For more than 4 decades, the German Academic Exchange Service has been providing the possibility for a group of international experts to observe the final phase of the election campaign leading to the parliamentary Bundestag elections.

From 15 to 25 September 2017, 18 foreign election observers from 16 countries hosted a diverse and exciting program: in addition to attending election campaign events in various German cities, held discussions with top representatives of the parties as well as experts from science, industry, media and culture.

“We are very pleased to welcome such top-class Germany connoisseurs on the occasion of the general election. With the election observing journey, we would like to give the participants the opportunity to inform themselves about the current political situation in Germany and to pass on their differentiated view of the federal elections in their home countries, “said DAAD President Prof. Margret Wintermantel.

Dr. Manar Omar, DAAD Alumna, represented Egypt this year in the observation group. Dr. Omar studied in Cairo, Tübingen and Gießen and is currently a lecturer in literature at Helwan University.

“The DAAD elections observing journey was a unique experience. Together with colleagues from 16 countries I had a chance to get an insightful look at the election process and to discuss with diverse German experts and politicians about socio-political, economic, psychological and cultural aspects and topics concerning German citizens and influencing their votes. It has also been a good chance to see Germany from the different perspectives of my international colleagues, who are also experts in German studies. Besides, I was able to share this enlightening experience with other people in Egypt via social media and public events” as stated by Dr. Omar.

In Bonn, participants observed street campaigning of the five major parties CDU, SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Die Linke, and FDP). Moreover, discussions and talks concerning migration and integration, right-wing populism, Germany’s foreign policy and the role of German media during the election campaign were the most important topics on the discussion table.

After short stopovers in Halle (Saale) and Leipzig, involving talks with local politicians, the group heads for Berlin where discussions with national politicians and academics dominate the agenda. Finally, the participants had the chance to experience the election night at various party headquarters in Berlin followed by famous “Bundespressekonferenz” (Federal Press Conference) on the next morning, where the official election result was announced.