The West German Constitution came into force
on May 23, 1949. On October 3, 1990, East Germany (GDR)
acceded to this constitution. Germany thereby again
became a state. In 2006, significant changes were made
to the constitution to change the distribution of power
between the federal level and the states (die Länder).
The German head of state is the president of the
federation, who is elected for five years by the federal
assembly, that is, the members of Germany's federation
day (see below) and the same number of members appointed
by the state's national representations. The president,
who can be re-elected, has essentially representative
Total population and chart of Germany for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The Federal German Parliament consists of two
chambers: the Bundestag and the Bundestag. The members
of the Bundestag are elected every four years in direct
elections through a combination of majority elections of
individual candidates and proportional elections between
the parties. Each voter therefore has two votes. To
enter the Bundestag, a party must get over five percent
of all votes or win at least three so-called direct
seats in the majority elections. The system means that
it varies how many members of the Bundestag have; after
the 2013 election, the number was 631. According to the
Constitution, it is difficult to dissolve the federation
day prematurely and this has only happened twice, most
recently in 2005. The voting age is 18 years.
The head of government, the Chancellor, is
elected by the Bundestag and is responsible for this.
She / she then appoints the members of her government.
The Bundestag can set aside the chancellor through a
"constructive distrust", which means there must be a
majority for a new Chancellor.
The Federal Council is to safeguard the interests of
the Länder towards the central government and it has the
right to co-determine the federal legislative work. The
council consists of 69 representatives from all the
state governments, which sends between three and six
members, depending on the number of residents. The
members are bound by the positions of their governments,
and their terms of office are related to the state
elections, which are held every four or five years
depending on the state. A change of power in a state
means that the composition of the Federal Council
changes. This may mean that the Federal Council
periodically has a different political majority than the
Bundestag, which has sometimes hampered the government's
work. In 2006, more than 20 amendments were made to the
Constitution, which meant that the number of legislative
proposals requiring the Council's approval decreased
significantly; however, the Council still takes a
position on about half of all legislative proposals. In
exchange, the states gained greater autonomy, among
other things in school policy and environmental
protection and in the matter of the stores' opening
German federalism is based on a long tradition. The
16 states, of which Bremen, Berlin and Hamburg are city
states, have a high degree of internal self-government.
They have their own constitutions, parliaments and
governments. The states themselves regulate cultural
policy, education, police services, media policy and
social assistance. The larger states are divided into
districts, counties (Landkreise) and
Through the single treaty that regulated the German
reunification, Berlin became the new capital of Germany.
In the summer of 1999, parliament and government moved
from Bonn to Berlin. However, some federal ministries
and departments within those relocating remained in
A federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe oversees
the legislation. It is the ultimate body in conflicts
between different constitutional bodies or between the
central government and the states, and it can test
whether laws that are enacted violate the Constitution.
It also acts as a court of appeal for those who believe
that public power has violated constitutional rights.
The Constitutional Court has in many cases been
withdrawn from the political decision-making process by
considering whether controversial decisions are
constitutional. There are also constitutional courts in
The highest general court is the Federal
Bundesgerichtshof, and under it are appellate courts.
The lower courts are state-level courts. Germany also
has several special courts.
Since the reunification, the government has switched
between the Christian Democrats and the Social
Democrats, but at times they have also co-ruled. When
the Greens and the Left in the 2000s took place in the
Bundestag and the state parliament, support for the
larger parties decreased.
The Christian Democrats actually consist of two
parties, the Christian Democratic Union
(Christlich-Demokratet Union, CDU) and the
Christian Social Union (Christlich-Soziale
Union, CSU). CSU is only available in Bavaria, CDU in
other states. They form a common faction in the
Bundestag. In the parties, value-conservative views are
combined with the idea of a "social market economy": a
free market in combination with a state welfare policy.
CSU is more conservative and skeptical about the EU than
CDU. Angela Merkel was party leader for CDU for 18
years, but after failing in important state elections in
the fall of 2018, she decided not to run for re-election
at the party congress in December. Instead, Annegret
Kramp-Karrenbauer was appointed new CDU leader. Horst
Seehofer has been President of CSU since 2008.
The newly formed Social Democratic Party
(Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD), after
the Second World War, abandoned its commitment to
Marxism in 1959 and for the first time joined a
government in 1966. The party began to move towards the
political center in the late 1990s and after a few years
the lot was abandoned by parts of the strong left flank.
However, many who wish to revert to traditional leftist
politics remain. The party's chairman, 1964-1987, Willy
Brandt, as Chancellor of the United States, began the
efforts to create better relations with the countries of
the Communist bloc in Eastern Europe. Since 2009, the
party is led by Sigmar Gabriel.
The Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats
formed a joint government after the 2013 federal
election, a "big coalition", which has been tried at
federal level twice before: 1966-1969 and 2005-2009.
Members of the SPD's radical left flank and union
leaders who were excluded from the party formed in early
2005 the Labor and Social Justice Election Alternative (Wasg).
The successor to the East German Communist Party was
until July 2005 the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).
Ahead of the Bundestag election in the fall of that
year, the party had changed its name to the Left Party /
PDS and an election alliance was formed with Wasg. The
two parties merged in June 2007 under the name
Vänstern (Die Linke).
The Free Democratic Party (Freie
Demokratische Party, FDP) is a liberal,
corporate-friendly party of traditional type. It has
often been in office in coalition with either CDU / CSU
or SPD. The party weakened in the years following the
German reunification but made a record choice in 2009.
The party resigned from the Bundestag in the 2013
election, but returned again after the 2017 election.
Confederation 90 / The Greens
(Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen) was formed in 1993 through a
merger of the Greens in the West and Confederation 90.
The Greens emerged as a pacifist environmental party in
1980 while Confederation 90 had been founded in 1990 by
several opposition groups in the East that led the
peaceful revolution. in East Germany. In 1998, the party
was included in Schröder's red-green government
coalition. During the 2010s, it was part of state
governments mainly with the Social Democrats but also
with Christian Democrats and others.
In the mid-2010s, a newly formed dissatisfaction
party sailed up as a serious threat to the established
large parties. Alternatives for Germany
(Alternative für Deutschland, AFD) had been formed in
2013 in protest against the euro co-operation and the
financial rescue operations against Greece. The party
gained a strong boost when, in conjunction with the
large influx of refugees to Germany, it began to profile
itself as an immigration and Islam-hostile party. In the
fall of 2016, it was represented in over half of the
states' parliaments and in the election for Bundestag
2017, the party became the third largest.
The anti-immigrant, right-wing parties
Republicans (Die Republicans), German
People's Union (Deutsche Volksunion, DVU) and
National Democratic Party(Nationale
Partei Deutschland, NPD) has lost significance in recent
years. After the German unification, NPD was mainly
active in eastern Germany and was elected to the state
parliament as a result of election cooperation with DVU.
NPD has been described by the German security police as
racist and anti-Semitic. In 2003, a failed attempt was
made in the Constitutional Court to ban the party. In
2011, it was revealed that a neo-Nazi group had carried
out a dozen murders, bomb attacks and bank robberies for
an extended period without being discovered. One of the
members had previously been a member of NPD. In 2013,
home ministers from all states submitted a new
application to ban the NPD to the Constitutional Court,
which in spring 2016 initiated a legal process.
The Pirate Party (Piratenpartei) was
formed in 2006 inspired by the Swedish sister party with
a focus on copyright issues and new media. The party has
been represented in the state parliament but not elected
on the Bundestag.