European and foreign policy of the Länder
in The Länder and German federalism

European policy is now to a considerable extent domestic policy in Germany, and many responsibilities that have traditionally belonged to the Länder have been and are today the subjects of European Community – now European Union (EU) – regulations and legislation. The efforts by the Länder to protect their sphere of responsibility from EU incursions or, at the very least, to participate in the decision making that affects them directly, have been of varying success over the years. However, it seems as if they are now in a stronger position than ever before to influence decisions in Brussels. This chapter explores the European and foreign policy of the Länder in Germany. It first considers European integration as a challenge to the Länder, early efforts to protect Länder rights in European integration, and the Bundesrat and the ratification of the Single European Act. The chapter then discusses the negotiation and ratification of the Maastricht Treaty, as well as Länder involvement in other foreign relations.

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