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What will be important in 2019

Looking into the new year: you should be aware of these dates from politics and current events if you want to be in the know in 2019.

Martin Orth, 21.12.2018
Germany in the UN Security Council: Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres © dpa

As from 1 January 2019, Germany will be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for two years. This is the sixth time that the Federal Republic has assumed responsibility in this role. The four core goals to which the Federal Government is committed are peace, justice, innovation and partnership.

19 January 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Germany. Despite the formal existence of equal rights, equilibrium has not yet been reached, especially in politics and business. The proportion of women in the German Parliament (Bundestag) has improved over the years. Even so, it is currently only around 31 percent.

Since 2003, 22 January has been celebrated as ‘Franco-German Day’. It was created to mark the 40th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty. A new Elysée Treaty is to be adopted in 2019, providing for even closer cooperation between the two countries. 50 members of the Bundestag and 50 from France’s National Assembly are to meet publicly at least twice a year in the future.

Germany’s first parliamentary democracy, the Weimar Republic, will be celebrated on 6 February 2019. It was on this day in 1919 that the Constituent National Assembly met for the first time in the Thuringian city of Weimar. Alongside many other events, the ‘House of the Weimar Republic’ will open its doors near the erstwhile conference venue in the Deutsches Nationaltheater.

On 4 April 2019, 70 years ago, twelve states founded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO. Today, 29 European and North American countries belong to the defence alliance. Germany participates in numerous missions.

On 23 May 2019, the Federal Republic of Germany will celebrate its 70th anniversary. This was the day in 1949 on which the Basic Law came into force. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) was founded shortly afterwards on 7 October 1949. As a result, two German states existed until reunification in 1990.

From 23 to 26 May 2019, the citizens of the European Union will elect the European Parliament for the ninth time. The Federal Government has set 26 May as the election date for the European elections in Germany. 96 MEPs from Germany will be elected to the European Parliament, which is responsible for legislation, supervision and the budget in the EU.

9 November 2019 will be the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The peaceful revolution by the people in the GDR brought down the border between East and West. The trigger on the evening of 9 November 1989, however, was an unprepared answer given by GDR Politburo spokesman Günther Schabowski during a live press conference. When asked when the new GDR travel law would be coming into force, he was confused and replied: “As far as I know... immediately, straight away.” Whereupon thousands of GDR citizens set off for Berlin’s border crossings. The GDR officials gave in to the rush. The Wall was history.

Fall of the Wall: people celebrating the opening of the border in 1989
Fall of the Wall: people celebrating the opening of the border in 1989 © dpa

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