The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is a Central European country and member of the European Union, G4, G7, 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.
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[clarification needed].
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
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.
NATO member states, including Germany, decided not to sign the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a binding agreement for negotiations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, supported by more than 120 nations.
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Central African Republic||1960-12-01|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||1960-06-30|
|Republic of the Congo||1960-08-15|
|Egypt||1952-10-16||See Egypt-Germany relations|
|Kenya||1963-12-18||See Germany-Kenya relations|
|Libya||1955-06-03||See Germany-Libya relations|
|Namibia||1990-03-21||See Germany-Namibia relations|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||1975-07-12||
|South Africa||1951-08-14||See Germany-South Africa relations|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1982-03-11||
|Argentina||May 1871/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1951-12-30||See Argentina-Germany relations|
|Barbados||1966-11-30||See Barbados-Germany relations|
|Bolivia||July 1921/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1952-12-30||See Bolivia-Germany relations
|Brazil||1870/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1951-07-10||See Brazil-Germany relations|
|Canada||With the Allied High Commission: 1949/As Federal Republic of Germany: 1951-11-08||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 and Düsseldorf. 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.
|Chile||1850/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1952-02-04||See Chile-Germany relations
|Colombia||1882/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1953-01-13|
|Cuba||1955-06-30 (interrupted between 1963 and 1974 due to the Hallstein Doctrine)|
|Mexico||January 1879/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1952-08-29||See Germany-Mexico relations|
|Paraguay||1860-08-01/ As Federal Republic of Germany: 1952-10-01||See Germany-Paraguay relations
|St. Kitts and Nevis||1984-08-27||
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||1980-06-13||
|Trinidad and Tobago||1963-08-28|
|United States||1951-07-02||See Germany-United States relations
|Uruguay||1952-01-09||See Germany-Uruguay relations|
|Venezuela||1952-04-28||See Germany-Venezuela relations|
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Afghanistan||24 January 1916/As Federal Republic of Germany: 1954-12-22||See Afghanistan-Germany relations
|Armenia||1992-01-31||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.
|Azerbaijan||1992-02-20||See Azerbaijan-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.
|Bhutan||2000 (only consular relations)||There are no diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Germany, but consular relations have existed since 2000.
|Brunei||1984-01-30||See Brunei-Germany relations|
|China||1972-11-10||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. In July 2019, the UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including Germany, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China's mistreatment of the Uyghurs as well as its mistreatment of other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.
|Georgia||1992-04-13||See Georgia-Germany relations|
|Hong Kong||2009||There are no formal diplomatic relations between Hong Kong and Germany, due to the character of Hong Kong being a Special Administrative Region and not an independent nation.|
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.
|Indonesia||1952-06-25||See Germany-Indonesia relations
|Iran||1952-01-26||See Germany-Iran relations|
|Iraq||1953-09-19||See Germany-Iraq relations|
|Israel||1965-05-10||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.
|Japan||1952-04-19||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.
|Kazakhstan||According to German Foreign Office: 1992-02-12/ According to Kazakh Foreign Ministry: 1992-02-11.||See Germany-Kazakhstan relations
|Malaysia||1957-08-31||See Germany-Malaysia relations|
|North Korea||2001-03-01||See Germany-North Korea relations|
|Pakistan||1972-05-14||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 is home to 53,668 Pakistani immigrants.
|Philippines||1954-10-08||See Germany-Philippines relations|
|Qatar||1973-01-15||See Germany-Qatar relations|
|Saudi Arabia||1954-11-10||See Germany-Saudi Arabia relations|
|Singapore||1965-12-24||See Germany-Singapore relations
|South Korea||1883-11-26/As Federal Republic of Germany according to Korean Foreign Ministry: 1955-12-01/As Federal Republic of Germany according to German Foreign Office: 1957-05-25||See Germany-South Korea relations
|Taiwan||-||Germany and Taiwan don't maintain official diplomatic relations. However Taiwan maintains Taipei Representative Offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich. Germany on the other hand maintains a German Institute in Taipei.|
|Turkey||1952-06-21||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.
|United Arab Emirates||1972-05-17||See Germany-United Arab Emirates relations|
|Vietnam||North: 1975-09-12/South: 1957-06-12||See Germany-Vietnam relations|
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).
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Albania||1987-09-15||See Albania-Germany relations|
|Austria||1956-01-05||See Austria-Germany relations
Relations between them are close because as countries have strong historical and cultural ties.
|Belgium||1951-06-27||See Belgium-Germany relations|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1992-11-13||The German government has made continuous efforts concerning the peace process after the civil war.|
|Bulgaria||1973-12-21||See Bulgaria-Germany relations
The Bulgarian government views Germany as its key strategic partner in the EU.
|Croatia||1992-01-15||See Croatia-Germany relations
|Cyprus||1960-08-20||See Cyprus-Germany relations
|Czech Republic||1973-12-11||See Czech Republic-Germany relations
Today, they share 815 km of common borders.
|Denmark||1951-06-27||See Denmark-Germany relations|
|Estonia||1991-08-28||See Estonia-Germany relations|
|Finland||1973-01-07||See Finland-Germany relations|
|France||1951-07-11||See France-Germany 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. 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.
|Greece||1834 (Prussia)/1950-12-07||See Germany-Greece relations
|Holy See||1954-06-01||See Germany-Holy See relations
|Hungary||1973-12-13||See Germany-Hungary relations
|Ireland||1922/As Federal Republic of Germany: 1951-07-26||See Germany-Ireland relations
|Italy||1950-12-02||See Germany-Italy relations
|Kosovo||2008-02-21||See Germany-Kosovo relations|
|Latvia||1920 and again as Federal Republic of Germany 1991-08-28||See Germany-Latvia relations
|Moldova||1992-04-30||See Germany-Moldova relations|
|Montenegro||2006-06-03||See Germany-Montenegro relations|
|Netherlands||1951-03-06||See Germany-Netherlands relations
|Norway||1951-05-10||See Germany-Norway relations|
|Poland||1972-09-14||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.
|Romania||1872/As Federal Republic of Germany: 1967-01-31||See Germany-Romania relations
|Russia||1955-09-13||See Germany-Russia relations|
|Serbia||1879-01-19||See Germany-Serbia relations
|Sovereign Military Order of Malta||2017|
|Spain||1952-11-06||See Germany-Spain relations
|Sweden||1951-04-04||See Germany-Sweden relations|
|Switzerland||1952-05-06||See Germany-Switzerland relations|
|Ukraine||1992-01-17||See Germany-Ukraine relations|
|United Kingdom||1951-06-20||See Germany-United Kingdom relations
|Country||Formal relations began||Notes|
|Australia||1952-01-28||See Australia-Germany relations|
|New Zealand||1953-11-10||See Germany-New Zealand relations|
|Papua New Guinea||1976-09-16||