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GEPS No 05/17: Decision-Making and European Policy Coordination in the German Federal Government

The fifth paper in the German European Policy Series by author Timm Beichelt, professor of Political Science at European University Viadrina and board member of the German Associ­ation for Eastern European Studies, traces the history and processes of European policy coordi­nation of the German Federal Government both inter­nally and with respect to EU insti­tu­tions. Prior to the Treaty of Maastricht and deepening integration in the 1990s, the Federal Government’s European policy was largely divided between classic foreign policy and more technical and economic integration efforts. These two aspects have since become harder to isolate, with European policy devel­oping a broader domestic, socio-political character. This ushered in a need for clear coordi­nation mecha­nisms for the formu­lation of German positions, with various bodies respon­sible for arbitrating differ­ences among federal ministries, though decen­tralised decision-making is pursued as far as is possible. Overall, these devel­op­ments have made German European policy both more polit­i­cally important and more routine.”