Federal budget of Germany

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The establishment of the annual budget of the Federal Republic of Germany is known as the German budget process.


The primary purpose of the budget is to create an overview of the country's revenues and expenses for the following fiscal year or years. Since the budget is based on past expenditures, it is merely a prediction of the future which can lead to unexpected budget deficits as the fiscal year progresses. In the short term, such deficits are commonly financed by borrowing money which has led to the significant long-term debt of the German federal government.


The Bundestag passes the budget as an addendum to the annual or bi-annual budget act (Art. 110, Basic Law. Revenues and expenses are separated by ministries and other administrative entities.

Budget guidelines[edit]

Specific guidelines established by law govern the creation of the budget. Specifically, these are:

  1. Completeness: the budget must include all instances of revenues and expenditures separately.
  2. Clarity: the budget must be organized along ministry and functional lines.
  3. Unity: the budget must include all revenues and expenditures
  4. Accuracy: revenues and expenditures must be estimated based on actual fair market value or expected values. To avoid manipulations, such estimates are conducted by a separate official body.
  5. Historical Succession: the budget must be enacted before the fiscal year starts. If there is no budget for the current fiscal year, the previous budget continues in effect.
  6. Specificity: expenditures must be designated as falling into a specific area, at a specific time, and at a specific level.
  7. Publicity: all debates on the budget in the Bundestag as well as the final enacted budget are publicly available and accessible. Some expenditures, however, may be classified with appropriate restrictions on who can access information on those.

Example Budget[edit]

The budget for the 2005 fiscal year (also demonstrating the basic budget structure) can be found below.

Function Description Expenditures[note 1]
01 Federal President 23,636
02 Bundestag 550,920
03 Bundesrat 19,952
04 Federal Chancellor 1,510,084
05 Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2,205,783
06 Ministry of the Interior 4,216,641
07 Ministry of Justice 338,592
08 Ministry of Finance 4,041,769
09 Ministry of Economics and Labour 37,974,665
10 Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture 5,106,957
12 Ministry of Transportation, Building and Housing 23,255,509
14 Ministry of Defence 23,900,000
15 Ministry of Health and Social Security 84,409,880
16 Ministry of Environment, Natural Conservation and Nuclear Security 769,024
17 Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth 4,571,691
19 Federal Constitutional Court 17,631
20 Federal Auditing Office 86,668
23 Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development 3,859,093
30 Ministry for Education and Research 8,540,422
32 Federal Debt 40,431,841
33 Support 8,821,008
60 General Financial Administration (261,766)
Total: 254,300,000
  1. ^ Estimated budget authority as presented in the budget (in thousand EUR)