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"Cool Germany" - Is Germany the better England?

26th February 2021 · Dettling's Column

With the UK having left the EU at the start of the new year, more and more Britons are moving to Germany. Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, more than 30,000 Britons have acquired German citizenship. Far more live in Germany without a German passport.

An important consequence of the Brexit this year: Britons who want to work in Germany and do not have a German passport need a residence and work permit.

“Why the Germans Do it Better”

The title of the new bestseller “Why the Germans Do it Better” shows how much times have changed. Journalist John Kampfner underlines that Germans possess a number of virtues: modesty, solidarity , honesty with themselves and their own past. The reason for the new Germanophilia is also the German health system and its efficient handling of the Corona pandemic. For many observers in England, the Germans are the “better British” – cool Germany? One does not have to go quite that far, and the humility that Kampfner attributes to the Germans dictates (shows?) that one should not fall into old patterns of national hubris. After all, it was British journalists who brought the Wirecard scandal to light after years of research and warnings.

Expats become impats

“Expats”, foreign specialists and managers, are becoming increasingly important for companies. Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, the integration of so-called impatriates (impats for short) represents a great opportunity, but also a challenge. It involves cultural, social and insurance law issues. Above all, the German health system is difficult to understand. Hiring and (securing?) the impats in a legally correct way is the biggest challenge. However,  other important factors are the extra-occupational aspects which also have to be addressed : Schooling, childcare, housing, work for the partner. If these aspects are not taken care of, this can quickly lead to frustration and annoyance and to the departure from the country – with considerable consequences for the company. Many regions have therefore set up central contact points to provide information and advice. Overarching platforms such as www.expatica.com provide a range of useful information for expats in Germany. An increasing number of “expat communities” are emerging and forming networks of exchange and friendship between companies, employees and countries.

Impats are modern nomads

“Temporary immigration” will become the new business trend in the future. This means that the market for counselling, coaching and support is growing. “Connecting Cultures through Crossing Borders” is becoming the motto of the new normal after Corona. This era is driven by those people who meet others open-mindedly and without prejudice. Ex- and impats are modern nomads and avant-garde of the new globalisation. Where they feel at home is their (new) home.

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