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NUMERO 24 - 19/12/2018

 Neutral powers revisited? The German Federal President in the recent political crisis

The general elections of September 24th, 2017 have led to an unprecedented situation for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The downsizing of the most important parties, the return into the Bundestag of political movements excluded in the previous Legislature, the entry into Parliament of a new xenophobic, racist and anti-European party, expressly linked to radical right groups, made the formation of the new Government unexpectedly complex. For a country traditionally used to deal with clear and precise indications about the relevance of the different political parties into the Bundestag, in order to proceed to a rapid composition of the federal Cabinet, the present political situation represents a sort of institutional emergency, which demands innovative efforts from all political subjects involved. The present contribution aims to provide a review of the political and institutional situation occurred in Germany after the last parliamentary elections, and is divided into five parts. The first summarizes the political conditions occurred after the last general elections; the second describes the initiatives taken by the Federal President operating as “manager” of the political crisis; the third illustrates the reactions produced by the political parties with regard to the initiatives enacted by the Head of State aiming at creating a new federal government; the fourth part compares the actions implemented by the Bundespräsident during the recent political crisis and his competences according to the Basic Law, in order to verify possible correspondences and asymmetries; finally, the fifth and last part of the present work highlights the crucial relevance of democracy in political parties’ internal organization, even in situations of critical political and institutional frictions. Overall, this contribution aims to put under evidence how the German political system has reacted to the unprecedented and complex crisis followed to the last parliamentary vote, finding the necessary instruments for the resolution of the current stalemate within its own constitutional provisions… (continues)

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