Skip to main content
Menu Menu Close
Africa
Americas
Asia and the Pacific
Europe
Western Asia
Flag

Germany

https://www.idea.int/democracytracker/

April 2024

Bundestag passes breakthrough trans-rights law

With 374 votes in favour, 251 against, and 11 abstentions, the Bundestag (lower chamber of the federal parliament) passed a new law that enables transgender and non-binary individuals to change their legal documents to align with their gender through a self-determination-based administrative process. Previously, a court decision and two expert reports were required  for the legal gender change. The change was welcomed since the old process was described as complicated and degrading. The applications to request change in gender entry and first names will be possible from 1 August 2024.  

Sources: The Federal Government of Germany, Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Human Rights Watch

January 2024

Bundestag approves citizenship reform law

On 19 January, the German Bundestag (lower house of parliament), passed a law aimed at reducing the time required to obtain German citizenship from eight to five years for immigrants living legally in the country. In cases of a high level of integration such as special achievements in education, work, or language skills, this period is further shortened to three years. Dual citizenship will also be allowed. Parents can claim citizenship for German-born children if at least one parent has been a legal resident for five years. The law, proposed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s centre-left socially liberal coalition, received 382 votes in favour, 234 votes against, and 23 abstentions. The main opposition parties, the Christian Democrats and the Christian Social Union, along with the far-right party Alternative for Germany, voted against. The law seeks to provide integration incentives, bring more skilled workers and help relieve labor shortages. It was passed by the Bundesrat (upper house) on 2 February and is now awaiting signatures from Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before entering into force three months later.

Sources: Bundestag plenary minutes, Deutsche Welle, Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

November 2023

Federal and state governments agree on stricter migration measures
Watch flag

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and state governors reached an agreement to address the rising migrant influx, implementing measures such as expediting asylum procedures, making deportation easier, restricting benefits for asylum-seekers, and providing increased financial aid to affected states and local communities. The authorities said that the aim of these measures is to reduce irregular migration. Amid the ongoing refugee crisis, Germany has taken in over 1 million Ukrainians, prompting changes in the financing system for asylum seekers.

Sources: Euronews, Bundesministeriums des Innern und für Heimat 

Authorities classify AfD in Saxony-Anhalt an ‘extremist’ party

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), responsible for monitoring anti-constitutional groups, has classified the regional branch of the Alternative for Germany (AfD)  in Saxony-Anhalt, a right-wing wing populist party, with the highest category used by the domestic intelligence service — ‘definitely extremist aspirations.’ Authorities stated that they gathered significant evidence, revealing Islamophobic, antisemitic, and racist statements by AfD officials, which violate the three pillars of the German constitution: human dignity, the principles of democracy, and the rule of law. The classification grants BfV expanded state-level surveillance authority, enabling systematic collection of personal data without restrictions on intelligence gathering. This decision coincides with the upcoming regional elections in 2024 in Thuringia, Brandenburg, and Saxony, where polls indicate a rise in support for the far-right AfD, ranging from 15 to 35 per cent. Saxony-Anhalt's AfD becomes the second party chapter to be classified as right-wing extremist, following its branch in Thuringia in 2021.

Sources: Deutsche Welle, Politico, mdr, ZEIT Online

July 2023

Parliament passes immigration law to attract skilled labour

In a major shift in Germany’s policy, the parliament passed a new immigration law that creates opportunities for non-EU citizens wishing to work in Germany, as well as for refugees already in the country. Bundesrat, Germany’s upper house, gave the final approval in July. The legislation aims at attracting skilled labour in order to target the current shortage deemed as slowing the economy’s growth by turning Germany into a more immigration-friendly country. The law reduces restrictions and bureaucratic bottlenecks for applicants, lowering eligibility criteria for Blue Card work visas, and introducing the “opportunity card” (Canada-style points-based system) that will be awarded to applicants who meet certain requirements to go to Germany for a year to find employment. Refugees who applied for asylum by 29 March, as well as those on a tourist visa will also be allowed to join the labour market under specific conditions. All three coalition parties voted for the legislation. The centre-right CDU/CSU parties and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) voted against, while the left-leaning Linke abstained.  

Sources: Deutsche Welle, German Federal Government, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, Cabinet of Germany (Bundesregierung) 

See all event reports for this country

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

Chevron

Basic Information

Chevron
Population Tooltip
 83 196 080
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (since 2021)
Head of government party
Social Democratic Party (SPD)
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
Mixed-member Proportional Representation
Women in lower or single chamber
35.3%
Women in upper chamber
37.7%
Last legislative election
2021
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
6.18
Head of state
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Selection process for head of state
Indirect election (assembly + regional/local representatives)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
09/11/2023
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
81.79%
Tooltip text

Human Rights Treaties

Chevron
State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
State Party
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Signatory
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Signatory
Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
in
Tooltip text

Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
Nov 2023
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr 2024
Representation neutral Rights
Nov 2023
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr 2024
Representation neutral Rule of law
Nov 2023
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr 2024
Representation neutral Participation
Nov 2023
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

Use the slider below to see how democratic performance has changed over time

0 10