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The political culture of Germany as of the early 21st century is known for the popular expectation for governments to ensure a degree of social welfare, business and labour corporatism and a multiparty system dominated by conservative and social democratic forces, with a strong influence of smaller Green, liberal and socialist parties.

 

Coalition governments are predominant on both the federal and the state level exemplifying the German desire for consensus politics instead of one party majority rule as in democracies that follow the Westminster model.

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, and federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat (the representative body of the Länder, Germany's regional states). There is a multi-party system that, since 1949, has been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The judiciary of Germany is independent of the executive and the legislature. The political system is laid out in the 1949 constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), which remained in effect with minor amendments after 1990's German reunification. The constitution emphasizes the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of human rights and divides powers both between the federal and state levels and between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

 

Immigration regulations

On 1 January 2005, a new immigration law came into effect that altered the legal method of immigration to Germany. The political background to the introduction of the new immigration law being that Germany for the first time ever acknowledged to be an "immigration country".

Although the practical changes to the immigration procedures were relatively minor, new immigration categories like the ones for highly skilled professionals and scientists have been introduced to attract valuable professionals for the German labour market. The development within German immigration law clearly shows that immigration of skilled employees and academics is eased while the labour market remains closed for unskilled workers.

Recently, a new Europe-wide law has been passed, allowing high-skilled non-EU citizens easier access to work and live in Germany, after meeting certain requirements.

The formerly well known IT-Greencard program has been followed by the introduction of a specific category within the ordinance on employment that allows IT specialists with a university or polytechnic degree to migrate to Germany for employment purposes. Self-employment is also possible but requires either an initial investment of EUR 500,000 and the creation of a minimum 5 jobs or the support of the local chambers of commerce or similar organizations that confirm the socioeconomic value of the business plan for the region.

If interested people can provide an academic education and a company, which wants to hire them, the German law will make it easy to get the necessary working permit and residence permit – the so called “Blue Card”.

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