Contributor: Wolfgang Renzsch

Bending the Constitution: The New Regulation of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Germany: Number 43

In Germany, reforms of the intergovernmental fiscal relations were always difficult, however, changed legislation was always a result of high political expertise. The administrative preparations, and the negotiations demanded a lot of time. They were conducted by experts from both the administration and academia, often in public discourse. This legislation was based on a political agreement by the premiers of the Länder, forged behind closed doors, for which the federal government was supposed to pay. In the end the federal governments accepted this agreement in exchange for more federal powers, which shifts the federal balance in favour of the federation. This agreement was not developed within the usual procedures of parliamentary and public debates but – although all formal constitutional requirements were observed – in a private meeting of the top elites of Länder politicians.

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