Op-Ed: COVID challenges the system of German federalism

By Matthias von Hellfeld, 15 December 2021
Parliament of Germany (photo credit: Joan / flickr)
Parliament of Germany (photo credit: Joan / flickr)
For almost two years, Germany's national and state governments have been struggling to combat the COVID pandemic [...] Article 70 of Germany's constitution explicitly states that all lawmaking rests in the states' hands, unless stated otherwise in the Basic Law itself. [...] For almost any major policy that former Chancellor Angela Merkel wished to introduce nationwide, she required the unanimous approval of state leaders. And at most of the regular meetings of state premiers with the chancellor, it proved all but impossible to agree on a unified approach. [...] Many believe that reforming federalism is still vital. Under Germany's proportional electoral system, coalition governments are the norm. This means that each of the 16 states, plus the federal government, can have their own constellation of coalition partners in power at any one time — making unified governing at times virtually impossible.
Read the full article here: DW


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