Germany Country Report
• Following poor results for the three government parties – CDU, CSU, and SPD – in multiple state elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently stepped down as CDU party leader and was replaced by her ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. While Merkel intends to remain head of government until the next regular general election in 2021, there is a heightened risk of a premature end to the current legislative term.
• The government’s policy priorities are increasingly 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 abruptly ended in mid-2018 as restraining forces from slowing global demand, trade war fears resulting from mounting US protectionism, and concerns about a no-deal Brexit were exacerbated by domestic one-off factors (including auto sector production declines linked to the 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 to 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.
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, with very low unemployment rates, a highly skilled workforce, and strong labour rights. German trade unions have a strong 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.
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.
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.
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