The making of German European policy

Authored by: William E. Paterson

The Routledge Handbook of German Politics & Culture

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415686860
eBook ISBN: 9781315747040
Adobe ISBN: 9781317600152


 Download Chapter



European policymaking in Britain and France has always reflected a clear aim of identifying the national interest in European integration and then using a highly centralised state machinery to pursue that aim. Germany’s European policymaking has been quite different, reflecting quite different aims. Whereas Britain and France have been concerned to preserve sovereignty, after 1949 the infant Federal Republic lacked sovereignty, and European integration was a way of recovering it. The national interest was European cooperation, and the policymaking machinery was not, therefore, designed to identify an(other) explicit national interest but rather to reflect a ‘reflexive multilateralism’, privileging European integration. It was, accordingly, notably porous and decentralised, although the decentralisation also reflected the Ressortprinzip (departmental principle) that is the core principle of governing in Germany. A final unique feature of German policymaking is the large role played by parapublic bodies such as the Bundesbank and the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.