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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the German Basic Law as the epitome of Open Statehood. The constitutional openness for international integration rests on distinct provisions on supranational engagement going beyond regular treaty law. Thereby, the Basic Law seeks to overcome the supposed dichotomies between state sovereignty and international integration and between national democracy and international legality. Further, the Basic Law distinguishes European from classical international integration. In both instances, the German Bundestag increasingly claims the status as coequal branch. Parliament also has the power to unilaterally modify the domestic effect of treaties, albeit within constitutional limits. Yet, disengagement comes at the price of incurring international responsibility. In line with the principle of mutual respect, the Federal Constitutional Court has developed three doctrinal devices, so-called counter-limits, to integration, to accommodate the diverse multilayered decision-making processes of multilevel governance systems, namely, the effective protection of human rights Solange, constitutional control of ultra vires acts, and the absolute protection of constitutional identity. In this way, the constitutional judiciary buttresses the concept of Open Statehood by reconciling at times diverging interests of national democracy and international integration.

Keywords: Germany, Open Statehood, international integration, supranational, judicial dialogue, European community of constitutional courts, counter-limits, Solange, ultra vires, constitutional identity

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