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Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects: K1, JC, JF
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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    • 2. A legal analysis of the separation of powers............................................................. 14
    • 3. The wider contribution ............................................................................................. 18 C. Chapter outline ......................................................................................................20 Part I: Theoretical and historical influences ........................................... 26
    • 1. Johann Christoph von Aretin: representation of interests ....................................... 56
    • 2. Immanuel Kant: separation of powers as a question of justice................................ 57 B. The Weimar days: the state in crisis ......................................................................61 2. Rudolf Smend: the separation of powers as a means to integration ....................... 63
    • 1. Walter Leisner (1969): The emphasis on balance ..................................................... 68
    • 2. Fritz Ossenbühl (1980): Legitimacy of decision-making as the key objective........... 69
    • 3. Thomas von Danwitz (1996): The Grundsatz der funktionsgerechten Organstruktur
    • 1. The separation of powers as a fundamental principle ............................................. 78
    • 2. Separating and 'interlacing' powers: Gewaltenteilung in the Grundgesetz ............. 81 B. Maintaining 'separateness'....................................................................................84
    • 1. The nature of the function ........................................................................................ 86
    • 2. Protecting the core: the ultimate limit to usurpation............................................... 88 C. The need for cooperation ......................................................................................92
    • 1. Cooperation through joint allocation of responsibilities .......................................... 93
    • 2. Cooperation as part of the political process ............................................................. 96
    • 1. The text of the Grundgesetz ................................................................................... 106
    • 2. The Court's initial approach .................................................................................... 109
    • 3. Developments since the 1950s ............................................................................... 113
    • 1. Conceptualising Supranationality: Article 24 and the EC........................................ 128
    • 2. Delineating spheres of responsibility...................................................................... 133 B. From Maastricht to Lisbon: the Bundestag as political 'bystander'? ..................139
    • 1. Democracy and Sovereignty: the framework for legitimate integration................ 140 a) The Maastricht decision: democracy under review ............................................142 b) The Lisbon decision: sovereignty under review ..................................................144
    • 2. The integration responsibilities of the Bundestag .................................................. 147 a) Participation rights for the European context.....................................................147
    • 1. BVerfGE 129, 124: Greek Bailout/ EFSF (7 September 2011) ................................. 160
    • 2. BVerfGE 130, 318: Participation of the Bundestag (EFSF) (28 February 2012)....... 163
    • 3. BVerfGE 131, 152: Duty to Inform the Bundestag (ESM) (19 June 2012)............... 166
    • 4. BVerfGE 132, 195: Injunction against the ESM and Fiscal Treaties (12 September 2012) ....................................................................................................................... 169
    • 5. Injunction against the approval of ESM grants to Cyprus (17 April 2013).............. 172
    • 6. BVerfGE 134, 366: OMT/ Order for a preliminary reference to the CJEU (14 January 2014) ....................................................................................................................... 174
    • 7. BVerfGE 135, 317: Decision in the main action on the ESM and Fiscal Treaties (18 March 2014) ............................................................................................................ 177 The budgetary responsibility in the European context ........................................... 189 1. Implementation: forging new pathways of interaction .......................................... 200 2.
    • Provisions of the Grundgesetz - German original ..........................................................228 Provisions of the Grundgesetz - English translation ......................................................233 1 MJC Vile, Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers (2nd edn, Liberty Fund 1998) 11-12 emphasis in the original.
    • 7 Anneli Albi, 'Erosion of Constitutional Rights in EU Law: A Call for “substantive Co-Operative Constitutionalism” - Part 2' (2015) 9 Vienna Journal of International Constitutional Law 291, 308 and 313.
    • 8 Anneli Albi, 'From the Banana Saga to a Sugar Saga and Beyond: Could the Post-Communist Constitutional Courts Teach the EU a Lesson in the Rule of Law?' (2010) 47 Common Market Law Review 791, 793.
    • 9 Cf. i.a. Fritz Ossenbühl, 'Aktuelle Probleme Der Gewaltenteilung' (1980) 33 Die Öffentliche Verwaltung 545, 545; Walter Leisner, 'Die Quantitative Gewaltenteilung' (1969) 22 Die Öffentliche Verwaltung 405, 405; NW Barber, 'Prelude to the Separation of Powers' (2001) 60 The Cambridge Law Journal 59, 59; Eric Barendt, 'Separation of Powers and Constitutional Government' [1995] Public Law 599, 600.
    • 12 Especially the so-called Federation-Land dispute (Bund-Länderstreit) and the inter-institutional dispute (Organstreit), Article 93 Grundgesetz.
    • 13 Cf. e.g. the Bavarian application against the Civil Partnership Act pushed through by the SocialDemocrat/ Green party government in: BVerfG, 'Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz' [2002] BVerfGE 105, 313.
    • 14 Federal Chancellor, the head of the Federal Government.
    • 15 BVerfG, 'Duty to Inform the Bundestag (ESM)' [2012] BVerfGE 131, 152.
    • 16 Federal President
    • 17 Cf. e.g. the inter-institution dispute brought by a single MP against the Bundestag's decision to remove him from his committee BVerfG, 'Wüppesahl' [1989] BVerfGE 80, 188.
    • 18 Hans Vorländer, 'Regiert Karlsruhe Mit? Das Bundesverfassungsgericht Zwischen Recht Und Politik' (2011) 61 Aus Politik und Zeitgeschehen 15.
    • 19 Cf. e.g. the decisions on abortion, the crucifix in classrooms, the civil partnership act, the headscarf decision, to name but a few -BVerfG, 'Schwangerschaftsabbruch I' [1975] BVerfGE 39, 1; BVerfG, 'Schwangerschaftsabbruch II' [1992] BVerfGE 88, 203; BVerfG, 'Kruzifix' [1995] BVerfGE 93, 1; BVerfG, 'Lebenspartnerschaftsgesetz' (n 13); BVerfG, 'Kopftuch Ludin' [2003] BVerfGE 108, 282.
    • 20 Tanja A Börzel and Carina Sprungk, 'Undermining Democratic Governance in the Member States? The Europeanization of National Decision-Making' in Ronald Holzhacker and Erik Albaek (eds), Democratic governance and European integration: linking societal and state processes of democracy (Edward Elgar Publishing 2007) 113-114.
    • 21 Albi (n 8) 793; Albi (n 7) 320 and 322.
    • 22 Börzel and Sprungk (n 20) 119.
    • 23 UK Parliament, 'Report Strongly Critical of Government and BBC' (European Scrutiny Committee) accessed 31 March 2016.
    • 26 Themistokles D Tsatsos, Zur Geschichte Und Kritik Der Lehre von Der Gewaltenteilung (Carl Winter Universitätsverlag 1968) 11 and 14.
    • 27 ibid 20.
    • 28 Tsatsos (n 26); Udo Di Fabio, '§ 27: Gewaltenteilung' in Josef Isensee and Paul Kirchhof (eds), Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, vol II: Verfassungsstaat (3rd edn, Müller 2004).
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