Germany is a country that is at the heart of Europe not only for its geographical location; indeed over the last year, it has taken a leadership role of central power also owing to its political and economic life. It is the most populous country in Europe as well as its strongest economy. Germany is also one of the most economically-developed countries in the world as well as the founders of the European Union and the Eurozone.
Germany’s overseas colonial empire was established later than other European powers such as Spain or Great Britain.
This is because Germany became a united country only in 1871, thus it was only after 1884 that it started to acquire colonies such as Cameroon and South-West Africa. Furthermore, before that date, Germany had only aimed at expanding to eastern Europe. Germany’s overseas colonial empire did not last long. It ended with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 following World War I when the victors confiscated all the colonies.
Germany boasts a social market economy. It is the world’s third-largest exporter. The country deeply depends on exports and world trade which can be considered a great source of growth and employment for Germany which also prides itself on a highly skilled labor force. The living standards all over the country are high, and this is reflected in the gross domestic product of the country. Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP.
Germany has an excellent reputation worldwide for its achievements in technology and it is the place of birth of some leading figures in literature and the arts, too.
It was in Germany that the modern printing press was born. Some of Europe’s most well-known composers, philosophers, and poets such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Friedrich Nietzche were born in Germany.
Germany is a major transport hub as well. The most important cities in Germany have an excellent transport system which includes a fast rail network, trams as well as an underground system and they all run to a strict timetable. Germany can boast a quite good rail network as well as an excellent road network; the latter is among the densest in the world. There are more than 100 international airlines and 18 international airports in Germany with destinations around the globe. The Port of Hamburg is considered several ways one of the largest container ports in the world.
On January 1, 2002, the euro became the official currency for twelve European Union countries, including Germany. The euro was designed and created under the idea that it would positively impact all the EU countries while allowing them to compete with other powerful economies such as the US and China. The trade and growth would make economic integration stronger, and it would create a more unified European economy. But this has not been the case. Since the euro appeared, all of the EU countries have been struggling with economic turmoil and have been facing several crises. Indeed, the adoption of the euro has turned into inequitable currency mispricings; weak economies such as Greece bid up the values of their national currencies, thus joining the euro at values that were too high to be supportable by their economic fundamentals.
Oppositely, Germany has benefited from the euro in several ways. The monetary union membership has assisted the country in reducing the cost of international trade while protecting against excessive exchange rate volatility. The adoption of the euro has had a positive impact on the economic growth of the country as well as on incomes and the labor market, too. Without the euro, the annual increase in the real gross domestic product in the country would be lower than it is. However, Germany’s economy is causing difficulties for the rest of the world. The country saves too much and spends too little, exporting far more goods than it imports. Consequently, Germany runs surpluses on its account, and these surpluses turn into a burden for the other member countries; indeed, it is really hard for them to grow and create jobs while struggling to cut down their public debts and deficits.,
Culture in every country is based on attitudes and values which are the basis for developing the business culture. Both the living and working style in Germany are regulated by laws, and rules which can be seen in all economic, political, and social areas. Business is conducted through the hierarchy, and decision-making is usually a detailed process that takes place at the highest levels of a company. Rushing to seal a business deal may be considered as a lack of commitment and professionalism.
Nowadays, given the global political situation, we are living in very turbulent times, and the whole world is in great turmoil. However, while the world around Germany has changed, and the EU has faced different crises, Germany has remained stable and, therefore, today it plays the role of a strong leader as well as a central player. Over the last years, the country has also contributed to solving diplomatically several conflicts worldwide, for example, the ones with Iran and Ukraine. During her office, Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has always tried to hold together her grand coalition. After being elected, she succeeded in steering Germany safely through the great financial crisis and the subsequent euro crisis. Most Germans like Merkel’s prudence and pragmatism as well as the fact that she is a great rationalist. In 2015, when tens of thousands of refugees arrived on Europe’s shore to find a new home, Merkel put into force an open-door policy, thus making two important decisions: first of all, she discontinued temporarily an EU law stating that asylum seekers had to return to the first country they had entered. Thanks to her decision, Syrian refugees who had already registered in an EU country were allowed to enter and stay in Germany. Then, Merkel also made controls on the border with Austria less strict, allowing refugees to enter Germany. However, this summer she had to face a big challenge when migrants started to arrive in large numbers. EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss the issue of migration, but they did not reach an agreement. Indeed, the coalition allies rejected Merkel’s migration deal, and also her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer resigned from his posts. The anti-migration rebellion has weakened Merkel’s role, and after 13 years of office she has become vulnerable; her policy is being put into discussion. Besides attacking Merkel’s government over immigration, Trump has put the Chancellor under pressure on two other areas: first, defense spending and Merkel’s commitment to spend up to 2 percent of economic output to increase it, and the reduction in Germany’s excessive trade surplus.