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Zwingmann, Beke (2016)
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: JC, JF, K1
The thesis uses the doctrine of the separation of powers as the conceptual framework to analyse the jurisprudence of the German Federal Constitutional Court on EU matters from its early decisions to the latest cases on the European Stability Mechanism. The court’s decisions have been widely discussed in terms of the impact of European integration on democracy and democratic participation at the national level. The aim of the thesis is to put the court’s jurisprudence into a different context by reading it from the perspective of separation of powers in order to assess the impact of EU integration on the relationship between national institutions, specifically the German Federal government and parliament. \ud The analysis will show that while the decisions on the ESM have overall strengthened the position of the Federal parliament in the particular subject-matter of those cases (budgetary control), this should not necessarily be understood as a re-definition of the relationship between the Federal government and parliament in the context of EU matters as a whole. \ud By using the separation of powers as a framework for analysis, it becomes apparent that while the German constitutional system may seem to have acknowledged the different constitutional nature of the EU, the political institutions as well as the Federal Constitutional Court have yet to draw the necessary consequences for the relationship between the Federal government and parliament at national level: by treating EU matters merely as a ‘special kind’ of foreign affairs, the fundamental alteration of the balance of power between the executive and the legislative caused by European integration has gone unchecked by the German Federal Constitutional Court and has led to constitutional practices which arguably undermine not only the democratic accountability of the actions of the German Federal government but also the concept of separation of powers itself.
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