Study: Demands on Germany greater than ever

154 interviews in 24 countries put the spotlight on how Germany is perceived around the world: the third Germany study was published today.

In contrast to the two previous studies in 2012 and 2015, the call for Germany to assume a leadership role is no longer just a cautious recommendation – in view of the turbulent world situation, it is now clearly desired. This is even more important given Germany’s perceived role as a counterweight to the USA, Russia and China, an advocate of Europe and a mediator in international conflicts. People would like to see Germany be more decisive than it has been before, but to cooperate with other countries, particularly in Europe. ‘In areas where the US goes too far, Germany doesn’t go far enough. Getting involved in other countries, for example,’ was a comment from an interviewee in Ghana. ‘Germany must take a leading role in championing open and transparent society,’ said an interviewee in Brazil.

For the third Germany in the Eyes of the World study, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH interviewed 154 people from politics, business, science and research and civil society in 24 countries, to find out how they perceive Germany. ‘From our first survey in 2012 to the current study, it is increasingly clear that Germany is being earmarked for and entrusted with a multitude of tasks at an international level. From environmental protection and crisis mediation, transferring new technologies and protecting human rights, saving the EU and supporting the United Nations – in people’s minds, there is little that Germany cannot be tasked and entrusted with,’ says Vice-Chair of the GIZ Management Board Christoph Beier, summarising the findings of the qualitative survey.


Topics covered in the study include displacement and migration, values and society, the ability (which people outside Germany perceive to be limited) to promote German culture, and the economy and education. Germany is still perceived to be an excellent business hub. However, many of those interviewed question whether Germany is missing the boat when it comes to digitalisation. ‘The findings give us many pointers for our work in international development,’ says Beier. ‘With this study, we also want to pass on relevant statements to our partners and commissioning parties. These are perceptions rather than facts: the narrative is in the eye of the beholder.’  

The English version of the study will be available from the end of April 2018 at www.giz.de/eyes-of-others.

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