geändert / updated: 17/04/08


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(Hardships; 03-03; p.2)

The budget for the current fiscal year has been passed by parliament and chancellor Schröder declared his guide-lines of social policy.


The budget

According to the German federal system of government the federal government has to present a budget plan, parliament, the Bundestag, has to decide on that and eventually the Bundesrat, the chamber of the federation's states governments, has to decide as well.

The budget plan is subdivided into several smaller plans that are tailored after the responsibilities of the different ministries. To create those plans, MPs work in different committees which are composed in line with the parties' majorities in parliament.

Already on this level therefore the opposition gets a chance to make itself heard and to vie for compromise. Which of the measures suggested in the final analysis rest on professional accuracy, on majorities or the influence of lobbyists is an empirical question; in principle all factors add up to it.

Once the smaller plans are established, they are debated in parliament up to three times and an if needed, adjusted budget plan is passed that consists of all the smaller ones.
Because of the overwhelming power of parties in Germany it is conceivable that the Bundestag does not approve the budget plan, but not very likely: so-called "party discipline" causes MPs to vote accordance with recommendations of party fellows and plans established by the majority of the ruling party or coalition in the committees in turn are passed as comprehensive plan by the ruling majority.
To unveil personal responsibilities however, there is a special voting mechanism, the roll-call vote, i.e. every MP has to make a personal decision which is laid down in the parliament's protocols and so accessible for the public. The fiscal plan for 2003 has been passed this way.

Afterwards, this plan has to be debated and passed by the Bundesrat. In case it is not approved, a special committee has to work out a compromise, the Vermittlungsausschuss. As mediating committee it consists of sixteen delegates of the (sixteen) federal states' governments and the same number of delegates of the Bundestag, selected according to party shares. At the moment, the fiscal plan for 2003 is presented to the Bundesrat. (read on here)

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Struktur / sitemap 2003 (i)

Struktur / sitemap 2003 (ii)

Ausgaben / issues



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