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Country Reports

Germany Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Ongoing leadership renewal in the ruling coalition parties, combined with their significant recent decline in electoral support, is a destabilising factor for the government, making an early election more likely. In the event of a premature poll, the "grand coalition" between Chancellor Merkel's CDU, its Bavarian ally the CSU, and the SPD would be highly unlikely to continue, increasing the probability of CDU/CSU collaboration with the increasingly successful Green Party.The government's policy priorities are likely to be influenced by the three coalition partners' attempts to restructure themselves and sharpen their profiles. Nevertheless, the government's current policy agenda continues to ensure a stable investment environment. Germany's current budget surplus assists the government's plans to increase public spending.The robust economic growth pace of about 2.0% achieved since mid-2013 ended abruptly in mid-2018 as restraining forces from slowing global demand, trade war fears resulting from mounting US protectionism, and concerns about Brexit were exacerbated by domestic one-off factors (including automotive sector production declines linked to a new emission test regime and drought-related supply-chain problems for the chemical/pharmaceutical sector).Unwinding effects related to those special factors and the consumption boost from lower oil prices and a looser fiscal policy will enable a temporary growth rebound during the first half of 2019, but underlying growth in 2019–20 is likely to be modest at around 1%. Therefore, inflation will stay below 2% in the foreseeable future but without softening to the 2015–16 levels of near-zero.Germany faces a heightened risk of both low-capability and more sophisticated jihadist attacks carried out by lone actors or small cells inspired but not necessarily directed by non-state armed groups. Assaults with rudimentary weapons such as knives, vehicle-impact attacks, shootings, or a combination of these will remain likely. Soft targets such as transport hubs and music and sport venues face the most risk.
Last update: June 8, 2019

Operational Outlook

Germany is likely to maintain its favourable business and investment environment during the current administrative term. The country is likely to remain the EU's strongest economy despite a slowdown in growth, with very low unemployment rates, a highly skilled workforce, and strong labour rights. German trade unions have substantial influence on policy-making and are regularly involved in wage negotiations. Industrial action particularly affects the aviation, metalworking, railway, and cargo sectors, while union protests against international IT companies are also likely. Corruption risks are low.

Last update: April 25, 2019

Terrorism

Elevated

Germany faces a heightened risk of both low-capability and more sophisticated terrorist attacks launched by lone actors or small cells directly linked to non-state militant groups such as the Islamic State or inspired by their ideology. Soft targets, such as transport hubs, bars and restaurants, music and sport venues, shopping centres, or public spaces near tourist attractions, are likely to be most at risk. However, as lone actors often launch attacks near their homes, the risk of a terrorist attack is not limited to larger cities. There is also an elevated risk of retaliatory anti-Muslim attacks launched by far-right supporters.

Last update: December 28, 2018

War Risks

Interstate war risks are likely to remain very low because of Germany's friendly diplomatic and economic relations with its neighbours and many other states around the world. The country is closely integrated into the EU, NATO, and other international organisations, and its support for international security missions is set to intensify. A new NATO command centre is to be built in the southern German city of Ulm as a response to Russia's Eastern Europe policy. Moreover, Germany's defence budget is being raised, including further investment in cyber security to avert digital attacks on online networks and weapons systems.

Last update: April 25, 2019

Social Stability

Elevated

There is currently a heightened risk of anti-Islam, anti-immigration, and anti-government protests, often triggering counter-demonstrations. Right-wing movements are likely to continue expanding their online communication networks, which facilitate the rapid organisation of both authorised and spontaneous illegal rallies at short notice, making it more challenging for security forces to estimate the number of participants and to prevent violent escalations by deploying appropriate tactics. Far-left protests are particularly likely in urban areas and usually turn violent on May Day.

Last update: April 25, 2019

Health Risk

Low

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Elevated

Heavy snowfall during winter can significantly disrupt traffic, especially outside urban areas. Air and rail travel are most affected by winter weather conditions. Flooding during autumn and winter is possible. In January 2017, the northeast of the country was touched by Storm Axel (the most severe storm since 2006), which was responsible for costly material damage.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

Over 3475 road deaths have been reported throughout 2015 in Germany (4.3 road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants). Road maintenance can seem less extensive in some other western European countries. The road network is, however, in a satisfactory state. Driving can be dangerous during winter, especially in the east.

Vehicle exclusion zones exist in some city centers. Pedestrians and drivers are advised to be careful of the many cyclists in Germany. Moreover, pedestrians who fail to comply with prohibitions on crossing the street when streetlights are red risk the assessment of a fine, and are liable in the event of an accident.

The rail network is excellent; frequent and rapid service links principal German and European cities.

Due to the ongoing migrant crisis and consequent border checkpoints implemented between Denmark, Sweden, Austria, and Germany, public transportation between these four countries can be disrupted. Allow ample time for your journey when traveling by road, train, or ferry.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

Germany has a continental climate: very hot and dry in the summer and cold and rainy in the winter. In the north of the country, along the Baltic coast, the climate is more temperate (humid and cooler in the summer).

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +49
Police: 110 or 112
Fire Dept., Ambulance: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019