July 2024: 13 changes affecting expats in Germany

July 2024: 13 changes affecting expats in Germany

Football fever continues, joints are being sparked, trains disrupted and school holidays are getting underway. Here are the 12 most important changes happening in Germany this July:

1. Cannabis Social Clubs open in Germany

From July 1, 2024, people in Germany will be able to join Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) and access marijuana legally.

Cannabis for personal use has been legal in Germany since April 1, 2024. Anyone over the age of 18 can grow up to three cannabis plants and keep up to 50 grams of cannabis at home. Adults can also carry up to 25 grams of cannabis on their person in public spaces.

With the introduction of Cannabis Social Clubs on July 1 - when marijuana production, distribution and consumption will be regulated - the government hopes that cannabis in Germany will be of a higher quality and can be consumed in a safer environment.

If you’re considering joining a CSC, you can find out more about the process here.

2. Gas prices go up

From July, the price of gas will increase in Germany. This is because the company Trading Hub Europe GmbH, which regulates the fee for gas storage will increase its fees from 1,86 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) to 2,50 euros. It is yet unknown what this means for customers and exactly how much more they will be paying for utility bills.

3. Tenants can choose if they want to pay for cable TV

On July 1, Germany will scrap a law introduced in the 1980s which allows landlords to automatically charge tenants for a cable TV connection through their home utilities (Nebenkosten). Now, renters can opt out of these costs if they would like to.

Not all landlords in Germany set up a cable TV connection on behalf of their tenants, so if you are unsure of your situation, it is best to check your rental contract or Nebenkostenabrechnung from the previous year. You can find out more about the change here.

4. Pension payments get a boost

In July, pensioners across all federal states will receive more money each month. This is because pensions will be increased by 4,57 percent, based on new data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) and Germany’s pension body, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung.

Anyone on a reduced earning capacity pension who started receiving their pension between January 2001 and June 2014 will receive a larger boost of 7,5 percent and for those who began claiming between July 2014 and December 2018, an increase of 4,5 percent.

5. Deutsche Bahn disruptions during July

There will be several disruptions across German tracks starting in July and continuing into August. From July 16, the Riedbahn train between Frankfurt and Mannheim will take 30 minutes longer than normal.

Between July 16 and August 12, renovations will take place on the high-speed line between Cologne and Frankfurt Airport. Mid-August renovations will also mean a 45-minute extended journey on the Berlin - Hamburg route.

6. Mammogram screening age limit raised to 75

From July 1, statutory health insurance companies will offer breast cancer prevention mammogram screenings for patients up to the age of 75. Previously, only those between the ages of 50 and 69 could benefit from free screenings.

7. Drink caps must stay attached to bottles

From July 3, plastic bottles in Germany must have a type of screw cap which stays attached to the bottle even once the cap has been opened.

The caps have already been in circulation on some drinks, but a new law on single-use plastic bottles with a volume of up to three litres will make the attached caps mandatory.

8. New cars must have black box systems

Any car or commercial vehicle weighing over 3,5 tonnes that is registered in Germany after July 7 must be fitted with an Event Data Recorder (EDR). An EDR is a kind of black box which stores information about the vehicle which can be used should there be an accident.

Any new cars and commercial vehicles over 3,5 tonnes produced in Germany after July 7 will be fitted with an EDR.

9. School holidays start in 11 German states

Following schoolchildren in the five other German states in June, pupils in 11 states will begin their summer holidays on six different days throughout July. The dates are as follows:

10. German MPs will get a pay rise

The income of German MPs is adjusted every year on July 1 in line with nominal wage development calculated by Destatis. This year, the Bundestag’s 734 members are set to receive a 6 percent pay rise, meaning their monthly income will increase from 10.591,70 euro to 11.227.20. 

This income is subject to tax, but members of parliament also receive a tax-free expense allowance to “cover costs incurred by members in the exercise of their parliamentary work”, such as commuting from their constituency to Berlin and performing constituency duties, according to the Bundestag. In 2023 this tax-free allowance was 4.725.48 euros per month.

11. Galeries Lafayette Berlin to close

With the lease set to expire, a branch of the French luxury department store Galeries Lafayette located on Friedrichstraße in Berlin will shut down in July. The closure means around 190 people will lose their jobs.

Back in October 2023, Berlin Senator for Culture Joe Chialo announced a proposal to turn the centrally-located building into a public library. The project has received the support of a broad range of experts, including the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek (ZLB) Foundation, representatives from universities in Berlin, and the Left party, but has not been confirmed.

12. Pride marches continue across Germany

International Pride Month is in June, but throughout July many German cities and towns will host their local pride march and related events - including the country's biggest demonstration in Berlin on July 27. To find out more about pride events in Germany during July check here. Cheers to the queers!

13. Euro 2024 final kicks off in Berlin

Things are heating up in the Euros! Germany’s fate is yet to be decided, but whether die Mannschaft is in or out the country’s capital will host the Euro 2024 final on July 14. England and Spain are among the favourite contenders according to UEFA.

Thumb image credit: olrat /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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