International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

established after the reunification of Germany. The Grundgesetz was merely amended in some (not central) parts. Article 23 GG, for example, included a provision for the unification of Europe. This amendment resulted from the fact that the common policy, on a European level, involves a loss of influence for Parliament and that the Europeanization had led to an increasing dominance of the Bund at the cost of the Länder. Both developments will be counteracted by cooperation rights of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat in matters of the European Union. Further, the increasing dominance of the Bund at the cost of the Länder will be stopped by changes in the area of competence assignments.

Finally, the current political tendencies were accounted for in that the legal assimilation of the status of men and women was amended by the liability of the state to promote the factual implementation of equal rights for women (Art. 3-II, Sect. 2 GG), and by including the liability of the state to protect the natural bases of life (Art. 20a GG).


Significance

The Grundgesetz represented a substantial basis for the success of the democracy in Germany after World War II. It effectively disciplined and controlled political power, insured political, economic, and private freedom, and enabled stable governments.

A substantial functional prerequisite of a successful constitution is its acceptance by the population. Constitutions cannot be obtruded against the will of the citizens. The Grundgesetz is also in this sense a successful constitution. Also, forces that strived for a basic reform of the Grundgesetz did not assert themselves after German reunification. In different sectors, one may perceive that there exist constitutional possibilities to better tackle the tasks and challenges of the present and the near term. Through political process, a rather conservative tendency could assert itself that will change the well-proved Grundgesetz (apart from the beforementioned amendments for the equality of women and men, for the environmental protection, and for European unification).

The success of the Grundgesetz has caught attention abroad. In the same way as Germany could fall back on an accumulated treasure of the constitutional states for its own Constitution, other states also oriented on the Grundgesetz in some points when working out their new constitutions. This situation mainly applies to the southern European states that overcame a dictatorship and consulted the German experience ( Greece, Spain, and Portugal). Also, after the collapse of the Communist rulership in Eastern Europe, the German experience with the basic law is being studied there in ongoing discussions.

MARTIN MORLOK AND
MANFRED MILLER


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Benda, Ernst Werner and Maihofer, Hans-Jochen Vogel, eds., 1994. Handbuch des Verfassungsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. 2d ed. Berlin and New York: De Gruyter.

Hesse, Konrad, 1993. Grundzége des Verfassungsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. 19th ed. Heidelberg: C. F. Méller.

Isensee, Josef, and Paul Kirchhof, eds., 1977-1994. Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ( 7 volumes so far). Heidelberg: C. F. Méller.

Stern, Klaus, 1980-1994. Das Staatsrecht der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ( 4 volumes so far). Ménchen: Beck.

GUBERNATORIAL BUDGETING . A budget system granting the chief executive the authority to receive and analyze agency requests, to estimate revenues, to prepare a unified budget proposal for submission to the legislature, and to veto all or part of legislatively enacted appropriations bills.

American executives lack the powers of their counterparts in strong two-party parliamentary systems who serve simultaneously as head of the government and leader of the majority party. The separation of powers system in the United States makes budget adoption a cooperative endeavor, involving an executive and legislature elected independently of each other. Although final spending approval rests with the legislature, the extent of executive and legislative leverage over budget outcomes varies across the United States. Arron Wildavsky ( 1992) has pointed out that allocation of budget decisionmaking power between the legislative and executive branch affects "who gets what." An executive-dominated budget system appeals to supporters of majority democracy since a person selected by the entire electorate allocates resources. A legislatively dominated budget system attracts supporters of a pluralist democracy. Legislators represent diverse districts and bring an array of divergent views into play. Budget outcomes reflect bargains and accommodations among the multiple participants in the budget process.

Until the twentieth century, U.S. legislatures dominated budget approval. Agencies bypassed executives and submitted spending requests directly to appropriations committees. Explanations of budget requests came from agencies unfiltered by executives. Once the legislature authorized spending, agencies carried out their budgets with little oversight.

By the early twentieth century, except for small local governments, size and complexity made diffused legislativecentered budgeting dysfunctional. Since no standardized format existed, agency requests lacked uniformity and were difficult to compare. Legislators found it harder to keep spending within available revenues. Accountability proved difficult since no procedures existed to guarantee that spending conformed to appropriations. As Allen Schick ( 1971) has pointed out, legislatures increased gubernatorial budget authority in exchange for greater spending accountability

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