Germany

   

Social Policies

#11
Key Findings
With a well-developed welfare system, Germany receives a high overall ranking (rank 11) in the area of social policies. Its score on this measure has gained 0.2 points relative to 2014.

Education outcomes have improved in recent years, despite some recent setbacks in science and mathematics test scores. The country’s dual vocational-training approach has become a model for other countries, though it is also associated with below-average tertiary-attainment rates. The recently implemented minimum wage marks a shift away from purely transfer-based income support.

The mixed public and private health care system is of high quality, but cost pressures are growing. Parental-leave programs are generous. Child-care availability is a concern. Women’s employment rates have increased substantially since 2000, though many women work only part time, and fertility rates are climbing. A number of small new pension policies are increasing expenses, but strengthening the system.

While the recent years’ refugee surge has prompted considerable financial, logistical and social stresses, medium-term integration efforts appear to be on track. However, a xenophobic party has capitalized on public concerns, becoming the third-largest parliamentary group. Immigration rules have been tightened, and the topic remains a key political flash point.

Education

#12

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
7
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an important indicator of the quality of a country’s educational system. Since the first PISA study in 2000, the OECD has often repeated its criticism that access to education in Germany is stratified and educational attainment is dependent on pupils’ social backgrounds. Educational opportunities are particularly constrained for children from low-income families and for immigrants. PISA results from 2012, however, had shown significant improvements (OECD 2016), reflecting possibly a catalytic effect of the “PISA shock” in the early 2000s. Germany ranked above the OECD average in mathematics, reading and science and the importance of students’ socioeconomic background had lessened. While in 2000, the level of social equity in German education was among the lowest of all OECD countries, Germany had risen to around the OECD average in 2012. The most recent PISA results from 2015 indicate a setback in science and mathematics, further stable performance in reading and confirm a looser link between socioeconomic background and performance compared to the 2000s (OECD 2016). Until 2017, the overall quality of the primary and higher education system improved slowly, but constantly. Germany ranked 19 out of 137 countries with an improvement score of 5.5 (Global Competitive Report 2017/2018: 115).

In contrast to other countries, the proportion of individuals with tertiary education has remained astonishingly low for several decades. The proportion of young people with tertiary education in 2016 (29.6% of the population between 23 and 34 years old) lags behind the OECD average and ranks sixth lowest among OECD countries. Overall, close to 60% of the population have completed upper secondary, with 13.2% possessing less than an upper secondary education. However, Germany exceeds the OECD average in youth participation in vocational tertiary education programs by 4% (OECD 2014: 4). The success of Germany’s dual vocational training approach has become a role model for southern European countries, which have high youth unemployment rates, such as Spain (where a reorganization of vocational programs has been underway since 2012).

In general, Germany’s education system is strong in terms of vocational training, providing skilled workers with good job and income prospects. The rate of post-secondary vocational education and training is about 20%, much higher than the OECD average. All in all, the German education system excels in offering competencies relevant for labor market success, resulting in a very low level of youth unemployment (second lowest among OECD countries). Thus, defining educational achievement primarily on the criterion of university degrees (as the OECD does) might not do justice to the merits of the segmented German dual education system.

Concerning the influx of refugees in 2015 and, to a lesser extent, in 2016 and 2017, their inclusion in the education system will be one of the most challenging tasks for their successful integration into German labor market and society.

Citations:
Global Competitive Report 2017/2018

https://data.oecd.org/eduatt/adult-education-level.htm#indicator-chart.

OECD (2013): Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Results from PISA 2012, Country Note Germany.

OECD (2014): Education at a glance. Country Note: Germany.

OECD (2016): Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Results from PISA 2015, Country Note: Germany.

Social Inclusion

#11

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
7
Germany has a mature and highly developed welfare state, which guarantees a subsistence level of income to all citizens. The German social security system is historically based on the insurance model, supplemented by a need-oriented minimum income. Unemployment benefits have required some supplementation over the last decade and have to some extent even been replaced by need-oriented minimum levels of income.

There are a variety of minimum income benefit schemes, comprising unemployed (“Hartz IV”), disabled, old-age minimum income support and assistance for asylum-seekers. In 2017, Germany had 6.1 million Hartz IV recipients which was the first annual increase since 2011 (Statistisches Bundesamt 2017a; 2017d).

The total number of recipients across all of these schemes increased in recent years and reached 7.9 million in December 2016 (Statistisches Bundesamt 2017c).

Until recently, income support for the working poor was provided through tax financed government transfers. However, in January 2015, this approach was fundamentally augmented with the introduction of a national statutory minimum wage designed to increase the market income of this at-risk segment of the population. So far, no massive job losses are noticeable.

In addition to the increasing threat of poverty in old age, the massive increase in asylum-seekers and refugees since 2015 constitutes a second major challenge for the successful social inclusion. In 2016 and 2017, public agencies, supported by civil society organizations, were largely effective in managing the crisis and providing essential living conditions to asylum-seekers. Recently, an OECD report (OECD 2017) demanded better coordination of all relevant stakeholders but also acknowledged that Germany has reacted quickly and created an environment that is conducive for successful labor market integration. The authors also acknowledged that the focus of German policy on liberalizing labor market access for asylum-seekers and refugees, and the large investments into language training is appropriate and promising. Together with excellent labor market conditions, the likelihood of successfully integrating refugees in Germany is higher than in most other EU countries.

Citations:
OECD (2017): Finding their Way – The Labour Market Integration of Refugees in Germany, March 2017.

Statistisches Bundesamt (2017a): https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/242062/umfrage/leistungsempfaenger-von-arbeitslosengeld-ii-und-sozialgeld/

Statistisches Bundesamt (2017b) Pressemitteilung vom 08.11.2017: https://www.destatis.de/DE/PresseService/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2017/11/PD17_392_634.html

Statistisches Bundesamt (2017c) Pressemitteilung vom 29.11.2017: https://www.destatis.de/DE/PresseService/Presse/Pressemitteilungen/2017/11/PD17_429_228.html

Statistisches Bundesamt (2017d): https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/Gesell-schaftStaat/EinkommenKonsumLebensbedingungen/LebensbedingungenArmutsgefaehrdung/Tabellen/EUArmutsschwelleGefaehrdung_SILC.html

Health

#9

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
8
The German health care system is of high quality, inclusive and provides health care for almost all citizens. Most employees are insured in public health insurance systems, while civil servants, the self-employed, high earners and some other groups are privately insured. It is, however, challenged by increasing costs. Recently, the system’s short-term financial stability is better than expected due to buoyant contributions resulting from the employment boom. However, long-term financial stability is challenged by the aging population and increasing costs within the health care system. Health care spending in Germany as a proportion of GDP is the third highest in the world and higher than the OECD average (11.3% of GDP compared to 9% of GDP for OECD average).

In its coalition agreement, the grand coalition negotiated a variety of reform measures for the 2013 to 2017 term to increase the quality of health care, redefine some financial details, and reorganize the registration of physicians in private practice and the distribution of hospitals. However, the government only introduced minor changes. One is the so-called law of strengthening self-administration in health care (“Selbstverwaltungsstärkungsgesetz”). With this law, the Federal Ministry of Health aims to strengthen its influence over the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, which had been engaged in criminal financial activities. The German parliament passed the law on 27 January 2017. However, lobby groups were successful in reducing government control vis-á-vis doctors’ associations and other interest groups.

Other important policies included a reduction in the contribution rate from 15.5% to 14.6% of gross wages and the confirmation of a fixed contribution rate for employers of 7.3%. Employee contributions are 7.3% of gross wages, equal to employers’ contributions. The additional contribution from employees, which was previously a lump-sum contribution, is now calculated as a percentage of their assessable income and varies between insurance companies (the average premium is now 1.1%), reintroducing an element of competition. In addition, the federal subsidy for the national health care fund was raised by €0.5 billion to an overall total of €14.5 billion.

In 2015, the contribution rate for long-term care insurance increased by 0.3 percentage points and by a further of 0.2 percentage points in 2017. Thus, an additional €5 billion will be available for improvements in long-term care. A part of the additional revenue feeds a precautionary fund intended to stabilize future contribution rates. In addition, families that wish to provide care at home are given greater support. Two additional important policies were the Hospital Structures Act and an act to strengthen long-term care (“Pflegestärkungsgesetze II und III”). The aim of the Hospital Structures Act, effective from January 2016, is to improve the quality of hospital care and increase the financing available to hospitals. In long-term care, a new system of assessing the needs was introduced. The new system no longer calculates the time needed for nursing care but assesses the degree of self-reliance restrictions. It takes into account all kinds of self-reliance restrictions: disabilities both in physical and mental health, and in cognition. The hitherto three care levels (Pflegestufen) are replaced by five new care degrees (Pflegegrade). The government also introduced the E-Health Act, which includes the introduction of an electronic heath card to improve internet-based communication in the health care system.

While the government has been ambitious in fostering a high-quality health system, it is not sufficiently limiting spending pressure. In particular, it has been hesitant to open the system to more competition (e.g., with respect to pharmacies). When the European Court of Justice ruled against fixed prices for prescription drugs, the minister of health was quick to announce a ban on mail-order pharmaceuticals.

Citations:
http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=SHA

https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/fileadmin/Dateien/3_Downloads/Gesetze_und_Verordnungen/GuV/S/SVSG_Kabinett.pdf.

http://www.bmg.bund.de/en/health

Families

#12

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
8
For decades, a broad consensus among political parties and major societal actors aligned the German system paradigmatically toward the male breadwinner model. Universal family benefits, incentives tailored to the needs of married couples and single-earner families, and a shortage of public childcare contributed to women’s low rate of participation in the labor market.

Today, this traditional approach has been substantially corrected. Parental leave, previously short and lacking adequate compensation, has been extended. Paternity leave has been introduced and promoted. Today, a parent’s net income while on leave is on average just 25% less than their net income prior to leave. Additionally, the number of public childcare places increased. A legal right to childcare beginning at age one came into effect in August 2013. In March 2016, the share of children aged under three with access to a childcare institution was at 32.7%; this is a small percentage decrease compared to March 2015, although the absolute number increased (BMFSFJ 2017a). Because demand for childcare (in 2016 about 46% for children aged under three) is not covered, Bundestag voted in June 2017 to increase the number of available places in daycare by 110,000 by 2020 (BMFSFJ 2017b). The number of children per kindergarten teacher varies considerably between states with higher child-teacher ratios in eastern states.

In summary, these measures, in combination with an increasing shortage of qualified labor, have led to both a considerable increase in women’s labor market participation and fertility rates. While in 2005 only 59.6% of 15- to 64-year-old women were employed, this percentage had increased to 70.8% by 2016 (OECD 2017). In the European Union today, Germany ranks third behind Sweden and Denmark in terms of female labor market participation (OECD 2017). However, German women are particularly often in part-time work. Although low by international standards, Germany’s fertility rate has started to increase. By 2015, after three successive year-on-year increases, Germany’s fertility rate had reached 1.5 children per woman (Statistisches Bundesamt 2017).

Citations:
Bundesverfassungsgericht (2015): https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/DE/2015/bvg15-057.html

OECD (2017), Employment rate (indicator). doi: 10.1787/1de68a9b-en (Accessed on 24 November 2017)

Statistisches Bundesamt 2017: https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesellschaftStaat/Bevoelkerung/Geburten/Tabellen/GeburtenZiffer.html

BMFSFJ 2017a: Kindertagesbetreuung Kompakt: https://www.bmfsfj.de/blob/113848/bf9083e0e9ad752e9b4996381233b7fa/kindertagesbetreuung-kompakt-ausbaustand-und-bedarf-2016-ausgabe-2-data.pdf

BMFSFJ 2017b: https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/themen/familie/kinderbetreuung/gesetzliche-grundlagen-fuer-den-ausbau-der-kinderbetreuung/86386

Pensions

#25

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
6
Germany has engaged in a significant number of pension reforms in recent decades. In particular, a 2004 reform aims to make the pension system more sustainable through increasing the retirement age and reduction in future pension increases linked to demographic change. In 2014, the grand-coalition government reversed the previous pension reform agenda. Subsequent reforms have been hotly disputed with critics claiming they would undermine the long-term sustainability of the pensions system. First, the government reduced the retirement age by two years for workers who have contributed to the pension system for at least 45 years. Second, it provided a catch up for housewives with children born before 1992 relative to those with children born after 1992. Finally, pensions for people with disabilities were improved. The calculation will now include two additional years of (fictive) contributions. The cost of these reforms is estimated to total €160 billion by 2030. Public subsidies for the pension fund will increase from €400 million to €2 billion by 2022. In 2017, several smaller pension policies were introduced. For example, company pension plans have been encouraged as an addition to statutory pension insurance, while the calculation of pension payments in cases of long-lasting illness was adjusted, and the difference in pension payments and pension levels between eastern and western federal states will be harmonized by 2025. The extra costs of €3.9 billion per year will be covered by pension contributions and tax money.

As a consequence of the excellent employment and revenue situation the contribution rate was lowered from 18.9% to 18.7% in 2015 and again to 18.6% in 2017, although this will only take effect in 2018. In June 2016, pension payments increased by an astonishingly high rate of 5.03% in the east of Germany and 4.35% in the west. This was the largest increase in pension payments since 1993 and due to increasing wages and high employment rates. On 1 July 2017, pensions again increased by 1.9% in the west and 3.59% in the eastern part of the country. However, increasing health care contribution rates and long-term care insurance costs reduce the level of net pension increases.

Relative to the active labor income, the statutory pension level is expected to decrease by about 6 percentage points by 2045 due to the current pension adjustment formula and the increasing ratio of pensioners to working population. But even these built-in adjustments might not be sufficient to safeguard the system’s sustainability according to implicit debt calculations, leading to expert demands for a further increase in the statutory pension age. The expected relative decrease in pension levels has been hotly discussed with respect to an increasing risk of old-age poverty for certain population groups and most political parties see the need for legislative action under the next government. Yet, pensioners today are significantly less likely to be at risk of poverty than the rest of the population. With pension spending at 10.1% of GDP, Germany was slightly above the OECD average in 2013 (OECD 2017).

Citations:
OECD (2017), Pension spending (indicator). doi: 10.1787/a041f4ef-en (Accessed on 24 November 2017)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Naviga-tion/6_Wir_ueber_uns/02_Fakten_und_Zahlen/01_werte_der_rentenversicherung/werte_der_rv_node.html#doc183748bodyText1

Integration

#18

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
7
According to a 2016 micro-census, 22.5% of people living in Germany had a migrant background. In comparison to the year before, it increased by 8.5%. This increase is consistent with the trend of the last decade (Statistisches Bundesamt 2016: 37). The Federal Statistical Office estimated that 2.1 million people immigrated to Germany in 2015. This is an increase of 46% compared to 2014. In 2016 and 2017, the numbers considerably dropped.

While Germany already had an extremely liberal regime for migrants from EU member states, a liberalization of labor migration from non-EU countries has taken place. According to the OECD (2013), these reforms “have put Germany among the OECD countries with the fewest restrictions on labor migration for highly skilled occupations.” Nevertheless, there is an ongoing public debate about the need to modernize immigration legislation further. In 2014, the government introduced the right to dual citizenship. This reform abolished the requirement for most children born in Germany to non-German parents to decide between the citizenship of their birth and the citizenship of their parents.

When in 2015 the number of refugees claiming asylum in Germany far exceeded prior levels, the topic of immigration and integration became a priority among the public. The reaction of civil society to the high number of asylum-seekers has been mixed. Although a majority of the population initially appeared to welcome the government’s open approach, skepticism increased as the numbers of refugees claiming asylum remained high and safety and crime concerns grew (in particular following the 2015 New Year’s Eve incidents in Cologne, where numerous migrants were arrested for sexual assault and robbery). Furthermore, xenophobic parties (e.g., AfD) quickly began to organize an opposition to the arrival of refugees. The AfD gained seats in all state parliaments, which have been elected since 2015, and became the third strongest party in the Bundestag in 2017. Though none of the traditional democratic parties are willing to cooperate with the AfD.

Initially, the last government lacked a comprehensive crisis management strategy. However, after disputes between the coalition parties, the federal government took a first step toward solving the problem in October 2015. The reform package includes substantial financial support for states and municipalities, the provision of early integration and language courses, and special support for child refugees traveling without their parents (Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, October 2015). In addition, the registration of refugees was extended and improved; among other things, fingerprints are now taken.

These policies were followed by attempts to restrict and regulate the influx of refugees. The most important measures were the so-called asylum packages I and II. The first package included an expansion of countries of origin considered safe (Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo, and from 2017 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ghana, Macedonia, Serbia and Senegal), accelerated the recognition procedures and strengthened financial support for the municipalities. Moreover, benefits were changed from cash to in-kind. The second package, introduced in February 2016, restricted the right to family reunion for people granted subsidiary protection and once again expanded the countries of origin considered safe (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), to mention only the most important regulations. Finally, in 2017, deportation of rejected asylum-seekers was made easier for German authorities.

The short-term management of the refugee crisis has been largely successful with respect to the logistics of refugee reception. Given the very large numbers of people coming into the country in 2015, government authorities (at the municipal, state and federal level) have shown a remarkable effectiveness, in stark contrast to the miserable refugee reception in other EU countries in the south and east. This reception capacity benefited greatly from civil society’s support.

The long-term challenge of integration remains a crucial concern, including the successful integration of the refugees into both the education system and labor market. Recently, an OECD report (OECD 2017) stated that Germany is on a good track with respect to refugees’ labor market integration. The report acknowledged that Germany had reacted quickly and created an environment conducive to the successful labor market integration of refugees. The report recognized the appropriate focus German policy had placed on liberalizing labor market access for asylum-seekers and refugees, and investing heavily into language training. The combination of these appropriate strategies and excellent labor market conditions have raised the chances for successfully integrating many refugees over the medium term.

Much will ultimately depend on whether broader cultural integration will succeed. So far, German civil society remains in favor of integrating refugees. However, there is a danger of strengthening xenophobia if problems of cultural alienation and safety concerns grow.

A further stress factor for integration with respect to citizens with Turkish origins has resulted from recent political developments in Turkey, where the policies of the Erdogan government have polarized Turkish communities in Germany. This has resulted in divergent perceptions on the importance of free media, the rule of law and separation of powers (values enshrined in the German constitution), raising concerns about an absence of common values.

Overall, the way Germany logistically dealt with the inflow of almost a million refugees in a very brief period of time is impressive. The main challenge for the future will be to integrate these people into German society. Although many imperfections remain and although the task is immense, the country’s overall policy strategy toward refugee integration appears to be promising.

Citations:
BAMF 2017a: Aktuelle Zahlen zu Asyl, Oktober 2017:
http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/Downloads/Infothek/Statistik/Asyl/aktuelle-zahlen-zu-asyl-oktober-2017.html

BAMF 2017b: Schlüsselzahlen Asyl. Online: http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/Publikationen/Flyer/flyer-schluesselzahlen-asyl-2016.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

OECD 2013: Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Germany, Paris: OECD.
The Economist 2015: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21676781-no-one-was-sure-germany-could-handle-its-migrant-crisis-it-turns-out-it-can-german-flexibility

OECD 2017: Finding their Way – The Labour Market Integration of Refugees in Germany, March 2017.

Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung 2015 (15 October): https://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Pressemitteilungen/BPA/2015/10/2015-10-15-integration-asylpaket.html

Statistisches Bundesamt 2016: Fachserie 1, Reihe 2.2:
https://www.destatis.de/DE/Publikationen/Thematisch/Bevoelkerung/MigrationIntegration/Migrationshintergrund2010220167004.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

Safe Living

#13

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Safe Living Conditions
7
In general, residents of Germany are well protected against security risks such as crime or terrorism. Crime rates had been declining for years, but are slightly increasing since 2015. A total of 6,370,000 crimes were reported in 2016, a 0.7% increase over 2015 (BMI 2017).

The influx of nearly 900,000 refugees in 2015 fostered a heated discussion about a potential rise in crime. The empirical evidence is mixed. A special survey of the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) had indicated that refugees and asylum-seekers do not seem to display any increased propensity toward criminality compared to German citizens. In contrast, a recent study commissioned by the German Family Ministry (Pfeiffer, Baier and Kliem, 2018) documented criminal activities for some groups of refugees to be above the population average (e.g., young single men, Maghreb origin). It also suggested that the recent reversal to higher crime rates in Lower Saxony to have been predominantly driven by refugees.

Independent from the objective data, there is an increasing perception among the general population that refugee immigration may have lowered public safety. The 2015 New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne and other German cities that led to hundreds of sexual assaults has caused a kind of public trauma and led to an increase in negative attitudes toward immigration, and triggered more violent attacks from right-wing movements against immigrants and foreigners.

In addition, several terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists over the course of 2016 and 2017 as well as planned attacks prevented by the police clearly indicate a significant increase in the risk of terrorist attacks. The most important of these attacks seems to be the attack on 19 December 2016 by Anis Amri, which killed 11 people and injured 55, when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin. The group of Islamist extremists is quickly growing in number, attracting support principally among younger German Muslims, but also among some refugees.

In 2017, attention shifted to violence and crime perpetrated by left-wing and anti-capitalist groups. On the occasion of the G20 Hamburg summit in July 2017, violent groups caused substantial damage to property and injured over 160 police staff. These highly aggressive attacks were widely perceived to be outright attempts to kill police officers. For several hours, these militant and violent activities could not be contained, which led to a public outcry over a perceived loss of control and undue leniency toward crime from left-wing extremists.

Overall, extremist activities by right-wing, left-wing, and foreign groups and organizations have increased by 6.6%. Politically motivated violence rose to about 41,500 incidents, a 2.6% rise (after a sharp rise in 2016) in right-wing and a 2.2% drop in left-wing criminal acts. In terms of violent attacks, there was a 14.3% increase in right-wing and a 24.2% decrease in left-wing incidents. The overall rise was caused by increased incidents connected to Islamism and the Kurdish Turkish conflict (BMI 2017). After a dramatical increase in the number of xenophobic attacks on accommodations for asylum-seekers at the end of 2015 (1,031 attacks), there was a drop over the year 2016 (988) according to the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt). In contrast, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation reports an increased number in 2016 (1578) based on a different empirical basis (Amadeu Antonio Stiftung 2017).

Summing up, the objective data still indicates lower crime today compared to the 1990s or 2000s. However, perceptions are worsening together with some indicators. Both the federal level and the states have reacted by substantially increasing the number of police staff.

Citations:
Amadeu Antonio Stiftung 2017: https://www.mut-gegen-rechte-gewalt.de/service/chronik-vorfaelle

BMI 2017: Kriminalitätsentwicklung im Jahr 2016
https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/kurzmeldungen/DE/2017/04/vorstellung-pks-pmk.html

Pfeiffer, Christian, Dirk Baier and Sören Kliem 2018: Zur Entwicklung der Gewalt in Deutschland: Jugendliche und Flüchtlinge als Täter und Opfer, Januar 2018.

Die Zeit (2015): http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2015-11/bundeskriminalamt-fluechtlinge-deutsche-straftaten-vergleich

http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/zeitgeschehen/2016-06/bundeskriminalamt-statistik-straftaten-asylbewerber

https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/straftaten-auslaender-erklaerung-101.html

http://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/ExterneLinks/DE/01-Sicherheit/Kriminalitaet/bka_pks.html?nn=3356948

http://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Broschueren/2015/pks-2014.pdf;jsessionid=BB52FF2F07734E52EFCFEA67A076B447.2_cid364?__blob=publicationFile

Global Inequalities

#6

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
8
In absolute terms, Germany is the second largest global donor of development aid (behind the United States). Aid has increased substantially in terms of official development assistance (ODA) both because increasing spending abroad and financial assistance for refugees within a donor country are included. Relative to gross national income (GNI), Germany has now established itself significantly above the OECD average and, in 2016, reached the U.N. 0.7% spending target (OECD 2017).

The country’s trading system is necessarily aligned with that of its European partners. In trade negotiations within the European Union, Germany tends to defend open-market principals and liberalization. This position is in line with the country’s economic self-interest as a successful global exporter. For agricultural products in particular, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy still partially shields European farmers from international competition, thus limiting the ability of developing countries to export their agricultural products to Europe. However, Germany has been more open than peers such as France to a liberal approach that would provide greater benefits to developing countries and emerging markets.

The dramatic increase in refugees arriving in Germany in 2015 has increased the German government’s awareness of the importance of stable social, economic and political conditions in developing countries. This has had a clear budgetary impact: the 2017 draft federal budget, proposes to increase the resources of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development by 15% (€1.1 billion), with a particular focus on fighting the causes of flight in North Africa and helping Syria and neighboring countries (Bundesregierung 2016).

Citations:
Bundesregierung (2016): Etat für die Entwicklungspolitik, Mehr Engagement für Flüchtlinge und für Afrika, 23.11.2016,.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Artikel/2016/09/2016-09-08-etat-bmz.html

OECD (2017): Development aid rises again in 2016 but flows to poorest countries dip, http://www.oecd.org/dac/development-aid-rises-again-in-2016-but-flows-to-poorest-countries-dip.htm
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