Willy Brandt had come into government as foreign minister in a “grand coalition” with the Christian Democrats, assuming the position on December 6, 1966. He believed that the Federal Republic’s policy of non-recognition of East Germany and of existing European borders stood in the way of improving human conditions in Europe and particularly in the German Democratic Republic. Brandt’s concept of “Ostpolitik” represented a major shift from Germany’s orientation under Chancellor KonradAdenauer, and he brought this new philosophy to his first NATO foreign ministerial
. At one conference in Warsaw, organised by the KonradAdenauer Foundation, he recalled how:
speaker after speaker outlined what they called ‘the role of elites’ in promoting EU integration. That was the title of one of the sessions. The thesis was put forward, quite openly, that European Union was a great and noble idea which had always been moved forward by great visionaries among the elite, and that popular opinion may be relied on to catch up eventually, but should not be allowed to stop the project. 2
Such an outlook, conveyed by the official
destroyed cities and a huge refugee population from central and Eastern Europe, Germany did not immediately appear capable of playing such a pivotal role, but a politically stable and economically robust German state was taking shape under Chancellor KonradAdenauer as the 1950s progressed. It stood in marked contrast to France, polarised ideologically, with a weak political centre, and convulsed by civil–military tensions flowing from the attempt to retain Algeria as an integral part of France. A Common Market appeared to provide a golden bridge enabling France to make a
. On the one hand, because the system is one of proportional representation of parties, which makes it difficult for one party by itself to win an overall majority of seats, invariably there is a coalition government, and, for the past forty years, a coalition government consisting of only two parties (counting the CDU and CSU as a single party). Only once, in 1957, has a party managed to win an absolute majority of Bundestag seats, and even then KonradAdenauer as chancellor chose to bring the small German Party into coalition with his Christian Democratic party
came into effect on 23 May 1949, deliberately called a ‘Basic Law’ rather than a ‘constitution’, to emphasise that it was a document for a provisional and temporary political system, pending German reunification. (The content of the Basic Law is described in Chapter 3 .)
The Federal Republic
The first elections to the Bundestag (the lower chamber of the new legislature) took place on 14 August 1949. A coalition government, comprising the CDU-CSU, the FDP and the German Party, was formed under the chancellorship of KonradAdenauer. Theodor Heuss, the leader of
electoral system to civic rights, from the constructive vote of no confidence to the indirect election of the federal president. It must be remembered that in 1948 the Weimar Republic had only been abolished 15 years previously, and many of those sitting in the Parliamentary Council in Bonn had played an active role in the politics of the Weimar period; among them KonradAdenauer and Theodor Heuss, soon to be the first chancellor and federal president respectively, so the Weimar political system was a very real and recent model for them. A series of innovations inserted
signed the agreement in Luxembourg. 46
Figure 2.2 West German Chancellor KonradAdenauer (seated centre left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharett (seated centre right) signing the Luxembourg Agreement in September 1952.
The agreement foresaw that the FRG would pay DM3 billion to Israel, plus US$450 million to be destined to the Claims Conference. The West German authorities would transfer the funds into the bank account of the Israeli Mission in Germany, which was allowed to use them only to buy products made in Germany and which would belong to one
, DFA, 315/59/343/5 II, Ó Ceallaigh to Donovan, 20 October 1960.
157 NAI, DFA, 315/59/343/5 II, Der Mittag, Düsseldorf, 27 September 1960.
158 John Bradley, ‘Changing the Rules: Why the Failures of the 1950s Forced a Transition
in Economic Decisionmaking’ in Keogh, Ireland in the 1950s, p. 111.
159 Kennedy, Economic Development, pp. 60–70.
160 AA-PA, B31, Bd. 238, von Plehwe circular, Deutsche Investitionen in Ireland, 18
Industrialisation and the ‘economic miracle’
161 KonradAdenauer Stiftung, Sankt Augustin
Juristische Wochenschrift, No. 11/1997,
For the term, see Karlheinz Niclauss, Kanzlerdemokratie. Bonner
Member States and the European Union
Regierungspraxis von KonradAdenauer bis Helmut Kohl (Stuttgart: W.
100 See Simon Bulmer, Charlie Jeffery and William E. Paterson, ‘Deutschlands
Europäische Diplomatie. Die Entwicklung des regionalen Milieus’, in:
Werner Weidenfeld (ed.), Deutsche Europapolitik. Optionen wirksamer
Interessenvertretung (Bonn: Europa Union Verlag, 1998), pp. 11–102; Josef