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Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint$
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Kenneth Dyson and Klaus Goetz

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262955

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262955.001.0001

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The German Länder: From Milieu-Shaping to Territorial Politics

The German Länder: From Milieu-Shaping to Territorial Politics

(p.97) 5 The German Länder: From Milieu-Shaping to Territorial Politics
Germany, Europe, and the Politics of Constraint

Charlie Jeffery

British Academy

This chapter looks at Europeanization through the lens of how the German Länder have responded to challenges posed by European integration since 1985. It does this by conceiving of ‘Europeanization’ as a two-way process in which the EU imposes adaptational pressures on, but is also subject to adaptational pressures from, the Länder. The chapter also uses the timescale of fifteen years to explore the dynamics of Europeanization. It finds that the Länder have persistently sought to minimize any perceived ‘misfit’ between the EU decision-making process and their domestic role as constituent units of the German federation. The nature of the misfit, and ideas on its resolution, have, however, changed over time as both the EU and Germany have adapted to the post-Cold War era. An initial concern for winning collective rights of access to a deepening EU is now being supplanted by a concern to protect individual Länder autonomy within the framework of the German member state from what is increasingly perceived as an unnecessarily interventionist EU.

Keywords:   Europeanization, European integration, EU intervention, adaptational pressure, autonomy

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