Germany Government

What is the capital of Germany?

Country Name Germany
Full Country Name Federal Republic of Germany
Local - Long Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Local - Short Deutschland
Former Name German Reich
Etymology- history of name the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as "Germani," a term the Romans adopted as "Germania"; the native designation "Deutsch" comes from the Old High German "diutisc" meaning "of the people"
Government Type federal parliamentary republic
Capital Name Berlin
Capital - geographic coordinate 52 31 N, 13 24 E
Capital Time Difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight Savings Time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Independence 18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)
National Holiday German Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
Constitution history: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10 to 23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949

amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2017

Germany Capital City Map

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Germany Government and Politics

Who is the president of Germany?

Executive Branch:

chief of state: President Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017)

head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)

cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by a Federal Convention consisting of all members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and an equivalent number of delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; president serves a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2022); following the most recent Federal Parliament election, the party or coalition with the most representatives usually elects the chancellor (Angela Merkel since 2005) and appointed by the president to serve a renewable 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 14 March 2018 (next to be held after the Bundestag elections in 2021)

election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (The Left) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany AfD) 42, Alexander HOLD (BVB/FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 364 to 315

Citizenship Criteria:

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 years

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from government

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years

Legal System:

civil law system

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal; age 16 for some state and municipal elections

Legislative Branch:

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of:

Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments)

Federal Diet or Bundestag (709 seats - total seats can vary each electoral term; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections:

Bundesrat - none; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election

Bundestag - last held on 24 September 2017 (next to be held in 2021 at the latest); most postwar German governments have been coalitions

election results:

Bundesrat - composition - men 50, women 19, percent of women 27.5%

Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 33%, SPD 20.5%, AfD 12.6%, FDP 10.7%, The Left 9.2%, Alliance '90/Greens 8.9%, other 5%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 246, SPD 152, AfD 91, FDP 80, The Left 69, Alliance '90/Greens 67; composition - men 490, women 219, percent of women 30.5%; note - total Parliament percent of women 30.5%

Judicial Branch:

highest court(s): Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges including the court president, vice-presidents, presiding judges, and other judges, and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels; Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)

judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated States and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president of Germany; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68

subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 German states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts

Regions or States:

16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Hamburg prides itself on being a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)

Political Parties and Leaders:

Alliance '90/Greens [Annalena BAERBOCK and Robert HABECK]

Alternative for Germany or AfD [Alexander GAULAND and Joerg MEUTHEN]

Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]

Christian Social Union or CSU [Horst SEEHOFER]

Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]

The Left or Die Linke [Katja KIPPING and Bernd RIEXINGER]

Social Democratic Party or SPD [Andrea NAHLES]

International Law Organization Participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

International Organization Participation:

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Emily Margarethe HABER (since 22 June 2018)

chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000

FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic Representation from US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Richard GRENELL (since 8 May 2018)

embassy: Pariser Platz 2

mailing address: Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlin

telephone: [49] (30) 8305-0

FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215

consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

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