The 2018 federal budget entered into force on 17 July 2018, taking effect retroactively as of 1 January. At 5.45 billion euros, the Federal Foreign Office accounts for around one and a half percent of the federal budget. In 2018, Germany’s foreign policy will continue to focus on political challenges in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, which the Federal Government chiefly addresses via its humanitarian aid, crisis prevention and transformation partnership budget as well as through its cultural relations and education policy.
In the 2018 budgetary year, a total of 2.79 billion euros is available to be spent on safeguarding peace and stability (including contributions to the United Nations). The biggest items in this section of the budget are humanitarian aid to the tune of 1.5 billion euros (on account of the great need in and around Syria); crisis prevention at 351 million euros; the Stability Pact for Afghanistan at 180 million euros; and disarmament at 30 million euros. Initiatives in Africa are to be stepped up including migration partnership projects above all with Niger and Mali and work to promote the Lake Chad region. A total of 12.5 million euros has been earmarked for the German-Czech Future Fund. Work to attract UN organisations is to be intensified.
Continuing to promote education, research and language
Cultural relations and education policy is not just something nice to have. It constitutes a vital pillar of Germany’s foreign policy. Important areas include German schools abroad, the Goethe-Institut’s work on language and culture, scholarship programmes run by intermediary organisations and a diverse range of academic relations worldwide. The German language plays a particularly important role as it is key to communication and mutual understanding as well as a basis for acquiring skilled workers which our country sorely needs.
These priorities are reflected in the budget for 2018, and 956,7 million euros have therefore been earmarked for the Federal Foreign Office’s cultural relations and education policy.
The role of cultural relations and education policy is exemplified once more in 2018 by the provision again of 17 million euros to expand cooperation with civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.
Some 40.6 million euros will go to support the work of the German Archaeological Institute in 2018.
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Personnel and administrative costs
Expenditure on staffing and administration will stay fairly constant, with a total of 1.48 billion euros available in 2018 for the ministry and Germany’s 227 missions abroad. These costs thus account for just over a quarter of the Federal Foreign Office Budget.