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.”