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About us

The Federal Foreign Office represents Germany’s interests to the world. It promotes international exchange and offers protection and assistance to Germans abroad.

What we do


With headquarters in Berlin and a network of 229 missions abroad, the Federal Foreign Office maintains Germany’s relations with other countries as well as with international and supra-national organizations.

This work concerns much more than just political contacts among governments and parliaments. Because Germany and German society are enmeshed in ever-growing international networks, the Federal Foreign Office promotes intensive interaction and exchange with the world in the fields of business, culture, science and technology, the environment, development issues and many more areas.

How we work

Shaping globalization is one of the most important tasks of diplomacy. In this area, the Federal Foreign Office works closely with partners from civil society, including business associations, unions and humanitarian and human rights organizations. Through its embassies and consulates-general, it also influences the public abroad in order to convey a positive, up-do-date image of Germany. We are supported in this pursuit by Honorary Consuls, volunteers who work on the ground in the host country.

Today, many of the world’s challenges can no longer be met by individual countries, but must rather be tackled together with numerous international partners. Such challenges include regional conflicts, terrorist threats, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the violation of human rights.

This is why Germany’s participation in international bodies is becoming ever more important. Germany is serving on the United Nations Security Council for 2011 and 2012, a role in which it takes on responsibility for the world’s peace and security. At the same time, Germany advocates further strengthening the European Union. Here, too, the Federal Foreign Office pools German interests and develops specialist positions into unified German foreign and security policy.

Who you can turn to

Along with its role in shaping foreign policy, the Federal Foreign Office also views itself as a service provider – for citizens, German businesses, German cultural life, and MPs and government representatives at the federal, Länder and local levels.

Consular assistance from the German missions abroad is especially important for Germans abroad. Some 40 million German tourists and four million German expatriates per year present our embassies and consulates with new challenges on a daily basis: as providers of emergency assistance, as information sources and as contact points for all kinds of administrative services.

The legal basis: the responsibilities, mandate, tasks, organization and working methods of the Foreign Service, as well as legal issues specific to employees abroad and their families are regulated in the Foreign Service Act of 30 August 1990.


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Foreign & European Policy