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Introduction

Data protection and cookies

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. We want you to know what data we collect, when we collect it, and how we use it. We have taken technical and organisational measures to ensure that both we as well as external service providers comply with the provisions governing data protection.
The Ministry uses a web tracking tool to obtain anonymous data about user visits to our websites. These data can be used to produce user profiles under a pseudonym. The cookies placed on your computer are solely used to draw conclusions about the user patterns on the Ministry’s websites and to regularly review the information service we provide to the users. No personal data are retained or passed on to third parties. It is possible to withhold or withdraw consent to the future collection and storage of data at any time.

Personal data

Personal data is information that can be used to identify you. This includes such information as your name, e-mail address, postal address and telephone number.
It does not include information that is not related to your identity (such as the number of site users). In general, you can use our online services without disclosing your identity.
If you order information material or brochures, subscribe to newsletters, or register for a forum or database operated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, we will ask for your name and other personal data. You are free to decide whether or not to provide this information. By entering your data, you consent to it being used for the purpose/s specified. We store this data on secure servers in Germany. Only a very limited number of specially authorised individuals who are involved with the technical, commercial or editorial management of the servers have access to this data.

We only store your data for as long as we need it for the specified use. For example, your data will be deleted if you cancel a subscription to a newsletter or once we have sent you the requested information.

We store certain data every time our server is accessed for statistical and security purposes. These data are analysed solely for the purpose of optimising our internet service and are not traceable to you. In cases of serious violations of our terms of use and in cases of unauthorised access or attempted access to our servers, we reserve the right to make use of certain data sets for the purpose of locating personal data.

Disclosure of data to third parties

When you order informational materials from our website, your personal data are used only by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the companies commissioned to distribute the material. We will not transmit your data to third parties without your express consent. If required by law or court decision, we will transmit your data to authorities authorised to receive such information.

Protection of minors

Children and persons under 18 years of age should not transmit any personal data to us without the consent of their parents or legal guardians. We do not request or collect personal data from children and do not transmit these data to third parties.

Disclaimer

We have exercised the greatest possible care in compiling and activating the contents of this website and the special websites associated with it. Nevertheless, the possibility of errors cannot be excluded. Please submit comments and corrections here (contact). Despite the care we exercise in operating our online services, we assume no liability for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of these websites. In particular, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy assumes no liability whatsoever for damages or consequences that may result from the direct or indirect use of the content provided.

As content provider, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is responsible under general legislation for the proprietary content that it makes available for use. This proprietary content is to be distinguished from external links to content made available by other providers. This third-party content does not originate from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, nor is it possible for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to influence the content of third-party websites. The content of third-party websites to which we provide links does not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy but rather serves to provide information and additional context. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy assumes no liability for the third-party content to which it provides links as described above. The responsibility for this third-party content lies solely with the respective content provider.

The Ministry takes the ongoing debate about data protection in social networks very seriously. It is not yet clear whether and to what extent all the networks’ services are in compliance with European data protection rules. As soon as there are any new legal aspects governing the operation of our fan page, we will respond to them without delay. Until that time, you should check carefully what personal data you are providing to the social networks by using our fan page.

We draw your attention to the fact that Facebook, Google and YouTube store their users’ data (e.g. personal information, IP address, etc.) in line with their own guidelines on data usage and use it for commercial purposes. You can find out more about the processing of data by the social networks via the following links: Facebook, Twitter, Google.

The Ministry has no influence on the collection and use of the data by the social networks. We are unable to ascertain the extent, the location and the duration of the data capture, the extent to which the networks meet obligations to delete data, what evaluations and links pertaining to the data are made, and to whom the data are forwarded.

Small text files known as “cookies” are saved by your browser when you use the Ministry’s internet service. It remains necessary to save cookies even if you withhold or withdraw consent to the collection and storage of data by the web tracking tool used by the website.

In order to accept cookies, please proceed as follows:

  • Mozilla Firefox: Tools/Options/Privacy/in “Remember history” select the option “Use custom settings for history” in the dropdown menu and accept cookies.
  • Internet Explorer: Tools/Internet options/Security/ under Options move the slide bar down to permit all cookies;
  • Opera: Tools/Settings/Preferences/Advanced/accept cookies;
  • Google Chrome: Settings/Show advanced settings/Content settings.

Legal Basis

The legal bases published in this internet service have been carefully compiled, but no claim is made that they are current, correct or complete; no such guarantee is given.

Laws and ordinances are only applicable in their current version, as published in the relevant official journal (particularly the Federal Law Gazette and the Federal Gazette).

To help you find specific texts of legislation on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, here is a collection of laws and ordinances (in German) which you can sort alphabetically or by policy field. You can also search by keyword.

You can also search for more legislation on the juris GmbH website (in German).

Further information

Viewing and accessibility

The website has been optimised for viewing in modern browsers with enabled JavaScript (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome). You can use the website on desktop equipment and a host of mobile devices.

You can download the latest browsers from the following sites:

You can change the font size in your browser to suit your viewing preferences.

  • Mozilla Firefox: Click on “View”, then “Zoom” and make the font size larger or smaller in small steps.
  • Internet Explorer: Click on “View”, then “Text size” and select the desired size from five possibilities.
  • Safari: Click on “Preferences”, then “Advanced” to “Accessibility”. By ticking the box, you can select the default, minimum font size. You can zoom in and out on specific pages using the combination [Cmd] & [-]/[+].
  • Google Chrome: Click on “Zoom” to achieve the required font size.

These pages are designed to meet the guidelines of the German Verordnung zur Schaffung barrierefreier Informationstechnik nach dem Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz (Ordinance on the Creation of Barrier-Free Information Technology) and are continually updated to meet changing requirements. We always try to keep the Ministry’s website in compliance with the Ordinance.

Should you encounter barriers despite this, please send an email to: internetredaktion@bmwi.bund.de.

Content

You can find hints about the use of the RSS news feeds here.

You can use the search function on the upper right side of each page to conduct quick and easy searches of our website. As you type in your search term, suggestions of frequently accessed content that potentially matches your search criteria will appear automatically. Clicking on one of these suggestions will immediately take you to the list of results for that term. If the list does not contain the term you are searching for, enter your search term/s and click on the magnifying glass to the right of the input field or use the “enter” button to obtain a list of all the results generated by your search.

Advanced search

Your search results will then be listed as a table in accordance with their relevance to your search criteria. The results can also be sorted chronologically by clicking on “Date sorted ascending” or “Date sorted descending”. You can also limit the number of results generated by your search by selecting the topics, document types and time period to be covered by your search. For example, you can search for a “press release” that was published under the topic “external economic policy” during the past month.

As an additional service, the advanced search function also offers the option of including the Economic Affairs Ministry’s satellite websites in your search request. To do this, tick the “include in search” box.

You can also search within selected types of publication, e.g. press releases or publications, in the Press section or under “Service/Publication”.

Hints for searches

Several search terms will be linked by “or”.

If you wish to search for a phrase, place it in inverted commas.

You need a PDF reader to view PDF files. These programmes enable you to read and print PDF files. Information about PDF Readers which can be downloaded free of charge can be found here.

Viewing and downloading PDF documents

If a PDF Reader is installed, you can view PDF documents directly in your browser by clicking on the file.

If your browser does not support the software or if you want to save the document directly to your hard disk, right-click on the document (for Windows) or hold down the button longer (for Macs) and select "Target/Save Link As..." from the menu. Choose where you wish to store the file on your computer.

The shortcut Control (Ctrl) + P opens the browser’s print menu, which offers various print settings. Alternatively, the browser’s print menu can be accessed by clicking “Settings” and “Print”.

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Questions and suggestions

Do you have any questions, suggestions or criticisms? Please click here. If you have technical questions about the Ministry’s website, please email:

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Data Protection Officer

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Prevention of corruption

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Internal Auditing