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On the Constitutionality of a Hauptausschuss (Main Committee) in the German Bundestag

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2019

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Since the end of 2013, Germany has been governed by a “grand coalition” of the biggest parties—Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), together with its Bavarian sister, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party (SPD). While one can generally call the hitherto work of the current government quite productive (regardless of any qualitative assessment), the first few months of the 18th legislature period painted a different picture: due to tough and slowly progressing negotiations over a new government, the German Parliament was paralyzed for a considerable time. After the election of 22 September 2013, in which Ms. Merkel's CDU missed an absolute majority, the constitutive session of the Bundestag took place on 22 October 2013, which was the last possible date within the thirty-day deadline as set out by Art. 39(2) of the Grundgesetz (German Basic Law). The new government, however, was elected not before 17 December 2013. In between, the new Bundestog could not effectively begin to work as the interplay with the government is an important part of the Parliament's work. Urgent business had to be left untouched. In order to end this deadlock, the factions of CDU/CSU and SPD took a unique step: they established a so-called “Main Committee” (Hauptausschuss), which was intended to serve as a preliminary body dealing with the most urgent tasks until a new government would finally be formed.

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Copyright © 2015 by German Law Journal GbR 

References

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