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Germany vs. Poland

Introduction

GermanyPoland
BackgroundAs Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German reunification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
"Poland's history as a state began near the middle of the 10th century. By the mid-16th century, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled a vast tract of land in Central and Eastern Europe. During the 18th century, internal disorders weakened the nation, and in a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland among themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union ""Solidarity"" that over time became a political force with over 10 million members. Free elections in 1989 and 1990 won Solidarity control of the parliament and the presidency, bringing the communist era to a close. A ""shock therapy"" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed and with large investments in defense, energy, and other infrastructure, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.
"

Geography

GermanyPoland
LocationCentral Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Central Europe, east of Germany
Geographic coordinates51 00 N, 9 00 E
52 00 N, 20 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 357,022 sq km
land: 348,672 sq km
water: 8,350 sq km
total: 312,685 sq km
land: 304,255 sq km
water: 8,430 sq km
Area - comparativethree times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Montana
about twice the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than New Mexico
Land boundariestotal: 3,714 km
border countries (9): Austria 801 km, Belgium 133 km, Czech Republic 704 km, Denmark 140 km, France 418 km, Luxembourg 128 km, Netherlands 575 km, Poland 467 km, Switzerland 348 km
total: 3,071 km
border countries (7): Belarus 418 km, Czech Republic 796 km, Germany 467 km, Lithuania 104 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Slovakia 541 km, Ukraine 535 km
Coastline2,389 km
440 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties
Climatetemperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers
Terrainlowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south
mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 263 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.5 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
mean elevation: 173 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: near Raczki Elblaskie -2 m
highest point: Rysy 2,499 m
Natural resourcescoal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land
coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, amber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 48%
arable land 34.1%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 13.3%
forest: 31.8%
other: 20.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 48.2%
arable land 36.2%; permanent crops 1.3%; permanent pasture 10.7%
forest: 30.6%
other: 21.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land6,500 sq km (2012)
970 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsflooding
flooding
Environment - current issuesemissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government established a mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power by 2022; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive
decreased emphasis on heavy industry and increased environmental concern by post-communist governments has improved environment; air pollution remains serious because of emissions from coal-fired power plants and the resulting acid rain has caused forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is also a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
Geography - notestrategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea; most major rivers in Germany - the Rhine, Weser, Oder, Elbe - flow northward; the Danube, which originates in the Black Forest, flows eastward
historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain
Population distributionmost populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia
population concentrated in the southern area around Krakow and the central area around Warsaw and Lodz, with an extension to the northern coastal city of Gdansk

Demographics

GermanyPoland
Population80,594,017 (July 2017 est.)
38,476,269 (July 2017 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 12.82% (male 5,304,341/female 5,028,776)
15-24 years: 10.09% (male 4,145,486/female 3,986,302)
25-54 years: 40.45% (male 16,467,975/female 16,133,964)
55-64 years: 14.58% (male 5,834,179/female 5,913,322)
65 years and over: 22.06% (male 7,822,221/female 9,957,451) (2017 est.)
0-14 years: 14.76% (male 2,919,353/female 2,757,923)
15-24 years: 10.7% (male 2,113,358/female 2,003,033)
25-54 years: 43.48% (male 8,447,418/female 8,283,757)
55-64 years: 14.21% (male 2,586,097/female 2,880,031)
65 years and over: 16.86% (male 2,560,847/female 3,924,452) (2017 est.)
Median agetotal: 47.1 years
male: 46 years
female: 48.2 years (2017 est.)
total: 40.7 years
male: 39 years
female: 42.4 years (2017 est.)
Population growth rate-0.16% (2017 est.)
-0.13% (2017 est.)
Birth rate8.6 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
9.5 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Death rate11.7 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
10.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Net migration rate1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
total: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 80.8 years
male: 78.5 years
female: 83.3 years (2017 est.)
total population: 77.8 years
male: 73.9 years
female: 81.8 years (2017 est.)
Total fertility rate1.45 children born/woman (2017 est.)
1.35 children born/woman (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
NA
Nationalitynoun: German(s)
adjective: German
noun: Pole(s)
adjective: Polish
Ethnic groupsGerman 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Polish, Italian, Romanian, Syrian, and Greek)
Polish 96.9%, Silesian 1.1%, German 0.2%, Ukrainian 0.1%, other and unspecified 1.7%
note: represents ethnicity declared first (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA (2016 est.)
NA
ReligionsRoman Catholic 29%, Protestant 27%, Muslim 4.4%, Orthodox Christian 1.9%, other 1.7%, none or members of unrecorded religious groups 36% (2015 est.)
Catholic 87.2% (includes Roman Catholic 86.9% and Greek Catholic, Armenian Catholic, and Byzantine-Slavic Catholic .3%), Orthodox 1.3% (almost all are Polish Autocephalous Orthodox), Protestant 0.4% (mainly Augsburg Evangelical and Pentacostal), other 0.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness, Buddhist, Hare Krishna, Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon), unspecified 10.8% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesGerman (official)
note: Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romani are official minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Polish (official) 98.2%, Silesian 1.4%, other 1.1%, unspecified 1.3%
note: data represents the language spoken at home; shares sum to more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer on the census; Poland ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2009 recognizing Kashub as a regional language, Czech, Hebrew, Yiddish, Belarusian, Lithuanian, German, Armenian, Russian, Slovak, and Ukrainian as national minority languages, and Karaim, Lemko, Romani (Polska Roma and Bergitka Roma), and Tatar as ethnic minority languages (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 17 years (2015)
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2013)
Education expenditures4.9% of GDP (2013)
4.9% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 75.7% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.12% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 60.5% of total population (2017)
rate of urbanization: 0.02% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 96.9% of population
total: 98.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 3.1% of population
total: 1.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 96.7% of population
total: 97.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 3.3% of population
total: 2.8% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBERLIN (capital) 3.563 million; Hamburg 1.831 million; Munich 1.438 million; Cologne 1.037 million (2015)
WARSAW (capital) 1.722 million; Krakow 760,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate6 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
3 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures11.3% of GDP (2014)
6.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density4.13 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
2.27 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density8.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)
6.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate22.3% (2016)
23.1% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth29.4 years (2015 est.)
27.4 years (2014 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 52.1
youth dependency ratio: 19.9
elderly dependency ratio: 32.1
potential support ratio: 3.1 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 43.9
youth dependency ratio: 21.4
elderly dependency ratio: 22.5
potential support ratio: 4.5 (2015 est.)

Government

GermanyPoland
Country name"conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
local short form: Deutschland
former: German Reich
etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as ""Germani,"" a term the Romans adopted as ""Germania""; the native designation ""Deutsch"" comes from the Old High German ""diutisc"" meaning ""of the people""
"
"conventional long form: Republic of Poland
conventional short form: Poland
local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska
local short form: Polska
etymology: name derives from the Polanians, a west Slavic tribe that united several surrounding Slavic groups (9th-10th centuries A.D.) and who passed on their name to the country; the name of the tribe likely comes from the Slavic ""pole"" (field or plain), indicating the flat nature of their country
"
Government typefederal parliamentary republic
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Berlin
geographic coordinates: 52 31 N, 13 24 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Warsaw
geographic coordinates: 52 15 N, 21 00 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Hamburg prides itself on being a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)
16 provinces (wojewodztwa, singular - wojewodztwo); Dolnoslaskie (Lower Silesia), Kujawsko-Pomorskie (Kuyavia-Pomerania), Lodzkie (Lodz), Lubelskie (Lublin), Lubuskie (Lubusz), Malopolskie (Lesser Poland), Mazowieckie (Masovia), Opolskie (Opole), Podkarpackie (Subcarpathia), Podlaskie, Pomorskie (Pomerania), Slaskie (Silesia), Swietokrzyskie (Holy Cross), Warminsko-Mazurskie (Warmia-Masuria), Wielkopolskie (Greater Poland), Zachodniopomorskie (West Pomerania)
Independence18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)
11 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 966 (adoption of Christianity, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)
National holidayGerman Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10 to 23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2012 (2016)
history: several previous; latest adopted 2 April 1997, approved by referendum 25 May 1997, effective 17 October 1997
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Sejm deputies, by the Senate, or by the president of the republic; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Sejm and absolute majority vote in the Senate; amendments to articles relating to sovereignty, personal freedoms, and constitutional amendment procedures also require passage by majority vote in a referendum; amended 2006, 2009, 2015 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system
civil law system; judicial review of legislative, administrative, and other governmental acts; constitutional law rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal are final
Suffrage18 years of age; universal; age 16 for some state and municipal elections
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017; inaugurated 22 March 2017)
head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention consisting of all members of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and an equivalent number of delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held February 2022); chancellor appointed by the president following indirect election - by the Federal Parliament - for a 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 17 December 2013 (next to be held following the general election, 24 September 2017)
election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (The Left) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany AfD) 42, Alexander HOLD (BVB/FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 462 for, 150 against, 49 abstentions
chief of state: President Andrzej DUDA (since 6 August 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Mateusz MORAWIECKI (since 11 December 2017); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr GLINSKI (since 16 November 2015), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education Jaroslaw GOWIN (since 16 November 2015), Beata SZYDLO, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Policy (since 11 December 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president, and approved by the Sejm
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 10 with a second round on 24 May 2015 (next to be held in 2020); prime minister, deputy prime ministers, and Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the Sejm
election results: Andrzej DUDA elected president in second round; percent of vote - Andrzej DUDA (independent) 51.5%, Bronislaw KOMOROWSKI (independent) 48.5%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments) and the Federal Diet or Bundestag (709 seats - total seats can vary each electoral term; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Bundestag - last held on 24 September 2017 (next to be held in 2021); most postwar German governments have been coalitions; note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
election results: Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 32.9%, SPD 20.5%, AfD 12.6%, FDP 10.8%, The Left 9.2%, Alliance '90/Greens 8.9%, other 5%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 246, SPD 153, FDP 80, The Left 69, Alliance '90/Greens 67
description: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate or Senat (100 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the Sejm (460 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms); note - the designation National Assembly or Zgromadzenie Narodowe is only used on those rare occasions when the 2 houses meet jointly
note: the German minority is exempt from the 5% threshold requirement for seats to the Sejm
elections: Senate - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019); Sejm - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PiS 61, PO 34, PSL 1, independent 4; Sejm - percent of vote by party - PiS 37.6%, PO 24.1%, K15 8.8%, N 7.6%, PSL 5.1% other 16.8%; seats by party - PiS 235, PO 138, K15 42, N 28, PSL 16, German minority 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges including the court president, vice-presidents, presiding judges, and other judges, and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels; Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)
judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated States and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president of Germany; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68
subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 German states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Sad Najwyzszy (consists of the president of the Supreme Court and 116 judges organized in criminal, civil, labor and social insurance, and military chambers)
judge selection and term of office: president of the Supreme Court nominated by the General Assembly of the Supreme Court and selected by the president of Poland; other judges nominated by the 25-member National Judiciary Council, and appointed by the president of Poland; judges appointed until retirement, usually at age 65, but tenure can be extended
subordinate courts: Constitutional Tribunal; State Tribunal; administrative courts; regional and appellate courts subdivided into military, civil, criminal, labor, and family courts
Political parties and leadersAlliance '90/Greens [Cem OEZDEMIR and Simone PETER]
Alternative for Germany or AfD [Alexander GAULAND and Joerg MEUTHEN]
Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]
Christian Social Union or CSU [Horst SEEHOFER]
Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]
The Left or Die Linke [Katja KIPPING and Bernd RIEXINGER]
Social Democratic Party or SPD [Martin SCHULZ]
"Civic Platform or PO [Grzegorz SCHETYNA]
Democratic Left Alliance or SLD [Wlodzimierz CZARZASTY]
German Minority of Lower Silesia or MNSO [Ryszard GALLA]
Kukiz 15 or K15 [Pawel KUKIZ]
Law and Justice or PiS [Jaroslaw KACZYNSKI]
Liberty (formerly the Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic-Liberty and Hope or KORWiN) [Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE]
Nowoczesna (""Modern"") or N [Katarzyna LUBNAUER]
Polish People's Party or PSL [Wladyslaw KOSINIAK-KAMYSZ]
Razem (Together) [collective leadership]
"
Political pressure groups and leadersbusiness associations and employers' organizations
trade unions; religious, immigrant, expellee, and veterans groups
All Poland Trade Union Alliance or OPZZ [Jan GUZ] (trade union)
Independent Self-Governing Trade Union or Solidarity [Piotr DUDA]
Roman Catholic Church [Archbishop Wojciech POLAK, Archbishop Stanislaw GADECKI]
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Hans Peter WITTIG (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Piotr Antoni WILCZEK (since 18 January 2017)
chancery: 2640 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 499-1700
FAX: [1] (202) 328-6271
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kent LOGSDON (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: Pariser Platz 2
mailing address: Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlin
telephone: [49] (30) 8305-0
FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215
consulate(s) general: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
chief of mission: Ambassador Paul Wayne JONES (since 7 October 2015)
embassy: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540 Warsaw
mailing address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)
telephone: [48] (22) 504-2000
FAX: [48] (22) 504-2688
consulate(s) general: Krakow
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold field
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red; colors derive from the Polish emblem - a white eagle on a red field
note: similar to the flags of Indonesia and Monaco which are red (top) and white
National anthem"name: ""Das Lied der Deutschen"" (Song of the Germans)
lyrics/music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDN
note: adopted 1922; the anthem, also known as ""Deutschlandlied"" (Song of Germany), was originally adopted for its connection to the March 1848 liberal revolution; following appropriation by the Nazis of the first verse, specifically the phrase, ""Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles"" (Germany, Germany above all) to promote nationalism, it was banned after 1945; in 1952, its third verse was adopted by West Germany as its national anthem; in 1990, it became the national anthem for the reunited Germany
"
"name: ""Mazurek Dabrowskiego"" (Dabrowski's Mazurka)
lyrics/music: Jozef WYBICKI/traditional
note: adopted 1927; the anthem, commonly known as ""Jeszcze Polska nie zginela"" (Poland Has Not Yet Perished), was written in 1797; the lyrics resonate strongly with Poles because they reflect the numerous occasions in which the nation's lands have been occupied
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)eagle; national colors: black, red, yellow
white crowned eagle; national colors: white, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 years
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from government
residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Poland
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

GermanyPoland
Economy - overviewThe German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. Like its Western European neighbors, Germany faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.

Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II. The German Government introduced a minimum wage in 2015 that increased to $9.79 (8.84 euros) in January 2017.

Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's total budget deficit - including federal, state, and municipal - to 4.1% in 2010, but slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011 and in 2017 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.7%. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012.

The German economy suffers from low levels of investment, and a government plan to invest 15 billion euros during 2016-18, largely in infrastructure, is intended to spur needed private investment. Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany plans to replace nuclear power largely with renewable energy, which accounted for 29.5% of gross electricity consumption in 2016, up from 9% in 2000. Before the shutdown of the eight reactors, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production. Domestic consumption, bolstered by low energy prices and a weak euro, and exports are likely to drive German GDP growth again in 2018.
Poland has the sixth-largest economy in the EU and has long had a reputation as a business-friendly country with largely sound macroeconomic policies. Since 1990, Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization. During the 2008-09 economic slowdown Poland was the only EU country to avoid a recession, in part because of the government’s loose fiscal policy combined with a commitment to rein in spending in the medium-term. However, since 2015 Warsaw’s prioritization of spending on social welfare programs has prompted investors to decrease Poland’s economic growth projections for the next few years.

The Polish economy performed well during the 2014-17 period, with the real GDP growth rate generally exceeding 3%, in part because of the government’s fiscal prudence. However, the government reduced the retirement age as of October 2017 and has tried to introduce new taxes and boost tax compliance to offset the increased costs of social spending programs and relieve upward pressure on the budget deficit. Some credit ratings agencies estimate that Poland will exceed the EU’s 3%-of-GDP limit on budget deficits, possibly impacting its access to future EU funds.

Poland faces several systemic challenges, which include addressing some of the remaining deficiencies in its road and rail infrastructure, business environment, rigid labor code, commercial court system, government red tape, and burdensome tax system, especially for entrepreneurs. Additional long-term challenges include diversifying Poland’s energy mix, strengthening investments in innovation, research, and development, as well as stemming the outflow of educated young Poles to other EU member states, especially in light of a coming demographic contraction due to emigration, persistently low fertility rates, and the aging of the Solidarity-era baby boom generation.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$4.15 trillion (2017 est.)
$4.066 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.992 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$1.111 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.07 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.042 trillion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.1% (2017 est.)
1.9% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2017 est.)
2.6% (2016 est.)
3.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$50,200 (2017 est.)
$49,300 (2016 est.)
$48,900 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
$29,300 (2017 est.)
$28,200 (2016 est.)
$27,400 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 0.6%
industry: 30.1%
services: 69.3%
(2017 est.)
agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 40.2%
services: 64.3% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line16.7% (2015 est.)
17.6% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24% (2000)
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 23.9% (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.6% (2017 est.)
0.4% (2016 est.)
1.9% (2017 est.)
-0.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force45.9 million (2017 est.)
17.6 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.4%
industry: 24.2%
services: 74.3% (2016)
agriculture: 11.5%
industry: 30.4%
services: 57.6% (2015)
Unemployment rate3.8% (2017 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2017 est.)
6.2% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index27 (2006)
30 (1994)
30.8 (2015)
33.7 (2008)
Budgetrevenues: $1.598 trillion
expenditures: $1.573 trillion (2017 est.)
revenues: $90.8 billion
expenditures: $102.2 billion (2017 est.)
Industriesamong the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles
machine building, iron and steel, coal mining, chemicals, shipbuilding, food processing, glass, beverages, textiles
Industrial production growth rate1.4% (2017 est.)
4.2% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productspotatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; milk products; cattle, pigs, poultry
potatoes, fruits, vegetables, wheat; poultry, eggs, pork, dairy
Exports$1.401 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.322 trillion (2016 est.)
$221.4 billion (2017 est.)
$195.7 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmotor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, metals, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, rubber and plastic products
machinery and transport equipment 37.8%, intermediate manufactured goods 23.7%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 17.1%, food and live animals 7.6% (2012 est.)
Exports - partnersUS 8.9%, France 8.4%, UK 7.1%, Netherlands 6.5%, China 6.4%, Italy 5.1%, Austria 5%, Poland 4.5%, Switzerland 4.2% (2016)
Germany 27.3%, UK 6.6%, Czech Republic 6.6%, France 5.4%, Italy 4.8%, Netherlands 4.5% (2016)
Imports$1.104 trillion (2017 est.)
$1.022 trillion (2016 est.)
$221.8 billion (2017 est.)
$193.6 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, oil and gas, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, agricultural products
machinery and transport equipment 38%, intermediate manufactured goods 21%, chemicals 15%, minerals, fuels, lubricants, and related materials 9% (2011 est.)
Imports - partnersNetherlands 13.3%, China 7.3%, France 7.3%, Belgium 6.1%, Italy 5.5%, Poland 5.2%, Czech Republic 4.7%, US 4.6%, Switzerland 4.4%, Austria 4.4%, UK 4.1% (2016)
Germany 28.3%, China 7.9%, Netherlands 6%, Russia 5.8%, Italy 5.3%, France 4.2%, Czech Republic 4.1% (2016)
Debt - external$5.326 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.21 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
$362 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$347.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.906 (2017 est.)
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.9214 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
zlotych (PLN) per US dollar -
3.748 (2017 est.)
3.9459 (2016 est.)
3.9459 (2015 est.)
3.7721 (2014 est.)
3.1538 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt65.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
68.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; the series are presented as a percentage of GDP and in millions of euro; GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product at current market prices; data expressed in national currency are converted into euro using end-of-year exchange rates provided by the European Central Bank
46.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
48.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, the data include subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$185.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$115 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$114.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$296 billion (2017 est.)
$290.4 billion (2016 est.)
-$4.958 billion (2017 est.)
-$959 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$3.652 trillion (2016 est.)
$510 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.455 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.391 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$235.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$224.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$2.074 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.981 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$68.22 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$64.52 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.716 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.739 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.936 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$261.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$277.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$351.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.3% (31 December 2010)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
1.5% (31 December 2016)
2% (31 December 2015)
Commercial bank prime lending rate1.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
1.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.8% (31 December 2017 est.)
4.74% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$4.766 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.433 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$413.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$336.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.312 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.016 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
$255.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$195.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.282 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.908 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$374.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$300.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues43.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
17.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
-2.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 7.2%
male: 7.9%
female: 6.5% (2015 est.)
total: 20.8%
male: 20.7%
female: 20.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 53.7%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.1%
investment in inventories: -1%
exports of goods and services: 47.3%
imports of goods and services: -40% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 58.8%
government consumption: 18.1%
investment in fixed capital: 17.8%
investment in inventories: 0.8%
exports of goods and services: 56.2%
imports of goods and services: -51.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving27.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
27.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
19% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

GermanyPoland
Electricity - production588.5 billion kWh (2015 est.)
152.1 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption514.6 billion kWh (2015 est.)
141.3 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports78.86 billion kWh (2016 est.)
12.02 billion kWh (2016)
Electricity - imports28.34 billion kWh (2016 est.)
14.02 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production46,590 bbl/day (2016 est.)
20,100 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports1.837 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
490,300 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports1,987 bbl/day (2016 est.)
4,520 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves145.4 million bbl (1 January 2017 es)
137.8 million bbl (1 January 2017)
Natural gas - proved reserves41.99 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
81.66 billion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
Natural gas - production8.73 billion cu m (2015 est.)
6.132 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption773.2 billion cu m (2015 est.)
26.78 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports32.51 billion cu m (2015 est.)
56 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - imports102.5 billion cu m (2015 est.)
12.12 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity204.1 million kW (2015 est.)
37.32 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels42.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
77.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants2.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
1.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels5.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources49.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
18.8% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production2.198 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
557,700 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption2.41 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
578,200 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports474,300 bbl/day (2016 est.)
135,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports800,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
173,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy744 million Mt (2015 est.)
296 million Mt (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

GermanyPoland
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 44.31 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 55 (July 2016 est.)
total subscriptions: 9.345 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (July 2016 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 94,432,800
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 117 (July 2016 est.)
total: 55,878,845
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 145 (July 2016 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country, dating back to World War II, has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part
domestic: extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries
international: country code - 49; Germany's international service is excellent worldwide, consisting of extensive land and undersea cable facilities as well as earth stations in the Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems (2015)
general assessment: modernization of the telecommunications network has accelerated with market-based competition; fixed-line service, dominated by the former state-owned company, is dwarfed by the growth in mobile-cellular services
domestic: several nation-wide networks provide mobile-cellular service; coverage is generally good; fixed-line service lags in rural areas
international: country code - 48; international direct dialing with automated exchanges; satellite earth station - 1 with access to Intelsat, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Intersputnik (2015)
Internet country code.de
.pl
Internet userstotal: 72,365,643
percent of population: 89.6% (July 2016 est.)
total: 28,237,820
percent of population: 73.3% (July 2016 est.)
Broadcast mediaa mixture of publicly operated and privately owned TV and radio stations; national and regional public broadcasters compete with nearly 400 privately owned national and regional TV stations; more than 90% of households have cable or satellite TV; hundreds of radio stations including multiple national radio networks, regional radio networks, and a large number of local radio stations (2008)
state-run public TV operates 2 national channels supplemented by 16 regional channels and several niche channels; privately owned entities operate several national TV networks and a number of special interest channels; many privately owned channels broadcasting locally; roughly half of all households are linked to either satellite or cable TV systems providing access to foreign television networks; state-run public radio operates 5 national networks and 17 regional radio stations; 2 privately owned national radio networks, several commercial stations broadcasting to multiple cities, and many privately owned local radio stations (2007)

Transportation

GermanyPoland
Railwaystotal: 43,468.3 km
standard gauge: 43,209.3 km 1.435-m gauge (19,973 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (79 km electrified); 15 km 0.900-m gauge; 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)
total: 19,231 km
broad gauge: 395 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 18,836 km 1.435-m gauge (11,865 km electrified) (2015)
Roadwaystotal: 645,000 km
paved: 645,000 km (includes 12,800 km of expressways)
note: includes local roads (2010)
total: 417,026 km
paved: 287,650 km (includes 1,492 km of expressways)
unpaved: 129,376 km (2014)
Waterways7,467 km (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea) (2012)
3,997 km (navigable rivers and canals) (2009)
Pipelinescondensate 37 km; gas 26,985 km; oil 2,826 km; refined products 4,479 km; water 8 km (2013)
gas 14,198 km; oil 1,374 km; refined products 777 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Baltic Sea - Rostock; North Sea - Wilhelmshaven
river port(s): Bremen (Weser); Bremerhaven (Geeste); Duisburg, Karlsruhe, Neuss-Dusseldorf (Rhine); Brunsbuttel, Hamburg (Elbe); Lubeck (Wakenitz)
oil terminal(s): Brunsbuttel Canal terminals
container port(s): Bremen/Bremerhaven (5,547,000), Hamburg (8,821,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Hamburg
major seaport(s): Gdansk, Gdynia, Swinoujscie
river port(s): Szczecin (River Oder)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Swinoujscie
Merchant marinetotal: 614
by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 117, general cargo 87, oil tanker 34, other 375 (2017)
total: 152
by type: container ship 1, general cargo 13, oil tanker 7, other 131 (2017)
Airports539 (2013)
126 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 318
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 49
1,524 to 2,437 m: 60
914 to 1,523 m: 70
under 914 m: 125 (2017)
total: 87
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 36
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 6 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 221
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 35
under 914 m: 185 (2013)
total: 39
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 17
under 914 m: 21 (2013)
Heliports23 (2013)
6 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 20
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 1,113
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 115,540,886
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 6,985,007,915 mt-km (2015)
number of registered air carriers: 6
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 92
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 4,841,128
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 120,016,466 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixD (2016)
SP (2016)

Military

GermanyPoland
Military branchesFederal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe), Joint Support Service (Streitkraeftebasis, SKB), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst, ZSanDstBw), Cyber and Information Space Command (Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum, Kdo CIR) (2017)
Polish Armed Forces: Land Forces, Navy, Air Force, Special Forces, Territorial Defense Force (2017)
note: Territorial Defense Force only began recruitment in winter 2016
Military service age and obligation17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended 1 July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2013)
18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; service obligation shortened from 12 to 9 months in 2005; women only allowed to serve as officers and noncommissioned officers (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.19% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.19% of GDP (2015)
1.19% of GDP (2014)
1.23% of GDP (2013)
1.31% of GDP (2012)
1.99% of GDP (2016)
2.14% of GDP (2015)
1.9% of GDP (2014)
1.77% of GDP (2013)
1.8% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

GermanyPoland
Disputes - internationalnone
as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented the strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its eastern borders with Belarus and Ukraine
Illicit drugssource of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic drugs; major financial center
despite diligent counternarcotics measures and international information sharing on cross-border crimes, a major illicit producer of synthetic drugs for the international market; minor transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 375,122 (Syria); 86,045 (Iraq); 46,292 (Afghanistan); 30,020 (Eritrea); 22,910 (Iran); 19,136 (Turkey); 9,189 (Serbia and Kosovo); 7,879 (Somalia); 5,255 (Russia); 5,169 (Pakistan) (2016); 10,305 (Ukraine) (2017) note: estimate represents asylum applicants since Ukraine crisis began in 2014 until September 2017
stateless persons: 12,017 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 71,302 applicants for forms of legal stay other than asylum (Ukraine) (2015); 9,864 (Russia) (2016)
stateless persons: 10,825 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook