systems – are all important in Germany. Germany seeks to maintain peace through the "deepening" of integration among current members of the European Union member states
- European Defence Force
- Introduction of the single currency € Euro
Germany has been the largest net contributor to EU budgets for decades (in absolute terms – given Germany's comparatively large population – not per capita) and seeks to limit the growth of these net payments in the enlarged union.
Under the doctrine introduced by the 2003 Defense Policy Guidelines, Germany continues to give priority to the transatlantic partnership with the United States through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However, Germany is giving increasing attention to coordinating its policies with the European Union through the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The German Federal Government began an initiative to obtain a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, as part of the Reform of the United Nations. This would require approval of a two-thirds majority of the member states and approval of all five Security Council veto powers.
This aspiration could be successful due to Germany's good relations with the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation. Germany is a stable and democratic republic and a G7 country which are also favourable attributes. The United Kingdom and France support German ascension to the supreme body. The U.S. is sending mixed signals.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|December 1957||See Egypt–Germany relations
Egypt has an embassy in Berlin, as well as consulates in Frankfurt and Hamburg. Germany has an embassy in Cairo.
|1955||See Germany–Libya relations
Germany is represented in Libya with an embassy in Tripoli, while Libya has an embassy in Berlin. The relationship between these countries was tense in the late 1980s following a bombing incident, but has improved since with increasingly close co-operation especially on economic matters.
|1989||See Germany–Namibia relations|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|May 1871||See Argentina–Germany relations|
|March 1967||See Barbados–Germany relations|
|1949||See Canada–Germany relations
Until 2005 Canada's embassy was in Bonn, but in April 2005 a new embassy opened in Berlin. Canada also operates consulates in Munich, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. The provinces of Ontario and Alberta have representatives in Germany, co-located in the consulates. Quebec runs a stand-alone bureau in Munich, with an “antenne culturelle” office in Berlin. In addition to its embassy in Ottawa, Germany maintains consulates in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Additional diplomats responsible for specialized files are also accredited from Washington.
|January 1879||See Germany–Mexico relations|
|See Germany–United States relations|
|See Germany–Uruguay relations
Germany has an embassy in Montevideo. Uruguay has an embassy in Berlin, a general consulate in Hamburg and 6 honorary consulate (in Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Potsdam and Stuttgart). Germany is the Uruguay's principal trading partner in the European Union.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|24 January 1916||See Afghanistan–Germany relations
After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 East Germany was the third country in the world, and the first country in Europe, to officially recognise Bangladesh in 1972. Bangladesh also warmly greeted German reunification. As an economic power as well as an important member of the European Union (EU), Germany is a reliable partner of Bangladesh in development cooperation. After establishment of diplomatic relations, the bilateral relations between the two countries began to grow steadily. Bangladesh is a priority partner country of German Development Cooperation (GTZ). In trade with Germany, Bangladesh has for years recorded a large surplus. Germany is the second largest export market of Bangladesh after the US. The cultural relationship of both the countries is very strong. The cultural cooperation between them is mainly channeled through the Goethe Institute that work on developing the cultural ties between both the countries by sponsoring local and German cultural activities. Both Germany and Bangladesh share common views on various international issues and work together in the UN and in other international forum. They have maintained and developed close and friendly relations in a wide range of field. The two countries are harmonized together by their commitment to various sectors mutually agreed upon, which is expected to be strengthened further in future.
|1 May 1984||See Brunei–Germany relations
Brunei has an embassy in Berlin, and Germany has an embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan.
|See China–Germany relations
Germany has good relationships with the People's Republic of China, even though Angela Merkel and large parts of Germany's political class have recently criticised the People's Republic for holding back reforms in the field of democracy and human rights. In recent years trade between them has reached high volumes, both in import and exports.
|See Foreign relations of Georgia#Europe|
During the Cold War India maintained diplomatic relations with both West Germany and East Germany. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the reunification of Germany, relations have further improved. The German ambassador to India, Bernd Mutzelburg, once said that India and Germany, are not just 'natural partners', but important countries in a globalised world. Germany is India's largest trade partner in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India recently, as did the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit Germany. Both countries have been working towards gaining permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. As both countries are strong liberal democracies, they have similar objectives. UN reforms, fighting terrorism and climate change, and promotion of science, education, technology, and human rights, are some areas of shared interests, and collaboration between these two countries. Culturally too, Indian and German writers and philosophers, have influenced each other. Recently, Germany has invested in developing education and skills amongst rural Indians. Germany was one of the first countries to agree with the Indo-US Nuclear deal.
|See Germany–Iraq relations
|See Germany–Israel relations
Germany-Israel relations refers to the special relationship between Israel and Germany based on shared beliefs, Western values and a combination of historical perspectives. Among the most important factors in their relations is Nazi Germany's role in the genocide of European Jews during the Holocaust. Following German history during the Holocaust, one of Postwar Germany's aims were to establish and maintain relations of Wiedergutmachung with the State of Israel. Starting with the Reparations Agreement in 1952, support for the national security of the State of Israel is central to German foreign policy. Germany has been actively involved in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in 1979, the Oslo Accords (1993) which led to the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994 and the continuing Israeli–Palestinian peace process which make Germany arguably (next to the United States) Israel's closest ally.
|See Germany–Japan relations
Regular meetings between the two countries have led to several cooperations. In 2004 German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi agreed upon cooperations in the assistance for reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, the promotion of economic exchange activities, youth and sports exchanges as well as exchanges and cooperation in science, technology and academic fields. After China, Japan is Germany's principal trading partner in Asia in 2006:
|See Germany–Kazakhstan relations
|See Germany–Malaysia relations
|See Germany–Pakistan relations
Pakistan and Germany enjoy extremely close, warm and historical relations. Germany is Pakistan's fourth largest trading partner and biggest trading partner in the EU. Germany has been a reliable partner in trade, development, military, scientific and cultural co-operation.the collaboration between Germany and Pakistan dates back to the creation of Pakistan. Germany has an embassy in Islamabad, a consulate-general in Karachi and an honorary consulate in Lahore, whereas Pakistan has an embassy in Berlin and a consulate-general in Frankfurt. Germany is home to 53,668 Pakistani immigrants.
|See Germany–Philippines relations
The relation between Germany and the Philippines remain strong and positive. On 1955 an agreement was signed which led to a dynamic cooperation between the two countries. Germany has an embassy in Manila and the Philippines has an embassy in Berlin.
|See Germany–Singapore relations
|2001-03-01||See Germany–North Korea relations|
|1883-11-26/As West Germany 1955-12-01||See Germany–South Korea relations
Being the historic core of Europe and the "twin engine for European integration", the cooperation with France is one of the most central elements of German foreign policy. The Elysée Treaty from 1963 set the foundation for a collaboration that – next to the European project – also repeatedly called for a "Core Union" with maximum integration.
The German government was a strong supporter of the enlargement of NATO.
Germany was one of the first nations to recognize Croatia and Slovenia as independent nations, rejecting the concept of Yugoslavia as the only legitimate political order in the Balkans (unlike other European powers, who first proposed a pro-Belgrade policy). This is why Serb authorities sometimes referred to "new German imperialism" as one of the main reasons for Yugoslavia's collapse. German troops participate in the multinational efforts to bring "peace and stability" to the Balkans.
Weimar triangle (France, Germany and Poland); Germany continues to be active economically in the states of Central Europe, and to actively support the development of democratic institutions. In the 2000s, Germany has been arguably the centerpiece of the European Union (though the importance of France cannot be overlooked in this connection).
Table of foreign relations
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|See Albania-Germany relations|
|See Armenia–Germany relations
Armenian-German relations have always been stable and solid; they continue to work together and advance through the years in cooperation. Their leaders have discussed bilateral relations and noted that they have considerably improved over the last few years.
|See Austria–Germany relations
Relations between them are close because as countries have strong historical and cultural ties.
|See Foreign relations of Belgium
|See Bulgaria–Germany relations
The Bulgarian government views Germany as its key strategic partner in the EU.
|1992-01-15||See Croatia–Germany relations
|1960||See Cyprus–Germany relations
|See Czech Republic–Germany relations
Today, they share 815 km of common borders. The Czech Republic has an embassy in Berlin, three general consulates (in Bonn, Dresden and Munich), and 6 honorary consulates (in Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Rostock and Stuttgart). Germany has an embassy in Prague.
|See Denmark–Germany relations
Denmark has an embassy in Berlin and three general consulates in Flensburg, Hamburg and Munich. They border each other.
|See Finland–Germany relations
|See France–Germany relations
In recent times, France and Germany are among the most enthusiastic proponents of the further integration of the EU. They are sometimes described as the "twin engine" or "core countries" pushing for moves.
The two countries were arch enemies for centuries and fought against each other in World War I and World War II.
|1973-12-21||See Germany–Hungary relations
|1922||See Germany–Ireland relations
|See Germany–Italy relations
|See Germany–Kosovo relations|
|1920 and again 1991-08-28||
|1992-04-30||See Germany–Moldova relations|
|See Germany–Poland relations
During the Cold War, communist Poland had good relations with East Germany, but had strained relations with West Germany. After the fall of communism, Poland and the reunited Germany have had a mostly positive but occasionally strained relationship due to some political issues. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Germany has been a proponent of Poland's participation in NATO and the European Union. The Polish-German border is 467 km long.
|See Germany–Russia relations
Germany tries to keep Russia engaged with the rest of the Western world. The future aim is to promote a stable market-economy liberal democracy in Russia, which is part of the Western world.
|1951||See Germany–Serbia relations
|See Germany–Switzerland relations|
|See Germany–Turkey relations
Good Turkish/Ottoman-German relations from the 19th century onwards. They were allies in First World War. Germany promoted Turkish immigration after 1945 when it suffered an acute labor shortage. They were called Gastarbeiter (German for guest workers). Most Turks in Germany trace their ancestry to Central and Eastern Anatolia. Today, Turks are Germany's largest ethnic minority and form most of Germany's Muslim minority. Berlin is home to about 250,000 Turks, making it the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey.
|See Germany–Ukraine relations|
|See Germany–United Kingdom relations
|See Germany–Holy See relations|
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- Heuser, Beatrice. NATO, Britain, France & the FRG: Nuclear Strategies & Forces for Europe, 1949-2000 (1997) 256pp
- Hewitson, Mark. "Germany and France before the First World War: a reassessment of Wilhelmine foreign policy." English Historical Review 115.462 (2000): 570-606. in JSTOR
- Junker, Detlef, ed. The United States and Germany in the Era of the Cold War (2 vol 2004), 150 short essays by scholars covering 1945–1990 excerpt and text search vol 1; excerpt and text search vol 2
- Kimmich, Christoph. German Foreign Policy 1918-1945: A Guide to Research and Research Materials (2nd ed. Scholarly Resources, 1991) 264 pp.
- Leitz, Christian. Nazi Foreign Policy, 1933-1941: The Road to Global War (2004)
- Maulucci Jr., Thomas W. Adenauer's Foreign Office: West German Diplomacy in the Shadow of the Third Reich (2012) excerpt and text search
- Papayoanou, Paul A. "Interdependence, institutions, and the balance of power: Britain, Germany, and World War I." International Security 20.4 (1996): 42-76.
- Schwarz, Hans-Peter. Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution and Reconstruction (2 vol 1995) excerpt and text search vol 2; also full text vol 1; and full text vol 2
- Schmitt, Bernadotte E. "Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, 1902-1914." American Historical Review 29.3 (1924): 449-473. in JSTOR
- Sontag, Raymond James. Germany and England: Background of Conflict, 1848-1898 (1938)
- Spang, Christian W. and Rolf-Harald Wippich, eds. Japanese-German Relations, 1895-1945: War, Diplomacy and Public Opinion (2006)
- Weinberg, Gerhard L. The Foreign Policy of Hitler’s Germany (2 vol, 1970–80).
- Wright, Jonathan. Germany and the Origins of the Second World War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) 223pp. online review
- Young, William. German Diplomatic Relations 1871-1945: The Wilhelmstrasse and the Formulation of Foreign Policy (2006); how the foreign ministry shaped policy
World/European diplomatic context
- Albrecht-Carrié, René. A Diplomatic History of Europe Since the Congress of Vienna (1958), 736pp; a basic introduction that gives context to Germany's roles
- Kaiser, David E. Economic Diplomacy and the Origins of the Second World War: Germany, Britain, France, and Eastern Europe, 1930-1939 (Princeton UP, 2015).
- Kennedy, Paul. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (1989) excerpt and text search; very wide-ranging, with much on economic power
- Langer, William. An Encyclopedia of World History (5th ed. 1973), very detailed outline
- Langer, William. European Alliances and Alignments 1870-1890 (2nd ed. 1950); advanced coverage of Bismarckian system
- Langer, William L. The Diplomacy of Imperialism 1890-1902 (2 vol, 1935)
- Macmillan, Margaret. The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 (2013) cover 1890s to 1914; see esp. ch 3-5, 8,
- Mowat, R. B. A History of European Diplomacy 1815-1914 (1922), basic introduction
- Schroeder, Paul W. The Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848 (1996)
- Steiner, Zara. The Lights that Failed: European International History 1919-1933 (2007) excerpt and text search
- Steiner, Zara. The Triumph of the Dark: European International History 1933-1939 (2011) excerpt and text search
- Taylor, A. J. P. The Struggle for Mastery in Europe: 1848–1918 (1957) excerpt and text search, advanced coverage of all major powers
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to International relations of Germany.|
- German -Bashing and the Breakup of Yugoslavia, ("The Donald W. Treadgold Papers in Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, nº 16, March 1998). University of Washington: HMJ School of International Studies
- The German Economy in the New Europe
- EU Enlargement and Transatlantic Relations
- Bierling, Stephan. Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Normen, Akteure, Entscheidungen. 2. Auflage. München: Oldenbourg, 2005 ISBN 3-486-57766-2.
- von Bredow, Wilfried. Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Eine Einführung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2006 ISBN 3-531-13618-6.
- Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations
- Auswärtiges Amt
- AICGS American Institute for Contemporary German Studies
- SWP German Institute for International and Security Affairs