Germany is the 63rd largest country in the world. With 83 million people, it is also the 19th most populous. In global terms, Germany is a relatively small country. So why do you we hear so much about it? Why does Germany get so much attention globally? Really, why is Germany so important?
…Actually, for several reasons. Let us explain.
1. Germany Has A Huge Economy
A first reason why Germany is an important country is because of the size of its economy.
Germany is the fourth largest economy in the world. It is the largest in Europe. Germany has a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. The size of the German economy, and the wealth of the country, is a major reason why Germany is important.
The size of the German economy means it plays a major role in global trade, commerce, and finance. As one of the richest countries in the world, Germany is vital to the global economy.
As well as having one of the largest economies in the world, Germans are, by global standards, among the richest people. Germany has a per capita income of 55,220 USD. This makes, on average, Germans the 25th richest people in the world.
The size of the German economy, combined with the wealth of its citizens, is perhaps the biggest reason why Germany is an important country.
2. The Country Has A Prominent Role In Europe
A second reason why Germany is an important country is because of its role in Europe.
As we said, Germany is the largest economy in Europe. This makes it key to the continents economy as whole and makes it the largest economy within the European Union. This is a key reason why Germany is important.
As well as being the largest economy in Europe, Germany is also the largest country on the continent by population (excluding Russia and Turkey). This gives Germany immense influence over the affairs of the continent and is another reason why the country is influential.
Germany plays a leading role in the European Union. As a founding member of the European Economic Community (ECC) – the predecessor to the EU, Germany has a long history of dominating European politics. Today, Germany is seen as one of countries that has the most control over the EU.
Germany’s influential role within the European Union, combined with its leading position across the continent, are key reasons why the country is important.
3. Germany Has World Leading Manufacturing
A third reason why Germany is an important country is because of its manufacturing sector.
German manufacturing is world renowned. The country is known for making high-quality consumer goods. German companies lead many global markets with their products.
German manufacturing is also known for its focus on research and development, with many technological improvements coming out of the country’s manufacturing sector. The country plays a vital role in global manufacturing, and this is why it is important.
Some of the most successful companies in the world are German. Many of the products millions of people around the world use each day were developed in Germany. Companies such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Adidas. DHL, Hugo Boss, Siemens, and Bosch are just some examples of leading German manufacturers.
Germany’s role as one of the most important nations for manufacturing globally is a big reason why it is important. People all around the world look to Germany, and its companies, to design, test, develop and build much of the latest technologies.
4. The Country’s History Is Important
A further reason why Germany is an important country is because of its history.
The centre of Europe was made up of a loose collection of Germanic states from the fall of the Holy Roman Empire until the 19th Century. When Prussia, the largest state, unified Germany in 1871, it changed the course of Europe. Since the mid-to-late 19th Century, Germany has played a major historical role in Europe.
Germany, and before that the German states of central Europe, have been key to many historical events in Europe and around the world. The Napoleonic Wars, the Scramble for Africa, World War One and World War Two are just some examples of major world events that Germany has been at the centre of.
Most recently, the Cold War and the creation of the European Union have seen Germany at the forefront of world events. The nation has played a key role in history over the last centuries, and it is a major reason why it is important as a country.
5. Germany’s International Diplomacy Is World Leading
Another reason why Germany is an important country is its role in international diplomacy.
Germany is highly effective in soft power. In international affairs, soft power is the ability to work with other nations to achieve strategic aims, as opposed to hard power – where other nations are forced to act through the threat or use of force.
The United Nations, NATO, and the World Trade Organization are just some of the international organisations where Germany is active. The role Germany plays in these organisations is a key reason why the country is important. Germany also has 159 embassies around the world, promoting Germany and forming dialogues with host nations.
Germany is important because of the way it uses its global role. The country often pushes for peaceful solutions to conflicts and works hard to build international cooperation. Germany is one of the biggest donors in international humanitarian aid, providing around 1.2 billion euros a year.
6. German Culture Is Appreciated Worldwide
German culture may not be as famous as some other countries, but actually it is a big reason why the country is important.
When people think of European culture, they often think of French, Italian or Spanish. However, German culture actually has a worldwide reach and is more known and respected than people think.
German film, TV, art, and music are appreciated around the world. The country has many unique cultural genres and there are millions of fans globally. Germany is famous for football and huge numbers of people in different countries following German teams.
Another part of German culture that has a worldwide following is the country’s beer. Germany is the fourth largest exporter of beer globally and all over the world there are German-style bars and beer halls.
Although German culture is not as well known as that of some other European countries, in fact it has a global audience and is a big reason why Germany is an important country.
7. Germany Is A Model For Other Nations
A final reason why Germany is an important country is because it is a model for other nations.
Germany has a troubled past. Since it’s formation in 1871, the country has started and lost two world wars, committed thed Holocaust – the genocide of over six million people, been divided between the Communist East and Capitalist West during the Cold War and then reunited to become one of Europe’s leading nations.
The difficult past the Germans have experienced, as well as the terrible acts the country has committed, could make the nation a prior state. However, Germans have been able to overcome their troubles and build a prosperous, democratic, well-organised and relatively harmonious nation.
Germany is a model that many other countries can look to for inspiration, however dark their past may be. The role Germany now plays on the world stage demonstrates that countries can change, build a better nation for their people, and become fully integrated into the global community of nations. This is vitally important.
Want To Learn More?
If you’re interested in Germany and want to know why the nation is important to the world, we highly recommend the book The Shortest History of Germany: From Julius Caesar to Angela Merkel by James Hawes. It is an easy-to-read overview of German history exploring how the nation started, it’s troubled past and how it rose to become vital to the European and global economy. We’ve linked to it on Amazon.com.
For those interested in Germany and its importance we also really recommend the book Germany: Memories of a Nation by Neil MacGregor. Written by the former Director of the British Museum, the book takes a range of objects and ideas that have come from Germany and uses them to explain the importance of the modern nation of Germany and what is has provided the world. The link it to the paperback on Amazon.com.
Finally, we also really recommend Why the Germans Do it Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country by John Kampfner. We think it’s perhaps the best book on why Germany is important, and what makes the country unique among developed European nations. It’s a must read for anyone interested in Germany. The link is also to the book on Amazon.com.