German foreign policy budget
On 21 November the German Bundestag finalized the Federal Foreign Office budget and adopted subdivision 05 of the Federal budget. More money will be available for foreign policy in 2013. The political challenges in North Africa and the Middle East and cultural relations and education policy will remain the priorities. Speaking in the debate in the Bundestag, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle focused on the dangerous escalation of violence in the Middle East. He was in the region just recently for talks in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt.
Like all the Federal ministries, the Federal Foreign Office is part of the Federal budget consolidation effort. The Foreign Office’s share of the Federal budget remains at about one percent, i.e. from every euro in the budget, the Foreign Office gets just one cent. In 2013, the Federal Foreign Office budget is to go up by 4.9% to 3.486 billion euros. This increase is in part a response to the new tasks facing us.
Support for the changes in North Africa and the Middle East (transformation partnerships) will remain a focal point of German foreign policy in the year ahead, with 50 million euros earmarked for that purpose. As the Federal Foreign Office has taken over new humanitarian assistance tasks from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the funds available for such tasks will jump by 82 million euros to 187 million euros. Support under the Stability Pact for Afghanistan will continue at a high level in 2013 (170.7 million euros).
Continuing to promote education, research and language
“No cuts in education and research” – the Federal Government’s motto applies to cultural relations and education policy as well. The schools fund, scholarship programmes, scientific and academic relations and German language promotion are important areas for the future and are to continue to receive special support.
The schools fund will receive an additional six million euros, scholarships an extra five million. Other budget items related to education such as scientific and academic relations and the German language will have just as much funding as in previous years. The cultural budget includes 20 million euros for cooperation with the transformation countries in North Africa and the Middle East. In total, the 2013 budget for cultural relations and education policy will be increased to 787 million euros, its highest ever level.
Personnel and administrative costs
After several years of job cuts, the Federal Foreign Office will be getting a series of new jobs in 2013. The number of visa applications around the world is still on the up, and Germany’s missions abroad will in future be issuing not only passports but also electronic identity cards, so more staff are needed in the consular sections of our missions abroad.
Last updated 21.11.2012