geändert / updated: 17/04/08


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(Mountain; 11/12-03; p.5)

Employment and party politics

Important laws on taxation and some other topics of employment politics – catch words: regulations for craftsmanship, public employment, unemployment benefits – have been negotiated in the German 'Vermittlungsausschuss'.

This committee is a peculiarity of German federalism combined with German political (party) culture.
Once it has been established as a final forum in which the federal parliament and the states governments are equally represented to negotiate laws effecting states' affairs.
Nowadays it has become invaded by party politics: parliament and states' representatives do not necessarily represent the federal level or their states, but the respective parties. The current committee consists of sixteen federal MPs and sixteen representatives of the states. Along party lines, Social Democrats and Greens, the ruling coalition on the federal level, provide one half of the members, Christian Democrats and Liberals, the opposition on the federal level, provide the other.

To summarise the results: the federal government and opposition (see above!) agreed on tax cuts financed by a moderate new budget deficit; a master's certificate will no longer be mandatory for a number of crafts; public employment – which up to now has been often disguised as vocational training courses or job-creation measures – will be reduced to regions within which no private employment market emerges. Besides, transfer payments like unemployment benefits should be further reduced for some groups of people.

The results certainly stand for a compromise; the political actors thus have successfully worked in a minimal functional sense of democratic government: resolving conflicts of interests in a peaceful way.
Even so, the results do not represent party programmes, but rather a common expectation of least voters losses. Whether or not these expectations are going to become reality and whether or not the decisions made are legitimate, are open to debate.

(end of article)

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Struktur / sitemap 2003 (i)

Struktur / sitemap 2003 (ii)

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