Germany Country Report
The re-establishment of the grand coalition between the centre-right CDU, its Bavarian regional affiliate the CSU, and the centre-left SPD indicates a large degree of policy continuity and a stable investment environment. Still, despite having experience in pragmatic and effective collaboration, the CDU, CSU, and SPD are bound to continue to disagree on issues such as migration, security, and health care. Germany's strong economy and the current budget surplus will facilitate the new government's plans to increase public spending while refraining from introducing higher taxes. Germany is exposed to a high risk of terrorist attacks by lone actors or small cells who sympathise with non-state armed groups such as the Islamic State.
Following the renewal of the centrist grand coalition, Germany is likely to keep its favourable business and investment environment. The country is likely to remain the EU’s strongest economy with low unemployment rates. German trade unions are strong and regularly involved in wage negotiations. Industrial action particularly affects aviation, metalworking, and railways. Some disruption to road cargo due to border checks between Germany and Austria is likely to continue as the Schengen Area remains partly suspended. Corruption risks are low.
Germany faces a high 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 proponents and others.
Inter-state 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 globe. The country is closely integrated into the EU, NATO, and other international organisations and the risk of war on German soil is negligible. However, Germany’s support for international security missions is set to intensify in the coming years. Moreover, Germany’s defence budget is being raised until 2024, also in view of increased NATO contributions. Part of this is further investment in cyber security to avert digital attacks on online networks and weapons systems.
There is a heightened risk of anti-Islam, anti-immigration, and anti-government protests, often triggering counter-demonstrations. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has reported that violent incidents perpetrated by the far right have increased by 14% over the past year, with a particular risk posed to refugee shelters and Jewish and Muslim assets across Germany. Recent far-left protests have led to damaged property and violence against police, especially in Berlin and during the G20 summit in Hamburg in 2017. Nevertheless, Germany is internally stable overall and the likelihood of large-scale unrest resulting in major violence is usually lower than in countries such as France.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
|Police:||110 or 112|
|Fire Dept., Ambulance:||112|
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz