Germany - Organizations
The Federation of German Industries, the Confederation of German Employers' Associations, the Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Traders, and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce represent business in the FRG. There are about 14 regional associations of chambers of business and industry located in the largest cities; many maintain branch offices in smaller cities. The chambers are organized into provincial associations and are headed by the Permanent Conference of German Industry and Trade. The cooperative movement is well developed. Consumer cooperatives are represented in the International Cooperative Alliance by the Central Association of German Cooperatives, founded in 1949; it also represents credit cooperatives. The central association of agricultural cooperatives, the German Raiffeisen Society, is located in Wiesbaden. The Association of German Peasants is the largest society of farmers. There is also a Central Association of German Artisan Industries. The private Association of Consumers operates more than 150 local advisory centers. Professional societies and associations are numerous.
Civil action groups (Bürgerinitiativen) have proliferated in recent years. Deutscher Frauenring serves as an umbrella organization for national women's groups. The Red Cross is active.There are about 80 youth associations, most of which belong to the Federal Youth Ring. The scouting movement is highly active and political parties sponsor groups associated in the Ring of Political Youth. There are thousands of groups and associations for various hobbies, and sports, as well as for patriotic and religious purposes.