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Article 2017.03.15 Con­sti­tu­tion of the Fed­er­al Re­pub­lic of Ger­many

The current version of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz) of 23 May 1949 is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Basic Law was adopted in 1949, initially as a provisional framework for the basic organization of the state until German reunification. The name “Basic Law” was intended to express its provisional nature. But from the very beginning, the Basic Law has always contained all the features of a constitution and has functioned effectively as one for more than 60 years.

In the Unification Treaty of 31 August 1990, the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic agreed to restore German unity. Instead of drafting a new constitution with a subsequent referendum (in accordance with Article 146 of the Basic Law), the procedure of Article 23 of the Basic Law was chosen: Eastern Germany joined the Federal Republic, and five new federal states (Länder) and the reunified city-state of Berlin were created.The parliaments of West and East Germany approved this decision with two-thirds majorities. When reunification took effect on 3 October 1990, the Basic Law became the constitution for the whole of Germany.

The Basic Law has been subject of over 60 amendments since 1949. Among these amendments were the constitutional provisions for rearmament in 1956 and emergency legislation in 1968. Major constitutional reforms were enacted in 1994 following reunification and in 2006 and 2009 in order to reorganizse the federalist competences and financial structures of Germany.

Here you can find the official English translation of the Basic Law and the current German version of the Basic Law.

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