Germany is a federal republic. The head of the Federal Republic of Germany is a president. German Federation consists of 13 states and 3 free cities: Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Brandeburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedesachsen, Nordhein-Westfalen, Reinland-Pfalz, Saarland, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Th?ringen and the three cities are: Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. In terms of "European regions", Germany has 41 regions (at NUTS2 level). It is a country wirth most European regions. For comparison: Great Britain has 37,France 26, Spain 19, Italy 21 etc.
The capital of Germany is Berlin about 3 500 000 inhabitants, it´s after Moscow, London, Istanbul and Sant Peterburg the fifth large European city. Next largest German cities are: Hamburg 1 700 000, Munchen 1 300 000, Koln am Rhein 1 000 000, Frankfurt 700 000 etc.
Germany is a federal, parliamentary democracy. The German political system operates under a framework laid out in the 1949 constitution known as the Grundgesetz (Basic Law). By calling the document Grundgesetz, rather than Verfassung (constitution), the authors expressed the intention that it would be replaced by a proper constitution once Germany was reunited as one state. Amendments to the Grundgesetz generally require a two-thirds majority of both chambers of the parliament; the articles guaranteeing fundamental rights, the separation of powers, the federal structure, and the right to resist attempts to overthrow the constitution are valid in perpetuity and cannot be amended. Despite the initial intention, the Grundgesetz remained in effect after the German reunification in 1990, with only minor amendments.
The Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor), currently Angela Merkel, is the head of government and exercises executive power, similar to the role of a Prime Minister in other parliamentary democracies. Federal legislative powers are vested in the parliament consisting of the Bundestag (Federal Diet) and Bundesrat (Federal Council), which together form a unique type of legislative body. The Bundestag is elected through direct elections, yet abiding proportional representation. The members of the Bundesrat represent the governments of the sixteen federal states and are members of the state cabinets. The respective state governments have the right to appoint and remove their envoys at any time.
Head of state: Horst Köhler (CDU) - Federal President
Head of goverment: Angela Merkel (CDU) - Federal Chancellor
Governing parties: CDU, CSU, SPD
Last national elections: 2005
European Parliament Election 2009
|Reichstag, seat of the parliament, Berlin - source|
Since 1949, the party system has been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany although smaller parties, such as the liberal Free Democratic Party (which has had members in the Bundestag since 1949) and the Alliance ’90/The Greens (which has controlled seats in parliament since 1983) have also played important roles.
The German head of state is the Bundespräsident (President), elected by the Bundesversammlung (federal convention), an institution consisting of the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of state delegates. The second highest official in the German order of precedence is the Bundestagspräsident (President of the Bundestag), who is elected by the Bundestag and responsible for overseeing the daily sessions of the body. The third-highest official and the head of government is the Chancellor, who is nominated by the Bundespräsident after being elected by the Bundestag. The Chancellor can be removed by a constructive motion of no confidence by the Bundestag, where constructive implies that the Bundestag simultaneously elects a successor.