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In general, however, the president did not become an active veto player during the Merkel government. Coalition partners rather than institutions help to explain why there was little policy change in some areas. The leading partner of the RedGreen Coalition SPD remained in power and could thus veto all reform plans the Christian Democrats might have entertained, particularly with regard to taxation, privatization, the labor market, and the welfare state.

The failure to push through a general minimum wage is a case in point. In this case, both partners believed that something had to be done, but at the same time they fundamentally disagreed on what that should be. Therefore, it was hard to find a shared concept to start with, and it was of paramount importance for the coalition partners to preserve as much future leeway as possible, in order to adopt the most favored idea in case the next election provided them with a Bundestag majority.

Similarly, the incoherence of the bank rescue package can also be explained by the diverging programmatic positions of the coalition partners Enderlein The SPD did not want to spend an immense amount of public money to safe banks without holding to account the managers who were responsible for the problems of their institutions. This meant that some kind of punishment had to be introduced for those banks that needed help from the state.

Therefore, the salaries of managers of banks obtaining help were capped and bonuses were strictly regulated. On the other hand, the Christian Democrats refused all policy options that would imply partial nationalizations. This, however, meant that banks could not be obliged to make use of capital injections. In the end, these conf licting positions led to the ineffective combination of a voluntary scheme with penalties for participating banks.

Both parties agreed that it was necessary to act. With regard to the federalism reform, a ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court was of prime importance. As a consequence, large parts of the federal law were in danger of being unconstitutional Scharpf , — In order to safeguard such legislation and also to prevent a policy gridlock triggered by diverging majorities in the Bundestag and Bundesrat , the first federalism reform was adopted.

The fact that the nominal business tax rates were higher than almost anywhere else in the EU was also seen as problematic by tax experts in all parties. Finally, it was also very hard to deny the importance of a swift and extensive response to the worst economic crisis Germany had seen in its post-war history. In sum, when a reform was undisputedly needed, the Grand Coalition promptly showed its ability and willingness to adopt broad and sometimes even unpopular acts. The urgency of structural reforms in economic and social policy decreased from onward, when the economic situation improved substantially and unemployment started to fall.

Therefore, such reforms seemed less necessary and were postponed. A second group of reforms was also adopted, although the related problems were not considered as extremely urgent. Relevant examples include changes in family policy, the pension age increase, and budget consolidation Schmidt ; Henninger and von Wahl In all of these cases, strong ministers were able to push through their pet solutions with Merkel backing them. It should be noted, however, that New Possibilities or Permanent Gridlock? Because it suffered most from the success of the Left Party, the SPD embraced these provisions in order to make its mark as a party promoting social justice Batt The Christian Democrats accepted those changes because they feared losing votes should they veto these reforms, and some reforms such as extended unemployment benefits were actually initiated by the Christian Democrats in order to attract more voters.

Moreover, the coalition shied away from welfare or labor market reforms that were expected to be unpopular among voters. Conclusion The policy legacy of the Grand Coalition is characterized, on one hand, by some extensive, successful reforms, which were either responses to pressing problems or pushed through by strong ministers with the backing of the chancellor. Contrary to what some of the literature might suggest Miskimmon et al.

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On the other hand, in several policy areas the Merkel government could not seize the opportunity provided by holding the majority in both chambers of parliament. The main reason for this is that the partners of the Grand Coalition were unable to suspend the routine patterns of policy-making, particularly the fierce electoral competition among themselves. Let us dispense with the well-rehearsed rituals, the reflex howls of protest, if we want to change anything.

Surely it ought to be possible for us to leave all that behind. Note 1. According to Klaus von Beyme , key decisions are characterized by three criteria: a the innovative character of laws, b the public attention paid to an issue in the media and in society at large, and c the conf licts generated by the measure.

Nevertheless, it is possible that even key decisions do not imply far-reaching policy change: actors may aim at major change but may be unable to get their bills adopted. The first far-reaching constitutional reform was passed in by the first Grand Coalition that had been in power since This chapter provides a detailed account and assessment of the constitutional reform. These goals were endorsed by constitutional amendments in three areas.

Disentanglement of Multilevel Governance A similar mixed result occurred in the disentanglement of multilevel governance. A definitive move toward a clearcut distribution of competences Toward a New German Federalism? Redistribution of Legislative Powers The distribution of legislative powers has been adjusted in five different ways. First, additional competences have been ascribed to the federal level, partly from the framework legislation directory and partly from the concurrent powers list, 8 particularly in the areas where uniform legislation is preferred.

The necessity clause Erforderlichkeitsklausel —the condition under which the Bund can make use of its concurrent power—as outlined in Article 72 Basic Law, was restricted to a set of clearly defined matters.

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This step was a reaction to two Federal Constitutional Court FCC rulings removing from the federal government discretion about the requirement of a uniform legislation in concurrent power fields. The reform introduced a fourth and completely new approach to the legislative competence distribution. This constitutes a departure from the general principle that federal law prevails over Land law. Land legislation does not prevent the Bund from issuing new legislation in the respective field, but in order to slow down a potential legislative seesaw, any federal law comes into effect only six months after its approval.

While such decision still Toward a New German Federalism? However, a proper evaluation of the federalism reform requires a closer look at its broad political consequences. End of Deadlock? Whether the federalism reform was successful in this regard remains a disputed issue. In the few years since , several published studies have analyzed the effects of rewriting Articles 84 and Using different methodologies, the studies have different conclusions.

How can we best address the federalism reform effect on the Bundesrat role while the Grand Coalition was in office? Limited Veto Rights of the Bundesrat First, we will look at the aftermath of the modifications of Article 84 Basic Law concerning federal laws containing administrative stipulations. Georgii and Borhanian were overly optimistic in assuming that the federal government would not use its power to declare administrative provisions in federal laws mandatory, triggering the Bundesrat approval.

In the first year after the reform went into effect this provision accounted for approximately one-fourth of the entire legislation requiring the Bundesrat consent. This could be seen as a proof that uniform legislation and implementation are still the overarching goals of the federal government.

The picture changes slightly if one takes into account the Bundesrat session data not covered by Risse analysis the federal government invoked Article 84 paragraph 1 clause 5 and 6 for twenty-four cases— fourteen of them related to international treaties and European law, and two pertained to environmental policy. He lists nineteen bills in which the new requirement could have been activated, because they contained detailed provisions for administrative implementation and were not already subject to Bundesrat consent by any other Basic Law article.

But again, these data do not necessarily imply that future federal governments will act the same way. Toward a New German Federalism? According to a federal government official report issued in April , Article a sparked a mandatory Bundesrat approval in seven cases, accounting for Again, it is too early to conclude from these figures that Fritz Scharpf was wrong when he predicted that this new stipulation would outweigh the limitations of the Bundesrat veto right caused by the Article 84 reformulation Scharpf , 7.

Based on a counterfactual analysis, Burkhart et al. Second, the relevance of Article a will depend on the political agenda of the particular federal government. Even assuming a 20 percent reduction for the legislation quota requiring Bundesrat approval, a different picture is emerging regarding key policies such as health care, social security, the labor market and, of course, taxes. Against such background, the Grand Coalition offers interesting insights. A good case in point is the health policy. The labor market policy is a different story.

In October , the FCC invalidated one important element of the so-called Hartz-IV reform,17 which is the creation of joint agencies involving the German Labor Office and local governments, forcing the federal government to find an alternative solution by the end of However, such amendment was not supported by the CDU federal parliamentary party, and no other compromise could be reached until the end of the legislative term.

Eventually, in this instance, it was not the Bundesrat that acted as a veto player but rather the governing majority at the federal level. Once again, the Bavarian representatives in the Bundesrat refused to support the bill. Parts of this legislative project were later introduced into the Bundestag and finally passed with the Bundesrat consent. Executive cooperation is a dominant feature of German federalism, as illustrated not only by the structure and role of the Bundesrat but also by the complex system of horizontal and vertical executive intersections.

Although the number of committees established by the conferences has been reduced substantially, the system of permanent cooperation that triggers a great degree of uniformity in administering federal laws has remained essentially untouched Benz ; Lhotta and Blumenthal The ministerial conferences still play a decisive role in the policy-making, and the so-called brotherhoods of technocrats Fachbruderschaften still exert their influence Machura , The most striking example of the failure of disentanglement can be found in the policy field of university education. The founding document gives a clear impression of an enduring spirit of cooperation guiding intergovernmental relations.

The related task list repeats the wording of Article 91 while paragraph 2 suggests even possible task transfers to the conference. An extensive collection of the Joint Science Conference press releases provides a clear record of its relevance for the research and university education policy fields. In this respect, three different scenarios seem probable.

In this case, the new German federalism would not be characterized by a greater diversity but rather by uniform legislation and implementation, as outlined by the informal and not particularly transparent institutions of horizontal executive cooperation. Second, in many policy fields differences can be explained in partisan terms. Thus, party politics can be a decisive factor for arriving at more diversity.

The third and last factor to consider is represented by historical and cultural legacies. In this case, efforts to agree on a uniform policy have taken place within ministerial conferences but no agreement has actually been reached. In this context the most controversial area is the public service policy Leunig and Pock The second policy embracing this pattern is the no smoking regulation imposed on restaurants, bars, and other public places.

The laws differ to the extent that exceptions are planned for small pubs, restaurants with separate smoking rooms, and special events. The third case concerns the legislation on shop closing hours. Whether a Land has passed a more restrictive legislation on this issue cannot be traced back to party politics—it rather depends on the relative influence of the churches, which generally press for a Sunday trading ban.

Nine of them 25 have agreed on common standards for legislation on imprisonment. The remaining seven have passed bills that are mostly in line with the common standards but take separate paths regarding some key questions— notably, whether to deal with juvenile offenders separately, stressing education as an important goal, and whether the priority should be put on protecting society at large or on reintegrating offenders into society Leunig and Pock This aspect points to the fact that, despite the centralized organization and vertical integration of German parties, they show distinct regional profiles Grande , ; Blumenthal , — One interesting example is the right of assembly.

The first to complete the legislative process was Bavaria, feeling the need for a more restrictive regulation of this fundamental right as it relates to the existing federal legislation Leunig and Pock A similar pattern exists in the university education area. Although it is too early to give a final assessment, overall the first three years under the reformed constitution revealed that, notwithstanding the number of amendments applied to the constitution, the foundations of the German cooperative federalism have not been shattered.

Key political decisions still require the consent of the Bundesrat. Whether in the longrun the reform will have a substantial impact on the German federal system of joint decision-making ultimately depends on how the major political actors will employ their powers. The role the CSU played in the last months of the Grand Coalition confirms the observation of Arthur Benz that the major political parties have lost some of their capacity to mediate federal-regional conf licts. It remains to be seen whether under the conditions of the five-party system new modes of compromising will develop or whether the greater complexity of the party system will lead to more conf lict.

Whether German federalism will embark on a development path toward greater diversity and less unity eventually depends on choices political actors make and on public expectations. As long as the Scharpf statement that Germans accept federalism as long as it does not make a difference Scharpf , 10 is true, a federal structure based on disentanglement and competition will not emerge. For a detailed account of the reform, see Renzsch , — For a detailed account of the KOMBO commission, established by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in October , its proceedings and an explanation of its failure in December , cf.

Benz and Lhotta et al. Positive assessments were given by the main political actors cf. Schmidt , , whereas political scientists remained skeptical Benz , Scharpf On the historical legacies that shaped the development of German federalism cf.

Lehmbruch On this topic cf. In the limited number of policy fields listed in Article 75 Basic Law, such as public service, general principles of university education, the press regulation, and nature protection, the Bund had the right to pass legislation setting some general rules the framework. In the numerous fields of concurrent powers Art. Federal exclusive powers comprise weapons, nuclear energy, residency registration and identity cards, safeguarding German cultural assets against their removal from the country former framework legislation , benefits for disabled war veterans, dependents of deceased war victims, and assistance to former prisoners of war former concurrent power.

The conditions of Article 72 applied to both concurrent and framework legislation. Here, again, a loophole is created: with the Bundesrat consent, the sixmonth delay can be overcome. Georgii and Borhanian used a counterfactual analysis assessing which bills would have required the consent by the Bundesrat if the federalism reform had been in force since Bundesrat, Session No. For a definition of key decisions, cf.

See Tagesspiegel, December 17, , Bohsem et al. For more details on health reform, cf. Konle-Seidl In a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation between 30 and 59 percent of the recipients pointed to the federal level as the reference for equal standards of living Bertelsmann Stiftung , Initially Saxony was also part of this initiative Leunig and Pock A Grand Coalition project to abolish the federal framework legislation by October failed to be approved before the federal election. At the same time, the electoral arenas at national and regional levels have been more closely intertwined than in most federal democracies.

There are two main reasons for this fact. The Greens joined them during the s, while other parties remained insignificant until Second, the idiosyncratic structure of German federalism has reinforced multilevel connections within the same party system. Such changes can considerably affect the overall federal governance, when the opposition parties gain the majority in the Bundesrat and therefore can blockade the legislation process Lehmbruch After unification, however, the German party system underwent significant changes.

This outcome not only increased the parliamentary fragmentation, but also made the building of politically congruent governments more difficult, as the post-communists were regarded as non-coalitionable by all other parties. In any case, there is good reason to assume that a Grand Coalition government at the federal level provides a specific landscape and peculiar conditions which are likely to affect multilevel party politics.

A short conclusion summarizes our findings. Multilevel effects on voting behavior have been primarily set out by the theory of second-order elections Reif and Schmitt ; Jeffery and Hough The second kind of multilevel effects is related to the government formation process. In Germany, coalition-building at the regional level has largely followed the given patterns at the federal level Debus As mentioned before, federal government parties have a vital interest in relying on a Bundesrat majority in order to avoid political deadlock by federal opposition parties.

However, such consistent majorities are all but easily achieved. If a Land government is composed of federal governmental as well as opposition parties, the coalition treaty usually stipulates abstention in controversial Bundesrat decisions. Under this perspective, another aspect is worth analyzing: the political in consistence between Bundestag and Bundesrat. As a consequence, the Bundesrat is likely to be dominated by the federal opposition. This structural tendency toward divided government is also mirrored empirically: Germany has seen long periods of politically divergent majorities in both the Bundestag and Bundesrat during the s and early s, and also later on in the s and s Wagschal and Grasl , — Let us address now the possible changes of such multilevel effects with a Grand Coalition in power at the federal level.

This landscape gives citizens a further incentive to support smaller right- or left-wing parties featuring more clear-cut profiles. Although both Volksparteien are expected to lose considerably at the polls, together they should remain strong enough to secure a majority of parliamentary seats in any Land and thus could move on to build shared governments. In Bremen and Hamburg, the SPD was the predominant party and uninterruptedly in power from the s to the s, either alone or with the Liberals.

After the unification, in each of these three cases, the two catch-all parties lost significantly in the elections while minor parties— including populists and extremists—could set foot in the parliament. The party systems in the five Eastern states, reestablished on the territory of the German Democratic Republic GDR in , featured remarkable differences in respect to the federal party system.

Their most obvious trait has been the strong presence of the PDS, the political heirs of the communist state party SED. Since the mids, the post-communists have regularly gained around 20—25 percent of the votes. At the electoral level, their party systems continued to resemble the federal party system after the unification: a relatively high vote concentration on the two major parties and an almost constant presence of Liberals and Greens in the regional parliaments. A similar evolution took place in Saarland, where the CDU was the strongest party and permanently in government until the mids, but was then replaced by a series of SPD single-party cabinets.

After the elections, the Christian Democrats returned to power, this time alone. In April , parliamentary elections resulted in a political gridlock then leading to the first ever Grand Coalition in this Land. This left-liberal government—the first and only one after the reunification—survived several consecutive terms. In contrast to the aforementioned cases, Hesse saw an almost uninterrupted series of left-wing governments, although SPD and CDU came very close to each other in terms of votes since the s.

Structural asymmetries between the regional and the federal party systems turned out to be strongest in the city-states and in the East, while the traditional congruence prevailed in the South and in the West. The increased diversity at the electoral level also translated into a broad variety of party governments, which also included a series of new alliances never tried out before on either level.

Therefore, second order effects are most likely to occur during this period. In these votes, which immediately preceded or were held simultaneously with the Bundestag elections, federal party politics should have had a particularly strong effect. The Social Democrats, on the other hand, saw a significant decline —8. However, this outcome was not caused by federal issues but rather expressed an overall preference for the political status quo in the Land Gabriel Accordingly, the electoral campaign lacked any polarization, and the overall turnout was The Rhineland-Palatinate elections were characterized by similar features, though under different political auspices Gothe Since the Greens failed to cross the 5-percentthreshold, the SPD won an absolute majority of seats and could form a single-party cabinet.

The Christian Democrats, in contrast, had their worst-ever result, and turnout also fell to an all-time low of Slightly more significant changes were observed in Saxony-Anhalt, although the federal influence was also limited in this case Holtmann , The most relevant electoral results were, along with the lowest turnout since The CDU and SPD instead experienced only minor changes in their respective vote share and eventually formed a government together.

In Berlin, the SPD under its popular leader Klaus Wowereit was confirmed as the strongest party, while its government ally suffered heavy losses. Again, the turnout reached an all-time low of Whereas the CDU obtained its worst performance since Since the Red-Red government would have had the narrowest possible margin in the new parliament, the SPD opted for the only remaining political alternative: a Grand Coalition. These features went along with a mild but encouraging support for the recentlyappointed federal Grand Coalition, a pattern consistent with the electoral cycle theories, expecting favorable results for the governmental Table 3.

In Berlin, instead, both parties were present. Variations, if any, refer to the PDS. Other minor parties obtained together 3. Other minor parties obtained together six percent of the votes and no seats. Other minor parties obtained together 6. Furthermore, and also in line with our theoretical considerations, the general electoral turnout experienced a dramatic fall: it was 9.

This outcome eventually provided the Merkel government with a two-thirds majority in the Bundesrat—the strongest support achieved by a federal cabinet in decades. During its second year, the Grand Coalition had progressively lost terrain. The main causes are to be detected in the slow policy-making process and the long negotiations between the governing parties upon most of the reform issues chapters 1 and 2. The city-state of Bremen was the only Land to hold elections in The outcome showed the main features expected from an election hold under a Grand Coalition table 3.

Furthermore, the LP set foot in a Western Land parliament for the first time and even with a remarkable vote share 8. In the Lower Saxony, where a confirmation of the ruling coalition CDU-FDP was generally expected, the electoral temperature was low and the voter turnout even lower Broughton The CDU, despite considerable losses, held in fact the power with the Liberals, while the LP again succeeded in gaining entree in the parliament Saretzki and Tils In Hesse, instead, after a heated campaign, the CDU and SPD earned almost identical vote shares, with the Christian Democrats suffering a bad loss and the Social Democrats performing unexpectedly well.

This trend—more than the relative party strengths table 3. The alliance with the Greens was not enough to reach the majority, but a coalition with the LP, which had again performed well, had been excluded by the SPD during the campaign. A month later in Hamburg, the CDU lost its parliamentary majority but remained the predominant party, as the SPD vote share was only moderately above its all-time low recorded in Horst Given the situation, rather than pursuing a Grand Coalition, the CDU opted for an alliance with the Greens, thus forming the first Black-Green government in German history.

However, the biggest surprise came from the Bavarian election in September The Christian Democrats suffered a dramatic defeat in their oldest and biggest stronghold, losing This unexpected—at least in quantitative terms— debacle forced the CSU to form a coalition government with the FDP, after more than forty years of single-party rule. Apart from this most relevant result, other data are worth noticing as well. First, the SPD achieved its worst result ever in this Land Second, the Liberals returned to the Landtag after having missed for fourteen years in a row the 5-percent-threshold.

On the other side, the CDU performed better than in table 3. The Greens gained six percentage points and the LP was again able to gain access to the Hesse Landtag. Political difficulties began to concern federal government parties in the second half of their term, as foreseen by the electoral cycle theories. Both the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats lost ground in nearly all six elections. These losses were counterbalanced by improved performances by the Greens and the Liberals, while the LP set foot in four out of the five parliaments renewed in these months. As shown in table 3.

This finding is particularly interesting for Hesse and Hamburg where the elections failed to produce either a rightwing or a left-wing majority in the Parliament. After the CDU-FDP coalition establishment in Hesse, the Merkel government, though still commanding two thirds of the Bundestag seats, had even lost the absolute majority in the second chamber. Furthermore, when in July the Grand Coalition fell apart in Schleswig-Holstein, the early elections called in this Land were also set for September In Saxony, the CDU declined but could maintain its position as the strongest political force table 3.

Because the Liberals performed extremely well, the Christian Democrats were able to put an end to the Grand Coalition and to form a government with the FDP. In both cases, the CDU single-party governments had continuously lost their popularity and the party itself experienced a heavy electoral decline over 10 percentage points.

The real winners were again the smaller parties: Liberals, Greens and especially the LP, which gained its best result in both states.

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Their outcomes differed insofar from the previous ones, as the concurrent federal elections led to a remarkably higher turnout both in short and long time comparison table 3. In Schleswig-Holstein the electoral support for both CDU and SPD fell to an all-time low only in the CDU performed worse , counterbalanced by a twofold gain for the Greens and the Liberals, which instead achieved their best result ever. Finally, the Brandenburg outcome revealed little difference in regards to previous elections—both the Liberals and the Greens gained seats, thus confirming the main trend emerged during the Grand Coalition term.

As a consequence, the two Volksparteien continued to lose electoral support, while Liberals, Greens and the LP gained some power. This outcome can be explained by the electoral timing, that is, the federal elections approaching and the electoral expectations raising. Finally, as for the government formation, the last weeks in the term have been overshadowed by the probable post-electoral prospects at the federal level.

In fact, no Grand Coalition was formed before the Bundestag elections. The Saxon CDU-FDP coalition, on the other hand, was established only two weeks after the respective vote, as a sort of symbolic forerunner for a similar outcome at the federal level. Consequently, the new governments in Thuringia and Saarland were established only after the federal elections.

Conclusion Has the — Grand Coalition affected multilevel party politics in a particular way? Following the above analysis, this question requires a differentiated answer. Furthermore, both the CDU and SPD recorded almost permanent and often unprecedented large losses in their vote shares since the midterm time.

In contrast to electoral cycle theories, this trend also continued during the end-term time, which might be ascribed to the additional negative effect of a federal Grand Coalition on the decline of the Volksparteien. On the contrary—and confirming this claim the other way round—smaller non-centrist parties, especially Liberals and the LP, have performed much better than before, in many cases better than ever.

This aspect emerges especially when looking at the respective government formation processes. Somewhat contrary to our expectation, although political consistency between the federal and regional executives increased during the honeymoon time, then it decreased constantly so that the Merkel government—quite similar to its Red-Green predecessor—lost its Bundesrat majority and could not regain it until its term end. Our tentative answer, below, is based on two major grounds.

Therefore, the CDU-SPD coalitions formed in Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in were not pushed by either of the federal parties, but were rather seen as a last resort under the given political circumstances. Similarly, a federal government comprising CDU and Greens has hardly been imaginable for the time being, but the two parties actually became partners in Hamburg and Saarland In this perspective, if a need to form a federal Grand Coalition should emerge again, sooner or later such alliance will have to face a divided government—like its — predecessor and any other federal executive in unified Germany.

Empirical data on individual cases are based on Jun et al. Even the German reunification did not change this EU-friendly attitude. However, supporters of the pragmatization thesis must take into consideration the huge amount of money the unified Germany has needed—and still needs—for overcoming its former division. Has the first Merkel government been able to take up the traditional German role in most cases, along with France of promoting new goals and visions within the integration community?

The inner-cabinet distribution of competences in the EU affairs saw only moderate changes. Only the finance minister had to give away its EU coordination competences to the economic affairs ministry, which already managed this position before Instead, the Grand Coalition wanted to instill new quality and intensity to its cooperation with neighbors and new member states. Furthermore, Merkel gained much approval and appreciation by being complaisant during the negotiations on the EU financial framework —, closured by the Brussels EU Council in December Luxembourg proposed 1.

Her readiness to tirelessly support a compromise in the most different constellations [is said to have been] of particular significance, just as her trustworthiness that. On one hand, the new financial framework meant an additional burden of about 2 billion Euros for Germany, which gave away 0. On the other hand, the improved financial contributions agreement reached at the December EU Council must be acknowledged, as in the future all old EU member states would contribute to the EU budget with a share ranging between 0. Indeed, in June the European Council instructed Germany to outline, after extensive consultations with the other member states, an assessment report on the state of discussion with regard to the Constitutional Treaty and its future developments particularly about appropriate steps for the second semester.

The first one included the 18 member states that had ratified the treaty, representing The second camp was formed by France and the Netherlands, whose citizens had rejected the TCE, but whose governments strongly favored a constitutional process revival. But in the course of an open and flexible strategy was finally pushed through: in the case of further negotiations, the TCE substance had to be preserved.

France gave another important contribution toward the implementation of a new strategy. His trick, however, was that such a simplified treaty could be ratified by the French Parliament without endangering the need for another referendum— thus attracting also those governments being confronted with domestic demands for a popular vote on the treaty. When on May 6, Sarkozy was elected President of France this plan could finally be launched and the TCE supporters had moved a good deal toward a solution of the constitutional crisis.

Initially it was necessary to build up a certain time pressure, in order to spur the decision-making willingness among the 27 EU members. For this purpose, the chancellor used the Berlin Declaration on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome in March For we know, Europe is our common future. Also for the roadmap design Merkel chose a confidential style, discussing it exclusively with and addressing a questionnaire only to the heads of state and government; by help of which in April the presidency tried to record proposed alterations of the TCE; every member state was allowed to state two proposals Maurer , 6—7.

Furthermore, Chancellor Merkel suggested that the upcoming European Council should provide the following Intergovernmental Conference IGC with a precise and comprehensive mandate that would elaborate a new treaty until the end of However, some key issues, such as the distribution of votes in the Council of Ministers, remained to be solved by the European Council.

Summoning up, Angela Merkel and her government, during the German presidency, had tirelessly undertaken all necessary efforts to enable the June EU summit to finalize the treaty reform—thus exceeding the high flying expectations toward Berlin. Accordingly, several times Angela Merkel asked for and received help from her French, Luxemburg, Spanish, and even British colleagues in order to reach the needed compromises. This way the European Council itself was finally able to achieve complex compromises, leaving just a few minor decisions to the IGC. However, such compromise came with its own price: the symbolic and substantial cuts imposed to the TCE document.

However, these few but painful losses must be compared to the major achievements accomplished by the European Council decisions: the preservation of most TCE substantial provisions, particularly those related to its institutional part such as the double majority, the empowerment of the European Parliament and the important strengthening of the High Representative CEPS, EGMONT, EPC ; Lieb et al. Merkel and the Grand Coalition government spurred these valuable achievements with the excellent conduct of the German presidency and the intense consultations of all the member states.

After reaching an agreement on some minor changes—for example, the increase of the Italian seat quota in the European Parliament adding one more seat, for a total of 72 and a further tightening of the Ioannina Clause—the reform treaty could be ceremoniously signed by the European Council on December 12, But even after this new European disaster the first Merkel government actively and reliably supported the Lisbon Treaty, particularly when in December under French presidency it was about making the Irish have a second referendum on the new treaty.

Tirelessly and with distinctive pertinacity the Merkel government supported this goal. Just ten weeks after her nomination, Angela Merkel was as popular as no chancellor before: she got an 80 percent approval rating from German citizens Focus, February 3, When the EU presidency was running out, a 73 percent of Germans taking part in a survey gave her good or very good marks Allensbach survey, July 20, This approval rating continued well beyond the EU German presidency terms: in mid, Angela Merkel received an 85 percent positive feedback in representing Germany across the world Forsa survey, July 9, However, often such references did not only mean praise but also reproach.


Whereas former chancellors tended to discover EU policy as a fabulous stage only after some years in office, thus giving room to their foreign ministers, Angela Merkel immediately and extensively occupied that policy field, with the EU presidency procuring her further justification. The German EU presidency gave fresh impetus to such commitment and prepared to face new challenges, a context where the Germany presidency of the G8 summit proved to be very helpful.

Chancellor Merkel, former federal environment minister, could thus reach back to an extensive stock and take up the energy supply security issue, which the British EU presidency had placed on the EU agenda during the first Russian-Ukrainian gas struggle. Germany proposed an overall goal combining supply security, economy and sustainability—that is, it pursued an integrated approach to climate protection and energy policy.

Compared to , the EU intended to save 20 percent of greenhouse gases by year ; should other big emitters join, the reduction quota could be increased even to 30 percent. The plan called also for a 20 percent less energy consumption, thus reducing the import dependence and increasing supply security. Finally, 20 percent of EU total energy consumption should come from renewable sources.

As a follow-up to the 20—20—20 formula, at the G8 summit held at Heiligendamm on June 7, , the European countries, headed by Angela Merkel, succeeded in making US President Bush promise to join the post-Kyoto process. But when in December the European Council passed under French EU presidency an extensive climate pack, the former ambitions could not be met entirely. Interestingly enough, Merkel not only agreed with such cuts in the climate protection goals she had essentially defined before, but also decided actually to push for them. Furthermore, she massively supported the protection of particularly energy-intensive industries in the context of emission trading.

The chancellor defended herself by stating that the EU self-obligation to reduce greenhouse gases by 20 percent until was not endangered by these industry concessions. Such criticism, however, was overstated, because Merkel emphasized her climate-political commitment by making financial concessions to the Eastern European member states, particularly Poland, in order to overcome their resistance toward the 20—20—20 formula. Despite these cut backs, the EU continued to be the only entity in the world to set strict and binding goals in its climate protection policy.

The Grand Coalition was crucial in enabling the EU to play temporarily a leadership role in world climate protection policy. Particularly Chancellor Merkel got under heavy pressure, as she blocked for several months a joint crisis management at EU level. On the contrary, French President Sarkozy was depicted as a positive example.

But Merkel insisted that her reflationary programs were already a sufficient measure, thus rejecting a competition for spending additional billions of public money. European Successes in Crisis Management After months of disagreement in the spring of , the EU surprisingly achieved a renewed unity and ability to act. This achievement has to be interpreted in a differentiated manner. Rather, the joint EU ref lationary program itself was quite modest: 30 billion Euros instead of the intended billion Euros.

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Addressing the international financial system, the G20 London summit in April passed various framework decisions aimed at putting an end to the previously predominant irresponsibility. Since the s, the German-French relationship has been of outstanding significance for the European integration process: they are often addressed as the driving force of integration.

Against this historical background the question arises which importance the Merkel government assigned to France within its EU policy. Consequently, such German-French relation as the driving force of integration must focus on the period after Sarkozy took office. Initially, the mutual relationship between Merkel and Sarkozy was characterized by evident problems. Particularly obvious were the distinctive differences between the two politicians about their character and style: on one hand, the extremely fast-acting French president always aiming at media attention and show effects, and on the other hand the extremely sober, highly rational and deliberately acting German chancellor.

Here, too, the pragmatization of German EU policy kept on going. Originally, on the European side Sarkozy planned only the involvement of Mediterranean states, while all other EU members, including Germany, were not supposed to participate, or only to some financing respect. But in spring something changed: the willingness to make a fresh start and enhancing bilateral cooperation was confirmed at the German-French Council of Ministers meeting in Berlin on March 12, , where both leaders underlined a more relaxed atmosphere.

Probably the most important one was the insight that, facing the financial and economic crisis, the EU urgently needed a strong driving force for common action. By the end of the Grand Coalition term the German-French relation has got back into routine. Probably this step came as a surprise to all those who, as a result of the Eastern enlargement, predicted the end of the German-French special role in and for Europe. Currently it seems that there is no alternative to the German-French driving force of integration, working together as a powerhouse and a pacemaker within the EU, thus providing new ideas and dynamics.

On the one hand, the great and continuous commitment to create new treaty foundations stands out. On the other hand therefore, Angela Merkel could be reproached for not having imposed her leadership will. It is also undeniable that the energy and climate policy, along with the financial crisis management, showed that Merkel openly tried to push through national interests. Even if still under a moderate approach, the German EU policy combines in a previously unknown way a reliable integration-friendly attitude with enforcing national interests.

In other words, pragmatization goes on. In conclusion, the Merkel government has shown a result-oriented and sober political style, able to achieve much at the European and international level. Neither the chancellor nor the foreign minister were actually able to open up new prospects for the EU, to outline attracting perspectives toward an accomplished integration. Their European policy lacked any kind of glamour, any pathos. The following quotations refer to Coalition Agreement , — Germany was counted among the ratifiers because in summer the Bundestag and Bundesrat had passed the Constitutional Treaty with a clear majority.

The most important concession to the Irish in this context was that the Commission shall continue to include one national of each member state. As a consequence, the second Irish referendum was set on October 2, and won. In December at the Copenhagen climate summit, however, the EU failed to set the pace thus allowing others, mainly the United States and China, to forestall any serious agreements in the post-Kyoto process. In , the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, also called Barcelona process, between the EU and all Mediterranean abutter states was initiated. The Sleepy Development to the Federal Election Giorgia Bulli Introduction The elections in Germany could have been an ideal time for a lively electoral and media confrontation.

However, the elections have been universally described as one of the less exciting in the history of the Federal Republic. Was this because the campaign went on too long? These events are divided into three major periods following some important turning points: 1 the election of the Federal president and the European elections, whose outcome inf luenced public opinion; 2 the conventions of the five main parties, where the emphasis is on their platforms and on their coalition strategies; and 3 the electoral campaign itself.

During the — term, the parties that could benefit from this situation were the Left Party LP and the Greens, on the left side, and the Liberals FDP on the right. The situation was different on the left side. Aimed at reforming the German welfare state, the Agenda implementation resulted in broad dissatisfaction, promptly exploited by the LP.

The A Post-Modern Campaign? This limited space for political action strongly weakened the Social Democratic possibility of an electoral success. Against this background, the main issue of the election campaign turned out to be the coalition-strategy explanation as envisioned by each party. Despite a limited number of coalition options—about the same figure found in the post-electoral debate Jun a —the electoral campaign was essentially focused on coalition-building. Pushed by the parties and the mass media, the overall debate centered more on hypothetical alliances than on the economic and financial crisis, or on the proposals addressing the welfare state reform.

Pre-Campaigning Phase I : Shaping the Climate of Opinion In contrast to the federal election, characterized by a real commencement date of the campaign activities, 2 the drive did not present such a starting point. In fact, the various elections held in this period comprised a series of intermediate steps slowly leading to the official campaign.

This failure was essentially due to the opposing votes by some Social Democratic representatives SchmittBeck and Faas b. The early elections held in January not only led to a bitter defeat for the SPD, but also represented an image debacle for the party Schmitt-Beck and Faas a.

First of all, the extremely low turnout The SPD had good reasons to be worried: the The FDP, on the other hand, obtained its best-ever outcome The LP also performed well 7. In fact, He did not hide his profound disappointment with the low electoral performance, while firmly announcing the willingness to come back. As a result, the presidential and European elections deepened the negative climate toward the SPD, as shown by the opinion polls table 5. Consequently, a Black-Yellow alliance began to be perceived as a likely option. The Greens were the first to hold their convention in May its chairwoman stated that her party did not intend to participate in a Black-Yellow government.

Weimar Politics 1924 - 1928

Figures indicate percentages of votes. The Liberals also introduced their platform at their party convention in May. At the same time, the party did not abjure the labor market reforms introduced by the Red-Green cabinet. It was approved by CDU and CSU cadres of various levels, who participated in an event that resembled a talk show rather than a party convention.

What emerged from the pre-campaigning phase was a very difficult situation for the SPD. Merkel is no real chancellor bonus. Despite the SPD attempt to gain support in the population, opinion polls confirmed that only 23—25 percent of the voters favored the Social Democrats table 5. The SPD responded to this negative result by designing a professional electoral campaign. The group comprised eight men and ten women close to Steinmeier, including the SPD ministers who served in the Grand Coalition and experts in different policy areas.

Health Minister Ulla Schmidt was not included in the team: she was heavily criticized for using her official car during her holiday in Spain A Post-Modern Campaign? Actually, in some occasions the SPD seemed to compensate the lack of policy proposals by resorting to a certain spectacularization. Merkel asserted her determination not to attract media attention for assuming a contrasting position or making specific promises, thus running the risk of damaging her image.

In fact, in all opinion polls the SPD failed to show any sign of electoral recovery: a polarized confrontation with Steinmeier would have represented a useless risk for the chancellor. Last but not least, the four years of the Grand Coalition featured broad cooperation and sober confrontation between the two Volksparteien. This political style was transferred in the electoral campaign, and resisted until the end of August, when the regional elections in Thuringia, Saxony, and Saarland seemed to finally wake up the general atmosphere. The results of these elections indicated an unexpectedly bad performance for the CDU along with the SPD as well as a general increase for the FDP and the Left, with a slight growth for the Greens chapter 3.

Within a few days, the whispered accusations to Angela Merkel for her soft campaign became openly known. The so-called Ackermann affair created even more tension. Despite the strain deriving from such episodes and the following bad performance of the CDU in the regional elections, the chancellor firmly A Post-Modern Campaign? A few days later, however, the electoral campaign took another turn. During a radio program, for the first time Merkel openly criticized Steinmeier.

According to her argument, the fact that the SPD indicated a potential coalition with the LP for the elections could be interpreted as its willingness for a similar strategy for the September elections as well Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 2, Such rudeness may be interpreted as a consequence of the poor electoral results achieved by the two major parties in the regional elections—along with some pressure by the CSU and partly the FDP for a more aggressive campaign.

The debate was the only direct confrontation with the two chancellor candidates. Controversies arose before the long prepared and long awaited television event; the show was denied radio broadcasting permission FAZ. Despite some high expectations, the debate was unable to stir up emotions and to indicate a real winner.

The ninety minute contest was broadcast live and heard by In the event, Merkel and Steinmeier mostly discussed issues and questions proposed by the anchormen. Overall the event reached its peak in terms of interest and discussion about such issues as economy, finance, and social justice Faas b. As already mentioned, the debate revealed no clear winner.

Theudebert II was killed in captivity along with his son on Brunhilda's orders. Theuderic II inherited his kingdom as king of unified Austrasia. Theuderic II died of dysentery. Chlothar the Great invaded Austrasia. The Austrasian mayor of the palace Warnachar II recognized him as regent and ordered the army not to resist. The latter annexed Austrasia. Chlothar the Great issued the Edict of Paris.

Among its provisions, the edict banned Jews from holding royal office and granted the nobility the exclusive power to appoint royal officers. Chlothar the Great made the office of the mayor of the palace a lifetime appointment. Chlothar the Great donated Austrasia to his son Dagobert I. Dagobert I laid claim to Chlothar the Great's territory with the exception of Aquitaine , which he left to his half-brother Charibert II. Dagobert I dismissed Pepin of Landen as mayor of the palace.

Dagobert I established the Duchy of Thuringia on the former territory of the Thuringii. Charibert II was killed on the orders of Dagobert I. Charibert II's infant son Chilperic of Aquitaine was killed on the orders of Dagobert I , who established the Duchy of Aquitaine on his territories with the patrician Felix of Aquitaine as duke. The nobility of Austrasia joined a revolt led by Pepin of Landen. Dagobert I ceded Austrasia to his young son Sigebert III , with Adalgisel acting as coregent and mayor of the palace of Austrasia and the bishop Cunibert acting as coregent. Dagobert I died. His kingdom passed to his young son Clovis II , with his wife Nanthild acting as regent.

Pepin of Landen replaced Adalgisel as mayor of the palace of Austrasia. Otto mayor of the palace was appointed mayor of the palace of Austrasia. Otto was murdered by duke Leuthari II on the orders of Pepin of Landen's son Grimoald the Elder , who succeeded him as mayor of the palace of Austrasia. Synod of Rouen : A Catholic synod was held in Rouen which again condemned simony. Sigebert III died. Clovis II died.

Chlothar III died. His younger brother Theuderic III inherited his kingdom with the support of his mayor of the palace Ebroin. Childeric II was killed along with his wife Bilichild and a son, Dagobert, by a conspiracy of nobles. Clovis III became king of Austrasia. Dagobert II became king of Austrasia with the support of Wulfoald. Dagobert II was murdered, probably on Ebroin's orders.

Theuderic III inherited his kingdom. Pepin of Herstal accepted Theuderic's unification of the Frankish kingdoms on the condition that he replace Berthar as his mayor of the palace. Pepin of Herstal took the title Duke of the Franks. Theuderic III died. He was succeeded by his young son Clovis IV. Clovis IV died. Pepin of Herstal appointed his sons Drogo of Champagne and Grimoald the Younger mayors of the palaces in Neustria and Burgundy, respectively.

Childebert the Just died. Grimoald the Younger was assassinated. Pepin of Herstal died. His son Theudoald succeeded him as mayor of the palace of Austrasia and in the west, with his mother Plectrude as regent. Dagobert III appointed Ragenfrid mayor of the palace in the west. Pepin of Herstal's illegitimate son Charles Martel was acclaimed mayor of the palace of Austrasia by the Austrasian nobility.

Dagobert III died. Chilperic II fled to Aquitaine. Charles recognized Chilperic II as king of the Franks in exchange for his appointment as mayor of the palace with extensive powers. Chilperic II died. Battle of Avignon : Charles breached and burned the Umayyad -held city of Avignon. Battle of Narbonne : Charles besieged but failed to capture the Umayyad -held city of Narbonne. Theuderic IV died. Charles prevented his succession. Charles divided his lands between his two elder sons Carloman and Pepin the Short , the former ruling as king in the east and the latter in the west.

Concilium Germanicum : A synod called by Carloman and presided over by Saint Boniface settled some issues of Catholic ritual and organization. The Rule of Saint Benedict became mandatory in Frankish monasteries. Childeric III was appointed king of the Franks. Council of Cannstatt : Carloman executed the Alemanni nobility, numbering in the thousands, in modern Stuttgart. Carloman retired to live as a monk in Rome. His son Drogo succeeded him as mayor of the palace.

An assembly of Frankish nobles elected Pepin the Short king. Drogo was tonsured and forced to live in a monastery. Pepin the Short closed or nationalized the private mints and fixed pence and shillings to the silver French denier. Siege of Narbonne —59 : The defenders of Narbonne opened the city gates to the Franks. Pepin the Short died. His kingdom was divided between his sons Charlemagne and Carloman I , with the latter receiving territories including the Paris Basin , the Massif Central , Provence , southern Austrasia and Alsace.

Charlemagne married Desiderata of the Lombards , a daughter of Desiderius , the king of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Carloman I died. Charlemagne repudiated his marriage to Desiderata. Pope Stephen III died. Pope Adrian I was elected to succeed him as pope. Adrian demanded that Desiderius cede to the Papal States the territory surrendered in Saxon Wars : Charlemagne invaded the territory of the Saxons and destroyed their sacred symbol Irminsul near Paderborn.

Siege of Pavia —74 : Charlemagne laid siege to the Lombard capital Pavia. Siege of Pavia —74 : Desiderius opened the gates of Pavia and surrendered to Charlemagne. Charlemagne established the March of Friuli on the territory of the old Duchy of Friuli. Charlemagne appointed his son Pepin of Italy king of Italy. Massacre of Verden : Charlemagne had some forty-five hundred Saxon captives murdered at modern Verden an der Aller. Charlemagne issued the Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae , a legal code which, among other clauses, prescribed the death penalty for any Saxons who refused to convert to Christianity.

Council of Paderborn : A council held at Paderborn outlawed idolatry and called for the death penalty for anyone who had caused another to be executed for witchcraft. Charlemagne issued the Admonitio generalis , reforming the Christian liturgy in his empire and calling for the establishment of schools. Charlemagne established the Marca Hispanica between the Pyrenees and the Ebro. Siege of Trsat : Eric of Friuli , the duke of Friuli and an officer of Charlemagne , was killed during a failed siege of Trsat , in Croatia.

Charlemagne arrived in Rome. Leo took an oath of innocence of the charges of his political enemies. Charlemagne ordered them exiled. Leo crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor. Charlemagne issued the Capitularia missorum specialia , defining the office of the missus dominicus , a salaried emissary to the kingdom.

Charlemagne issued the Lex Saxonum , allowing Saxon customs which were not contradictory to Christianity and granting some rights and protections to the church in the Saxon lands. Charlemagne organized the Duchy of Saxony on the territories of the conquered Saxons.

Pepin of Italy died. He was succeeded as king of Italy by his illegitimate son Bernard of Italy. Charlemagne and Hemming of Denmark , the king of Denmark , signed the Treaty of Heiligen , promising peace and fixing their border at the Eider. Charlemagne established the March of Tuscany. Synods of Aachen — : A synod was called at the Palace of Aachen in Aachen which would conform monks to the Rule of Saint Benedict and separate them from canons , who were called to live according to the Institutio canonicorum Aquisgranensis.

Bernard died, two days after being blinded with a hot poker on Louis the Pious's orders. Lothair I inherited Italy. Louis the Pious issued the Notitia de servitio monasteriorum , which listed monasteries in his kingdom and the services they owed the crown. Louis the Pious promised the inheritance of Alamannia to his son Charles the Bald. Pepin I of Aquitaine and Louis the German declared their loyalty to their father Louis the Pious against Lothair I in exchange for the promise of a greater portion of his inheritance. Wala was deposed as abbot of Corbie Abbey and Judith returned to her husband's court.

Synod of Thionville : Ebbo publicly recanted his charges against Louis the Pious at a synod at Thionville. Louis the Pious crowned Charles the Bald king of Alamannia and Burgundy, granting him some lands which were before promised to Louis the German. Louis the German rose in revolt; Louis the Pious responded by promising all his lands save Bavaria to Charles the Bald. Pepin I of Aquitaine died. Louis the Pious appointed Charles the Bald king of Aquitaine. Louis the German invaded Swabia. Louis the Pious and Lothair I agreed to a division of the empire after the former's death, with Charles the Bald inheriting the western part and Lothair I inheriting the eastern, including Italy.

Louis the Pious died. Lothair I claimed the whole inheritance of his territories as Holy Roman Emperor. An uprising began among Saxon peasants who called themselves the Stellinga. Their soldiers pledged not to obey an order counter to this oath. Lothair I retained the title Holy Roman Emperor. Lothair II died. Louis the German and Charles the Bald signed the Treaty of Meersen , under which they agreed to partition Lotharingia between themselves.

Louis II died. Louis the German died. His kingdom was divided along ethnic lines among his sons Carloman of Bavaria , Louis the Younger and Charles the Fat , who received, roughly, Bavaria , Saxony , and Swabia , respectively. Carloman of Bavaria appointed his illegitimate son Arnulf of Carinthia duke of Carinthia.

Charles the Bald died. Carloman of Bavaria conquered Italy. Carloman of Bavaria was incapacitated, probably by a stroke. Louis the Younger died. His brother Charles the Fat inherited his kingdom. After converting to Christianity he was granted the Kennemerland as a vassal of Charles the Fat. His cousin Charles the Fat inherited his kingdom. Siege of Paris —86 : Some three hundred Viking ships arrived at Paris.

He allowed the Viking fleet to sail to Burgundy, then in revolt. Arnulf of Carinthia appointed his illegitimate son Zwentibold king of Lotharingia. Arnulf of Carinthia died. His young son Louis the Child succeeded him as king of East Francia. Zwentibold was killed by Reginar, Duke of Lorraine. His young half-brother Louis the Child inherited his kingdom. Louis the Child issued the Raffelstetten customs regulations , regulating customs on a bridge in modern Asten. Berengar ordered Louis the Blind stripped of his royal Italian and imperial titles and blinded in Verona.

Battle of Pressburg : An East Frankish army was wiped out by a Hungarian force at modern Bratislava during an attempted reconquest of Pannonia. Burchard, Duke of Thuringia , the duke of Thuringia , was killed. Thuringia was absorbed into Saxony. Battle of Lechfeld : A Hungarian force decisively defeated an East Frankish army near Augsburg after a feigned retreat.

Louis the Child died. Conrad died from injuries sustained in battle with Arnulf the Bad, Duke of Bavaria , the duke of Bavaria. He was succeeded as duke of Franconia by his younger brother Eberhard of Franconia. Henry the Fowler , the duke of Saxony and Conrad's choice, was crowned king of Germany after his election by the dukes of the stem duchies. King Charles the Simple of Lotharingia was captured in battle by French forces. Berengar was murdered by a member of his retinue. Henry died after a stroke. Rudolph II of Burgundy , the king of Burgundy , died.

Otto the Great deposed the duke of Bavaria Eberhard, Duke of Bavaria , installing his uncle Berthold, Duke of Bavaria on the condition that as king he retain the right to appoint bishops and administer royal property in Bavaria. Otto the Great prevented succession in both duchies and dissolved the former. Battle of Lechfeld : Otto the Great repelled a Hungarian invasion on the flood plain of the Lech. Otto the Great was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Gero , the margrave of the Marca Geronis , died. Otto the Great died. Otto the Great established the Margraviate of Austria , a march subordinate to Bavaria on the territory of the former March of Pannonia.

Wigger I , the margrave of Zeitz , died. Rikdag , the margrave of Meissen , inherited his territory. Gunther, Margrave of Merseburg , the margrave of Merseburg , died. Rikdag inherited his territory. Bruno of Carinthia was elected Pope Gregory V. Agnes of Germany was born. Investiture controversy : A council held at the Lateran Palace concluded that popes alone could appoint, remove and transfer bishops. Rhineland massacres : Crusaders took part in anti- Jewish violence in the Rhineland.

Hildegard of Bingen was born. Northern Crusades : A series of crusades began against the pagan peoples around the Baltic Sea. Walther von der Vogelweide was born. A field hospital was established at Acre which would become the nucleus of the Teutonic Order. The Nibelungenlied was written. Valdemar II of Denmark occupied Hamburg. Nicholas' Church was constructed in Berlin.

Rudolph I was crowned King of the Romans. Duchy of Cleves captured Duisburg. The prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire declared in the Declaration of Rhense that the election of the Holy Roman Emperor was not subject to the approval of the pope. The Imperial Diet issued the Golden Bull of , which fixed the offices of the seven prince-electors and established that the Holy Roman Emperor could be elected by a simple majority vote. The Hanseatic League was established.

The period of Meistersinger lyric poets began. The Gutenberg Bible , one of the first books in the West made using moveable type, was first printed by Johann Gutenberg. The Imperial Diet established the Reichskammergericht , a permanent court of appeal with jurisdiction over the whole of the Holy Roman Empire. German Peasants' War : An uprising of German-speaking peasants began. German Peasants' War : The war ended in the defeat of the peasant army. Siege of Vienna : The Ottoman Empire was forced to retreat after the failure of their siege of Vienna. Schmalkaldic War : The war ended in an imperial victory.

Moritzbastei was constructed as a bastion. The Peace of Augsburg was signed, granting princes of the Holy Roman Empire the right to determine the state religion within their territories. Expansion of the Cologne City Hall. The period of Meistersinger lyric poets ended. The Catholic League , an alliance of Catholic German princes, was established. Thirty Years' War : A war began which would cause massive devastation and loss of life, primarily in Germany.

Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II issued the Edict of Restitution , which demanded that lands expropriated since and in contradiction to the terms of the Peace of Augsburg be restored to the Catholic Church. Sack of Magdeburg : Forces under the command of the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic League breached the walls of the Protestant city of Magdeburg and murdered some twenty thousand of its thirty thousand inhabitants.

The Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus was killed. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born. The League of Augsburg , a military alliance of European countries, was established to defend the Palatinate from France. Leibniz founded the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Frederick II of Prussia, the Great , was born. Leibniz died. The Prussian king Frederick the Great issued an ultimatum to Austria demanding the cession of Silesia according to the terms of an inheritance treaty.

Silesian Wars : Prussia invaded Silesia. Battle of Hohenfriedberg : A Prussian force led by Frederick the Great decisively defeated the allied armies of Austria and Saxony , halting the attempted reconquest of Silesia. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born.

Third Silesian War : Prussia , Austria and Saxony signed the Treaty of Hubertusburg , ending the war and restoring the three states' prewar borders. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born. Ludwig van Beethoven was born. Carl Friedrich Gauss was born. Frederick the Great died. The Abitur , a university admission exam, was established in Prussia. French Revolutionary Wars : France declared war on Austria.

Rhine Campaign of : Austria declared that its truce with French forces in the area of the Rhine was over effective 31 May. Coup of 18 Brumaire : Three of the five members of the French Directory were persuaded to resign, the other two arrested. Francis II , emperor of the Holy Roman Empire , ratified the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss , consolidating the states of the Empire especially through the secularization of ecclesiastical lands and abolishment of free imperial cities. The Convention of Artlenburg , dissolved Hanover and incorporating its territory into France. Schiller published William Tell.