Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a
country in West-central Europe. It is bordered to the north
by the North Sea, Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; to the east
by Poland and the Czech Republic; to the south by Austria
and Switzerland; and to the west by France, Luxembourg,
Belgium, and the Netherlands.
Germany is a parliamentary federal republic of sixteen
states (Bundeslšnder). The capital city and seat of
government is Berlin. As a nation-state, the country was
unified near the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.
After World War II, Germany's government was re-formed, its
territory was divided into two separate states along the
lines of allied occupation in 1949 and then was reunified in
1990. Germany is a founding member of the European Union,
and with over 82 million people it has the largest
population among the EU member states.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a member state of the
United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G4 nations and, as of
2006, ranked sixth in military expenditure. Germany is the
world's third largest economy by nominal GDP, the world's
largest exporter of goods, and the world's second largest
importer of goods. In 2007 it held the rotating presidencies
of both the European Council and the G8 summits.