Forewod by Jacques Delors
Since 1949, German democracy has rested on an original federal structure that has its roots in the long development of the German State and its modern embodiment in the very particular context of the immediate post-war period. This structure has evolved over time, in response not only to a centralising trend which is typical of most federal States but also to the very specific issues raised by the European integration process and the emergence of a supranational decision-making level. We felt these developments were worth reviewing, both to shed light on the particular approach to the European Union of its most populated and economically powerful Member State and to contribute to the debate on the European integration process itself. Concepts such as basic law, concurrent powers among the various organisational levels and cooperative federalism based on permanent compromise are all avenues worth exploring in a Europe which will still be seeking its institutional balance for some time yet. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jutta Hergenhan, who has been a researcher with Notre Europe for over a year, for undertaking this study and providing us with such a clear and thorough report.