International European policy in the German Bundestag
Germany was a founder member of the European Union (EU), which currently has a total of 27 Member States. Originally founded in 1957 as the European Economic Community (EEC), the EU can look back on a more than 50-year process of development and integration, during which it has increasingly become a political union. More than half of the EU Member States use a single currency, the euro. European law is created by a large number of regulations and directives, further intensifying cooperation in Europe. These legislative acts are created in a process which involves the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. The German Bundestag participates in matters concerning the European Union.
The Members of the German Bundestag scrutinise the Federal Government’s European policy in parliamentary committees and the plenary. To this end, the Federal Government must notify Parliament comprehensively, as early as possible, continuously and, as a rule, in writing, under Article 23 (2) of the Basic Law, the German constitution. Parliamentarians can also deliver opinions on EU legislative proposals or general political issues. The Federal Government is required to take these opinions into account in its deliberations in the Council of the European Union.