“In Germany, the Constitution and institutions are prime targets for populist movements” | EUROtoday

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Ln May 23, the German Basic Law celebrates its seventy fifth anniversary. Some six months after the French Constitution, whose sixty fifth anniversary was celebrated on October 4, 2023, these anniversaries are a possibility to take inventory. In these turbulent occasions for democracies and the rule of regulation, they invite us to have a look at the anchoring of our basic rules over time.

Few folks instantly guess on the longevity of the German Basic Law, when it was promulgated in 1949. The time period “Constitution” was exactly averted, to higher emphasize that it was the Constitution of the one western a part of Germany, ready beneath the directives of the occupying Allied forces and with out the direct participation of the folks. The activity was no much less heavy. How may this new constitutional order accompany the democratic and liberal reconstruction after its annihilation by the IIIe Nazi Reich (1933-1945)?

Article 1, paragraph 1, of the brand new Constitution definitely resonated as a promise: “The dignity of the human being is intangible. All public authorities have a duty to respect and protect it. » However, some past experiences called for caution.

Important for German identity

A century earlier, in 1849, the Constitution of the Saint-Paul church already laid the foundations of a liberal and democratic state; while, in 1919, the Weimar Constitution made it possible to take a decisive step for the political and social modernity of Germany, based on the fundamental principles of democracy, federalism, the rule of law and the State social. However, the text of 1849 was never applied, while that of 1919 drifted towards dictatorship from 1930. There is no guarantee that a “good” Constitution will show itself.

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It is subsequently all of the extra outstanding that the relative disinterest which accompanied the delivery of the Basic Law in 1949 was progressively overcome: the time period of “constitutional patriotism”launched into the German debate in 1979 and popularized by Jürgen Habermas, displays the significance of constitutional tradition for German id – one thing for which it’s tough to seek out an equal in France.

The consensus on the Basic Law was a decisive argument after the autumn of the Berlin Wall. [en 1989]when the query was raised concerning the advisability of rewriting a Constitution for the complete German folks: in 1990, the Basic Law was merely revised to increase its scope of utility to the 5 Eastern Länder.

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