It is mission accomplished for Angela Merkel. Members of parliament have approved a key piece of legislation, reforming Germany’s complex federal system. Dubbed “the mother of all reforms” by some, the change is aimed at speeding up decision-making.
The conservative Chancellor believes the vote by the lower house is rich in significance. “In my opinion, it is one of the most important reforms of our time,” she told deputies. “And on behalf of the government, I want to say we are convinced that our country is on the right track.”
Germany’s federal system was designed as a check on centralised power after World War Two and the reforms are the first major overhaul since the Federal Republic was created.
They will curb the power of state representatives to block legislation. In exchange, the 16 states will have more independence in areas like education, although central government will retain some involvement in university policy. Germany’s upper house is also expected to approve the reforms when it votes in a week’s time.