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Europe

German Regions Demand Bigger Say in EU Affairs

A quarrel has broken out between German Länder and the German government about who should do what at the European level.

A quarrel has broken out between German Länder and the German government about who should do what at the European level. The EU's biggest member state is currently debating how to modernize its federalist system and most of the heads of Germany's 16 Länder (states) are fighting for more power at the EU level. But the federal government is strongly resisting. Speaking after a meeting on Thursday, the leader of Bavaria, Germany's biggest state, Edmund Stoiber said that particularly now in an enlarged Europe and with the proposed EU Constitution, the power of the Länder should be increased. However, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, speaking to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said that granting more powers to the Länder is "out of the question." She added that she would really like to see their powers reduced. According to article 23 of the German constitution, Länder, so long as they already have the competence domestically, must be allowed to take part in forming the German government's opinion on Europe. In some cases, this right is extended to being allowed to actually negotiate. ( EUobserver.com)

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