Valery Stepanov, Political Scientist
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Organizational structure of the Federal ministry of foreign affairs of Germany
The federal ministry of foreign affairs is the chief manager and coordinator of German foreign policy. Its legal status is prescribed by the Constitution of the FRG. Pursuant to par. 1 of the art. 32 federation is responsible for relations with foreign states, and par. 1 of art. 87 determines that administration in the sphere of foreign policy is a part of federal governance and has its own organizational structure.
On the basis of these regulations the federal minister of foreign affairs, which is a constitutional public servant and has civil legal official relations with the federation, controls foreign-policy service with its main staff and representative offices abroad. As well as other federal ministers, he is appointed and dismissed by the federal president at the suggestion of federal chancellor. Determination of concrete person is the result of coalition agreements before creation or reorganization of the government. Constitution deprives the minister of his right to
hold other positions, occupy himself with other professional activity, be a trustee of profit-making enterprises, and-without prior consent of the Bundestag-supervisory board member. As a matter of principle, he can not bear honorary titles in public organizations; however, the federal government can permit it as an exception. The federal minister abdicates simultaneously with that of federal chancellor; it may be a voluntary action or authorized by the federal chancellor. The Constitution does not stipulate for the Bundestag vote of no-confidence against certain federal ministers.
During its 50 years after renewal in March, 1951 the structure of FMFA FRG underwent many changes, but basically it retained the principles of the "reform of Schuller" in 1918. The renewed ministry was built on the foundation of the foreign affairs service reallocated from the department of federal chancellor, which existed from the late 1949 and included, in particular, the spokespersons & consultancy department for culture and protocol and diplomatic personnel training establishment; the bureau for peace (founded in Stuttgart in 1947) intended to collect documents on peaceful settlement in Europe, and also main administration "Foreign Trade" under western economic region administration in Frankfurt am Main. Hence from the beginning the ministry got practically all basic structural subdivisions necessary to launch a foreign-policy department.
There were 330 posts in the central office (including 129 top execs) and 433 in foreign offices (including 147 top execs). In twenty years there were eight times as much staffers: 1920 (452) and 4598 (818) posts accordingly. In 1990 the center had 2552 (649) staffers and 5275 (852) worked in 214 representative offices abroad. In 1994 the ministry had the maximum staff: 11310 persons were on diplomatic service, including 2776 at home and 8543 in 232 representative offices. Later on, as a result of budget cuts, the number of employees went down 1.5-2% annually; early in 2000 there remained 8785 persons, including 2790 at home and 5995 abroad. This number includes about one thousand MFA staffers temporarily re-allotted by other federal ministries and departments operating in the field of foreign relations and over 1.5 thousand wage earners hired by embassies from local residents. The total amount of permanent employees of the FMFA made 6314 in March, 2003.
Organizationally the FMFA consists of twelve departments: central; organizational and consultative, two political; European; services of the federal commissioner for disarmament and arms control; global issues, UNO, human rights and humanitarian aid; economics and steady development; legal; culture and education; communication, and protocol. These departments are divided into spokespersons & consultancy sections, which are main units responsible for day-to-day operation.
The foreign-policy service is headed by the federal minister for foreign affairs with two subordinate secretaries of state and two state ministers (prior to 1974- parliamentary secretaries of state). The institute of parliamentary secretaries of state in the federal ministries exists from 1966, but taking the international habits into account they use this title in MFA only. As the deputies to the Bundestag the state ministers help the federal minister to
perform his duties of a cabinet member. They maintain contacts of the ministry with the Bundestag and Bundesrat, parliamentary groups, committees and political parties. In the absence of the minister they take part in government meetings and represent him at international conferences of the proper level. As a rule, one state minister belongs to the same party as the minister does; another belongs to the partner party in governmental coalition. Present state ministers-K. Muller and H. M. Buri-represent "Union of 90/Green" and Social Democrats accordingly. The last one is also heading the committee of the secretaries of state of federal departments for European integration, and his post is complemented with words "in European matters".
As top execs, the secretaries of state are in charge of the foreign-policy service. Among the secretaries of state there is an allocation of responsibilities, which can be revised from time to time. Today K. Schariot is responsible for the central, organizational & consulting, first political, European department and subsection of the commissioner for disarmament and arms control; U. Hrobog controls the second political, economic, legal department, department for global issues, culture and education, communication, and protocol. The secretaries of state are in charge of Ministerial Directors and Ministerial Dirigents heading the appropriate departments. Their daily morning conference conducted by one of the secretaries of state is the functional mechanism of coordination of effective response to the development of international events and is like the ministerial board.
The minister has headquarters including the secretariat of minister, spokesmen & consultancy departments for contacts with the parliament and government, and public relations and media. For some time there had been the consultancy of speechwriters, but it was abolished in 2002.
The secretariat manages routine affairs.
The spokesmen & consultancy department maintaining contacts with parliament and government is designed to communicate with the Bundestag and Bundesrat, their specialized committees, coordination of international contacts with proper parliamentary services, including visits of deputies abroad, monitoring of interpellations, preparation of materials for the meetings of cabinet.
The public relations department is responsible for general planning of this activity of the MFA at home and abroad. In the latter case it cooperates with the federal department of press and information determining priorities of bi - and multilateral cooperation in the field of information policy. The same consultancy prepares regular foreign press digests concerning Germany.
The consultancy contacting with press carries out monitoring of German media news, organizes work with German and foreign journalists covering the MFA activities, prepares and conducts press-conferences, interviews of top execs. The head of this department, as spokesman of the ministry, is present at all official actions with participation of the federal minister.
The planning headquarters, created in 1963 under G. Schroder, minister for foreign affairs of the time, is designed to work out autonomous long-term conceptions and researches. It was very active
activity and influential in the first half of the 70s, when it was headed by the known social democratic politician E. Bahr. The headquarters have all necessary information, including that from embassies, reports for the minister, state ministers and secretaries of state. The staffers explore social, economic, technological problems, which may carry weight for future policy of Germany, analysis of foreign-policy interests of foreign states and development of appropriate German conception, planning of the realization strategy and tactic of the FRG interests.
The coordinators of German-American and German-Russian cooperation and commissioner for human rights and humanitarian aid are responsible directly to the federal minister.
On German initiative, beginning from 1981, the governments of FRG and the U. S. A. appoint coordinators of German-American intersocietal, cultural and informational and political relations. From February, 1999 these functions, geography of which covered Canada, from the German side are executed by the former foreign-policy speaker of the SDPD at Bundestag K. Vogt. His predecessors included the former state minister Hildegard Hamm-Bruecher, German Ambassador in Washington, Secretary of State Berndt von Staden and professor W. Weidenfeld. Within the framework of his basic task of deepening of the transatlantic relations the coordinator is working out new initiatives in this field, developing contacts with the influential representatives of American and Canadian establishment, helping them in all spheres of public life.
Early in 2003 the post of Coordinator of German-Russian intersocietal cooperation was created; the job went to G. Erler, Vice-Chairman of the SDPD group in the Bundestag.
The activity of coordinators is regulated by special agreements period of validity of which is limited by the term of the convocation of parliament with a short transitional period.
Before 2003 on the basis of the Elysees Treaty there existed the post of coordinator of the German-French cooperation. He was an unofficial head of the inter-departmental commission including representatives of all federal ministries, took part in top-level German-French intergovernmental consultations and had right to directly report to the federal chancellor. Public activity and support of relations with numerous public organizations, in particular with German-French societies, was also an important task. Among those, who held this position, there were such known personalities, as former federal ministers K. Schmidt, G. Stoltenberg, president of the Bundestag R. Bahrzehl, long-term oberburgomaster of Stuttgart M. Rommel, and from 1999 professor D. von Tadden, director of the Institute of German-French cooperation in Genshagen. As far as in June, 2003 state minister H. Buri was appointed a Commissioner for German- French cooperation the position of coordinator was transformed into the position of his adviser.
In November, 1998 on initiative J. Fischer the position of commissioner for human rights and humanitarian aid which up to 2003 was occupied by the activist of the civil rights movement in former GDR, retired Bundestag deputy H. Poppe. From March, 2003 these duties are fulfilled by another leading representative of the "green" K. Roth.
The crisis center was opened in 1988; its 25 employees are on the round-the-clock alert continuously reporting to the management about emergencies in the world. If national interests are endangered or Germans are threatened by mortal danger as a result of natural or man-caused disasters, acting headquarters are created under command of the center which coordinates cooperation with other departments and foreign partners. 45 minutes after the Concorde disaster alert in 2000 the crisis staffers gathered for the first meeting chaired by the secretary of state. The crisis headquarters for liberation of German, Austrian and Swiss tourists taken hostages in Algiers early in 2003 worked for six months. After 9/11 the center monitored about 50 thousand hot line appeals of citizens; 200 employees of the ministry were attached to the team.
The designation of the special section of the coordinator of manpower policy in international organizations within the structure of central management is explained by the attention paid by the top ministry execs to the disparity problem between the representation of Germany in the executive branches of international organizations and its financial contributions.
The political departments are the core of the ministry of foreign affairs.
One political department (#2 after internal classification) is engaged in analysis, planning, forming and coordination of German policy in relation to the countries of Europe, North America and Central Asia. Except for it, it deals with all aspects of European and transatlantic relations in the field of security.
The director of the political department is the first among equals and he is the potential candidate for the post of the secretary of state. Besides the usual deputy he has a subordinate commissioner for stabilization policy in South-East Europe and a team responsible for coordination of efforts within the framework of common foreign and security policy of the European Union.
The department has ten consultancies responsible for defense and security policy, including NATO problems (consultancy 201); European policy in the sphere of security and defense (consultancy 202); European political structures, including OSCE (consultancy 203). Other consultancies of this department are region-oriented: bilateral relations with the U. S. A. and Canada (consultancy 200), Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldova, CIS (consultancy 205), Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czechia (consultancy 206), Caucasian and Central Asian countries (consultancy 207), Turkey, Cyprus and Malta (consultancy 208), Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Croatia (consultancy 209). The latter also monitors the Pact of Stability for South-East Europe, while consultancy 204 covers the EC alongside with Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
The sphere of activity of the next political management (#3 after inner classification), which initially guided all spectrum of bilateral relations, accounts for the Near East, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean Basin, Asia and Pacific Region. It includes four commissioners for the policy of the said regions, eleven region-oriented consultancies, consultancy for the multilateral cooperation with the Asian countries, and special "Afghanistan" headquarters.
The central management is responsible for the right infrastructure permitting the ministry and offices abroad to discharge their obligations. There are three priority groups of problems: personnel, administrative and financial, and informational and technical.
Four consultancies are responsible for manpower policy: general manpower problems (consultancy 100), top diplomatic staffers, honored consuls (consultancy 101), guardianship of employees and their families (consultancy 102), promoted, mid - and low level service, hired local residents (consultancy 103).
As far as special training of the MFA staffers is carried out within the organization itself on the basis of diplomatic school, it is the responsibility of the special unit "Training and retraining" headed by an experienced diplomat having the rank of ambassador (such privilege is also extended to a chief inspector, head of protocol and ambassador at large). He also controls a unit for retraining CEE diplomats initiated back in 1992. Over 400 young diplomats from 29 countries have been retrained there.
The creation of working headquarters for development of diplomatic service was caused by the necessity of modernization and optimization of service under conditions of budget cuts. The 1995-1996 interdepartmental research led to further economization of the ministry and its units. They became more economically sound both in the stage of decision making and realization. The ministry adopted the compulsory-for-all-units information system which had already been regularly employed by federal organizations.
A number of central consultancies control the MFA ?2.2bn budget, including ?800m for personnel and administrative expenses, ?560m for cultural policy, ?340m for payments to international organizations, ?40m for humanitarian aid. One consultancy is responsible for acquisition, building and rational maintenance of the real estate abroad.
The ever growing ministerial data flow needs proper hardware. The ministerial intranet of 2,200 PCs has been created. Their users have access to common database and safe access to 3,400 PCs in 110 offices abroad. Three consultancies are responsible for the hardware servicing.
In addition, the department has a number of specialized services: linguistic, library, political archive (originals or certified copies of 30,000 international legal agreements since 1867 and also other documents backing the MFA routine), medical service, consultancy 107 responsible for sensitive information protection, security of employees and objects abroad.
The organizational and advisory department was taken out of the central inspectorate in charge of current foreign offices monitoring (scheduled inspection every five years); it was made responsible for unscheduled inspections, prevention of corruption and work check-up.
The European department was formed in April, 1993 on the basis of units of political (second) and economic departments. Together with other ministries it coordinates the European policy of the federal government. At the same time the goals and purposes in economy, finances, transport, and environmental control are determination by appropriate federal ministries which are to coordinate all major issues with the FMFA.
Presently the department consists of nine consultancies, coordinating group and working staff "France". The responsibilities of consultancies are as follows: fundamental issues of the European Union and its organs (the L 01 consultancy), relations with the European parliament (the L 02 consultancy), the EU trade policy, its relations with the WTO and main economic partners, domestic market, consumers' protection, policy in certain spheres of national economy, social policy and employment policy (the L 03 consultancy), economic, financial and currency policy of the EU (the L 04 consultancy), legal aspects of activity of the EU and its external relations, policy in the sphere of justice and internal affairs (the L 05 consultancy), relations of the EU with NIS, Western-Balkan countries, programs of NACIS, EBRD, relations of the EU with Turkey, Maghreb countries, fellow Near and Middle East, Asia, Latin America, SAR (the L 06 consultancy), EU expansion, negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania, European conference, relations of the EU with its future new members (the L 07 consultancy), bilateral relations with Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands, boundary cooperation, policy in the sphere of culture (the L 08 consultancy), bilateral relations with Great Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Vatican, Knights Hospitallers (Malta) (the L 09 consultancy).
The coordination group is responsible within the limits of jurisdiction of the MFA to prepare approved directives for German delegation at the weekly meetings of the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives. Besides, it carries out functions of the secretariat of the chairman of the committee of the secretaries of state of federal departments for European integration.
The federal commissioner service for disarmament and arms control was created on the level of consultancy reformed into subdepartment in1965; in 1981 it became an independent department. It consists of five consultancies jurisdiction of which was distributed as follows:
* the consultancy 240 is responsible for fundamental issues of disarmament and arms control, non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons and rocket technologies, work of Geneva disarmament conference, UNO problems of disarmament, nuclear-free areas;
* the consultancy 241 controls issues of conventional armament and disarmament, matters of regional military trust, elimination of antipersonnel mines, security within the framework of stability pact for South-East Europe;
* the consultancy 242 is responsible for realization of agreement on conventional military forces reduction in Europe, implementation and verification of agreements about control of conventional armaments, OSCE communication network;
* the consultancy 243 monitors implementation of agreements about chemical and biological weapons prohibition;
* the consultancy 244 coordinates cooperation in nuclear and chemical disarmament.
The head of this department is a member of the federal security council.
The department for global issues, UNO, human rights and humanitarian aid was created in February, 1995; like the European one it was created at the
expense of the units of political (second) and economic departments. It also includes operative headquarters for humanitarian aid, which was organized in 1991 when in the MFA they had established the post of the federal commissioner in the rank of ambassador.
In its period of time the umber of departmental consultancies increased from six to ten. Five of them are responsible for all kinds of UNO issues: in particular, activity of the Security Council, work of the General Assembly, peacemaking operations and prevention of crisis situations, operation of specialized organs, financial and personnel support. The rest of consultancies, allowing for the global issues they manage, is determined as working headquarters; they are responsible for preparation of concepts and coordination of German foreign-policy interests in such spheres, as international crime and terrorism control, humanitarian aid abroad, observance of human and national minorities rights, penury control, conservation of natural resources etc.
The MFA of Germany as a leading world economy and major exporter traditionally pays special attention to creation of favorable terms for domestic business on the foreign market. The system of foreign trade promotion in Germany is characterized by the distribution of tasks between the state and export-oriented economy. Maximally backing domestic entrepreneurs the diplomatic offices of FRG abroad closely cooperate with chambers of commerce, bureaus of German economy, and correspondents of the federal service of foreign trade information. Embassies and consulates, having their own economic departments, maintain contacts with the public organizations of the country of residence, coordinating and lobbying interests of German firms, sometimes, if necessary, render them direct political support.
The department of economy and steady development is the general coordinator of this activity; it presently consists of ten consultancies and a working headquarters for the questions of environment and biopolicy in the German foreign policy created in August, 2001. The responsibilities of consultancies are determined as follows:
* consultancy 400-international economic and financial policy, restructuring of debts, G8 economic summits, IMF, Parisian club, OECD;
* consultancy 401-general principles and coordination of policy in the sphere of development, international financial institutions,
* consultancy 402-general principles of support of foreign trade and investments, export guarantees of the insurance company "Hermes", exhibition activity;
* consultancy 403-bilateral economic relations;
* consultancy 405-international policy in the sphere of research and technologies, aviation and astronautics, international policy in the sphere of information and communication technologies;
* consultancy 407-international policy in the sphere of transport and tourism;
* consultancy 409-energy policy, including renewable sources, international raw materials policy;
*consultancy 410-international policy in the sphere of peaceful nuclear energy, non- proliferation of nuclear technologies;
* consultancy 411-export control in the field of conventional armaments and dual-use products;
* consultancy 412-export control of dual-use products in a non-conventional sphere.
The legal department consists of twelve consultancies covering all spectrums of international - and consular-legal issues, certain aspects of public and constitutional law, and the working headquarters "International tribunal".
The main responsibilities of the department accounting for the jurisdiction of consultancies are as follows:
* general questions of international law, legal questions which arose as a result of reunification of Germany, fundamental questions of European law (consultancy 500);
* international legal agreements (consultancy 501);
* legal backing of diplomatic and consular relations and relations with international organizations (consultancy 502);
* legal status of foreign armed forces on Germany territory, legal status of Bundeswehr and police during assignment abroad, proprietary rights which have arisen as a result of two world wars and Nazi willfulness (consultancy 503);
* Antarctica and regions with the special international legal status, marine, air and space law, international legal questions of environmental control, right of international straits (consultancy 504);
* public and constitutional law (consultancy 505);
* criminal law, international tax and custom law (consultancy 506);
* civil, commercial and international private law (consultancy 507);
* legal granting of refuge, visa, policy in relation to foreigners (consultancy 508);
* special visa cases, including administrative complaints (consultancy 509);
* labor right, right in a social sphere and health service, legal questions of Federal boundaries, agreement about protection of sensitive information (consultancy 510);
* aid to Germans abroad (financial emergency aid, repatriation, evacuation, search for missing persons, transportation of deceased), funds and social aid to Germans abroad (consultancy 511).
The activity of the department of culture and education of the FMFA is directly influenced by the fact, that according to the domestic distribution of jurisdiction the sphere of culture in Germany is the responsibility of federal lands. Most tasks in realization of foreign cultural policy are achieved together with lands being coordinated by the standing conference of ministers of culture of federal lands. There is a close cooperation with churches, trade unions, sporting associations, funds of political parties.
Practical cultural cooperation with other countries and international cultural exchange within the framework of agreements with more than 90 states is carried out mainly by independent intermediary organizations which have their own legal status. The following are the most important of them: Goethe/Inter Nationes Institute, German service of academic exchange, Alexander von Humboldt Fund, Institute of International Relations in Stuttgart, German Archaeological Institute. As a part of foreign cultural policy they are
budgeted both by the FMFA and within the framework of federal foreign-policy government.
The department having 100 employees and consisting of eleven consultancies (nine functional and two regional: European and non-European countries) is responsible for the following:
* development of strategy and planning of foreign cultural policy;
* assistance in learning German in the world, satisfaction of cultural needs of German minorities in the CEE countries, CIS;
* restitution of cultural values;
* activity of German schools and courses abroad;
* international cooperation in science and high school, including invitation of foreign students to study in the FRG, and exchange of researchers;
* political issues of cooperation with UNESCO.
The new communication department is responsible for improvement of informational and interpretational work of the MFA. It includes seven functional and four regional consultancies.
The protocol department consists of five consultancies and has over 80 staffers.
The consultancy 700 is dealing with the classical objective of protocol: organization of visits to Germany of heads of foreign states, leaders of governments, ministers for foreign affairs, visits abroad of the federal president, federal chancellor and minister of foreign affairs. There is an example helping to evaluate the volume of work done: fact testifies about the volumes of its work that, for example, in 2002 Germany was visited by 34 heads of states, 30 leaders of governments and 68 ministers of foreign affairs. In his turn the federal president paid 18 visits abroad, federal chancellor-36, and minister for foreign affairs-61.
The consultancy 702 is responsible for the organization of international conferences, multilateral actions and summits, including top level bilateral consultations. During 2002 its employees took part in preparation and conducting of 82 such actions, including 64 abroad and 18 in Germany.
The consultancies 701 and 703 attend to over 330 embassies and consulates of foreign states, representative offices of international organizations in Germany. They prepare and conduct ceremonies of accreditation of ambassadors, grant exequaturs, organize accreditation of the newly arrived foreign diplomats and technical employees, intermediate in the contacts of diplomatic representatives with the official German offices.
The consultancy 704 organizes various actions for diplomatic corps, including the new-year reception on behalf of the federal president and Christmas reception on behalf of federal chancellor, servicing for high foreign public figures in airports etc.
Such structure of the FMFA FRG is a result of the package reforms under the federal minister J. Fischer intended to modernize diplomatic service, adjust it to modern challenges.
One of the central elements of reform was abolition of subdepartments as a level of hierarchical pyramid. Posts of the heads of subdepartments were transformed into the posts of deputy heads of the departments and commissioners for the
priority political issues. More precise definition of these issues will depend on the changes which will take place in the respective activities.
The substantial innovation intended to optimize circulation of documents and save working hours consisted in cancellation of procedure according to which the documents prepared in a consultancy had to bypass the chiefs of subdepartments and departments on their way to the secretaries of state. Now they are delivered directly to the bureau of the secretaries of state, while the department chiefs get a copy.
They designed a number of measures improving personnel management in order to maintain morale and strengthen corporate spirit. It includes, in particular, simulation of personnel potential on the basis of extrapolation of present tendencies and accounting for the possible external and internal factors of influence.
Efficient structure and simplification of interdepartmental management are to become important constituents of reform. Among other things, they intend to introduce new pattern of management and servicing of the property abroad attracting a private organization in the future.
Modern information technologies should help to attain a new level of tasks assignment between the central office of the ministry and its offices abroad. The annual conferences of ambassadors will certainly help to do it. It is planned to empower representative offices abroad to schedule their current activities on their own having revised their centralized regulation. The safe electronic communication network with all establishments abroad should be established by the end of this year.
Finally, we can summarize, that the organizational structure of the MFA of Germany reflects the many-sided international activity of this state which is fit for the role of the Federal Republic in the global political reality. The study of the mechanism of this leading organ of foreign relations allows to better understand the mechanism of foreign policy in this country, peculiarities of the foreign-policy, who makes the decisions and what are the priorities of the public offices in working out and realization of foreign policy decisions.
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