The German Case: A Key Moderator in a Competitive Multi‐Level Environment

Andreas Maurer and Wolfgang Wessels

in The National Co-ordination of EU Policy

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199248056
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601545 | DOI:
 The German Case: A Key Moderator in a Competitive Multi‐Level Environment

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This study of the German permanent representation at Brussels unravels the complexities of co-ordination in a domestic political system characterized by vertical and horizontal pluralism, administrative fragmentation, and parallel competition from the ‘foreign relations systems’ of the Länder. Success in high politics at the European level contrasts with the ‘diplomacy of improvisation’ that is the outcome of ‘autonomy, polyphony, and organized anarchy in routine policy-making. The first section of the chapter conceptualizes the ‘Janus-like character of permanent representations at Brussels and discusses various theoretical approaches to these bodies. The following sections look at the history, growth and differentiation of the German permanent representation, its tasks, the German Länder system as a complicating factor, and the co-ordination and communication activities of the German permanent representation, which orients its European policy-making activities in six directions—between Bonn/Berlin and Brussels, within Brussels, within Bonn/Berlin, with the Länder, with the European Commission and the European Parliament, and with Brussels-based interest groups.

Keywords: Brussels; communication; EU policy; European permanent representations; European Union; German Länder system; German permanent representation; Germany; history; national policy; policy co-ordination; policy-making; tasks

Chapter.  10602 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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