XI. Transitional and Concluding Provisions
Article 116. [Definition of “German” – Restoration of citizenship]
- Unless otherwise provided by a law, a German within the meaning of this Basic Law is a person who possesses German citizenship or who has been admitted to the territory of the German Reich within the boundaries of 31 December 1937 as a refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such person.
- Former German citizens who between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds, and their descendants, shall on application have their citizenship restored. They shall be deemed never to have been deprived of their citizenship if they have established their domicile in Germany after 8 May 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention.
Article 117. [Suspended entry into force of two basic rights]
- Law which is inconsistent with paragraph (2) of Article 3 of this Basic Law shall remain in force until adapted to that provision, but not beyond 31 March 1953.
- Laws that restrict freedom of movement in view of the present housing shortage shall remain in force until repealed by a federal law.
Article 118. [New delimitation of Baden and Württemberg]
The division of the territory comprising Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern into Länder may be revised, without regard to the provisions of Article 29, by agreement between the Länder concerned. If no agreement is reached, the revision shall be effected by a federal law, which shall provide for an advisory referendum.
Article 118a. [New delimitation of Berlin and Brandenburg]
The division of the territory comprising Berlin and Brandenburg into Länder may be revised, without regard to the provisions of Article 29, by agreement between the two Länder with the participation of their inhabitants who are entitled to vote.
Article 119. [Refugees and expellees]
In matters relating to refugees and expellees, especially as regards their distribution among the Länder, the Federal Government, with the consent of the Bundesrat, may issue statutory instruments having the force of law, pending settlement of the matter by a federal law. In this connection the Federal Government may be authorised to issue individual instructions in particular cases. Unless time is of the essence, such instructions shall be addressed to the highest Land authorities.
Article 120. [Occupation costs – Burdens resulting from the war]
- The Federation shall finance the expenditures for occupation costs and other internal and external burdens resulting from the war, as regulated in detail by federal laws. To the extent that these war burdens were regulated by federal laws on or before 1 October 1969, the Federation and the Länder shall finance such expenditures in the proportion established by such federal laws. Insofar as expenditures for such of these war burdens as neither have been nor will be regulated by federal laws were met on or before 1 October 1965 by Länder, municipalities (associations of municipalities), or other entities performing functions of the Länder or municipalities, the Federation shall not be obliged to finance them even after that date. The Federation shall be responsible for subsidies toward meeting the costs of social security, including unemployment insurance and public assistance to the unemployed. The distribution of war burdens between the Federation and the Länder prescribed by this paragraph shall not be construed to affect any law regarding claims for compensation for consequences of the war.
- Revenue shall pass to the Federation at the time it assumes responsibility for the expenditures referred to in this Article.
Article 120a. [Equalisation of burdens]
- Laws implementing the equalisation of burdens may, with the consent of the Bundesrat, provide that with respect to equalisation payments they shall be executed partly by the Federation and partly by the Länder acting on federal commission, and that the relevant powers vested in the Federal Government and the competent highest federal authorities by virtue of Article 85 shall be wholly or partly delegated to the Federal Equalisation of Burdens Office. In exercising these powers, the Federal Equalisation of Burdens Office shall not require the consent of the Bundesrat; except in urgent cases, its instructions shall be given to the highest Land authorities (Land Equalisation of Burdens Offices).
- The second sentence of paragraph (3) of Article 87 shall not be affected by this provision.
Article 121. [Definition of “majority of the members”]
Within the meaning of this Basic Law, a majority of the Members of the Bundestag and a majority of the members of the Federal Convention shall be a majority of the number of their members specified by a law.
Article 122. [Date of transmission of legislative powers]
- From the date on which the Bundestag first convenes, laws shall be enacted only by the legislative bodies recognised by this Basic Law.
- Legislative bodies and institutions participating in the legislative process in an advisory capacity whose competence expires by virtue of paragraph (1) of this Article shall be dissolved as of that date.
Article 123. [Continued applicability of pre-existing law]
- Law in force before the Bundestag first convenes shall remain in force insofar as it does not conflict with this Basic Law.
- Subject to all rights and objections of interested parties, treaties concluded by the German Reich concerning matters within the legislative competence of the Länder under this Basic Law shall remain in force, provided they are and continue to be valid under general principles of law, until new treaties are concluded by the authorities competent under this Basic Law, or until they are in some other way terminated pursuant to their provisions.
Article 124. [Continued applicability of law within the scope of exclusive legislative power]
Law regarding matters subject to the exclusive legislative power of the Federation shall become federal law in the area in which it applies.
Article 125. [Continued applicability of law within the scope of concurrent legislative power]
Law regarding matters subject to the concurrent legislative power of the Federation shall become federal law in the area in which it applies:
- insofar as it applies uniformly within one or more occupation zones;
- insofar as it is law by which former Reich law has been amended since 8 May 1945.
Article 125a. [Continued applicability of federal law – Replacement by Land law]
- Law that was enacted as federal law but that by virtue of the amendment of paragraph (1) of Article 74, the insertion of the seventh sentence of paragraph (1) of Article 84, the second sentence of paragraph (1) of Article 85 or of the second sentence of paragraph (2a) of Article 105, or because of the repeal of Articles 74a, 75 or the second sentence of paragraph (3) of Article 98 could no longer be enacted as federal law, shall remain in force as federal law. It may be superseded by Land law.
- Law that was enacted pursuant to paragraph (2) of Article 72 as it stood up to 15 November 1994 but which, because of the amendment of paragraph (2) of Article 72, could no longer be enacted as federal law shall remain in force as federal law. A federal law may provide that it may be superseded by Land law.
- Law that has been enacted as Land law but which, because of the amendment of Article 73, could not be enacted any longer as Land law shall continue in force as Land law. It may be superseded by federal law.
Article 125b. [Continued applicability of framework laws – Deviation power of the Länder]
- Law that was enacted pursuant to Article 75 as it stood up to 1 September 2006, and which could be enacted as federal law even after this date, shall remain in force as federal law. The powers and duties of the Länder to legislate shall in this regard remain unaffected. In the areas referred to in the first sentence of paragraph (3) of Article 72 the Länder may enact regulations that deviate from this law; however, in those areas covered by clauses 2, 5 and 6 of the first sentence of Article 72 the Länder may do so only if and insofar as the Federation has made use of its power to legislate after 1 September 2006, in those areas covered by clauses 2 and 5 beginning at the latest on 1 January 2010, in cases under clause 6 beginning at the latest on 1 August 2008.
- The Länder may enact regulations deviating from federal regulations enacted pursuant to paragraph (1) of Article 84 as it stood up to 1 September 2006; up to 31 December 2008, however, they may deviate from regulations on administrative procedure only if, after 1 September 2006, regulations on administrative procedure in the relevant federal law have been amended.
Article 125c. [Continued applicability of law within the scope of joint tasks]
- Law that was enacted by virtue of paragraph (2) of Article 91a in conjunction with clause 1 of paragraph (1) as it stood up to 1 September 2006 shall continue in force until 31 December 2006.
- The regulations enacted in the areas of municipal traffic financing and promotion of social housing by virtue of paragraph (4) of Article 104a as it stood up to 1 September 2006 shall remain in force until 31 December 2006. The regulations enacted on municipal traffic financing for special programmes pursuant to paragraph (1) of Article 6 of the Municipal Traffic Financing Act, as well as the other regulations enacted pursuant to paragraph (4) of Article 104a as it stood up to 1 September 2006, shall continue in force until 31 December 2019, provided no earlier repeal has been or is determined.
Article 126. [Determination about continued applicability of law as federal law]
Disagreements concerning the continued applicability of law as federal law shall be resolved by the Federal Constitutional Court.
Article 127. [Extension of law to the French zone and to Berlin]
Within one year after promulgation of this Basic Law the Federal Government, with the consent of the governments of the Länder concerned, may extend to the Länder of Baden, Greater Berlin, Rhineland-Palatinate and Württemberg-Hohenzollern any law of the Administration of the Combined Economic Area, insofar as it remains in force as federal law under Article 124 or 125.
Article 128. [Continued authority to issue instructions]
Insofar as law that remains in force grants authority to issue instructions within the meaning of paragraph (5) of Article 84, this authority shall remain in existence until a law otherwise provides.
Article 129. [Continued authority to issue legal acts]
- Insofar as legal provisions that remain in force as federal law grant authority to issue statutory instruments or general administrative rules or to make administrative decisions in individual cases, such powers shall pass to the authorities that henceforth have competence over the subject matter. In cases of doubt the Federal Government shall decide in agreement with the Bundesrat; such decisions shall be published.
- Insofar as legal provisions that remain in force as Land law grant such authority, it shall be exercised by the authorities competent under Land law.
- Insofar as legal provisions within the meaning of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article grant authority to amend or supplement the provisions themselves or to issue legal provisions that have the force of laws, such authority shall be deemed to have expired.
- The provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article shall apply mutatis mutandis to legal provisions that refer to provisions no longer in force or to institutions no longer in existence.
Article 130. [Transfer of existing administrative institutions]
- Administrative agencies and other institutions that serve the public administration or the administration of justice and are not based on Land law or on agreements between Länder, as well as the Administrative Union of South West German Railways and the Administrative Council for Postal and Telecommunications Services for the French Occupation Zone, shall be placed under the control of the Federal Government. The Federal Government, with the consent of the Bundesrat, shall provide for their transfer, dissolution, or liquidation.
- The supreme disciplinary authority for the personnel of these administrative bodies and institutions shall be the competent Federal Minister.
- Corporations and institutions under public law not directly subordinate to a Land nor based on agreements between Länder shall be under the supervision of the competent highest federal authority.
Article 131. [Persons formerly in the public service]
The legal relations of persons, including refugees and expellees, who on 8 May 1945 were employed in the public service, have left the service for reasons other than those recognised by civil service regulations or collective bargaining agreements, and have not yet been reinstated or are employed in positions that do not correspond to those they previously held, shall be regulated by a federal law. The same shall apply mutatis mutandis to persons, including refugees and expellees, who on 8 May 1945 were entitled to pensions and related benefits and who for reasons other than those recognised by civil service regulations or collective bargaining agreements no longer receive any such pension or related benefits. Until the pertinent federal law takes effect, no legal claims may be made, unless Land law otherwise provides.
Article 132. [Retirement of civil servants]
- Civil servants and judges who enjoy life tenure when this Basic Law takes effect may, within six months after the Bundestag first convenes, be retired, suspended, or transferred to lower-salaried positions if they lack the personal or professional aptitude for their present positions. This provision shall apply mutatis mutandis to salaried public employees, other than civil servants or judges, whose employment cannot be terminated at will. In the case of salaried employees whose employment may be terminated at will, notice periods longer than those set by collective bargaining agreements may be rescinded within the same period.
- The preceding provision shall not apply to members of the public service who are unaffected by the provisions regarding “Liberation from National Socialism and Militarism” or who are recognised victims of National Socialism, absent important personal grounds.
- Persons affected may have recourse to the courts in accordance with paragraph (4) of Article 19.
- Details shall be specified by a statutory instrument issued by the Federal Government with the consent of the Bundesrat.
Article 133. [Succession to the Administration of the Combined Economic Area]
The Federation shall succeed to the rights and duties of the Administration of the Combined Economic Area.
Article 134. [Succession to Reich assets]
- Reich assets shall, in principle, become federal assets.
- Insofar as such assets were originally intended to be used principally for administrative tasks not entrusted to the Federation under this Basic Law, they shall be transferred without compensation to the authorities now entrusted with such tasks and to the extent that such assets are now being used, not merely temporarily, for administrative tasks that under this Basic Law are now performed by the Länder, they shall be transferred to the Länder. The Federation may also transfer other assets to the Länder.
- Assets that were placed at the disposal of the Reich without compensation by Länder or municipalities (associations of municipalities) shall revert to those Länder or municipalities (associations of municipalities) insofar as the Federation does not require them for its own administrative purposes.
- Details shall be regulated by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat.
Article 135. [Assets in case of territorial changes between the Länder]
- If after 8 May 1945 and before the effective date of this Basic Law an area has passed from one Land to another, the Land to which the area now belongs shall be entitled to the assets of the Land to which it previously belonged that are located in that area.
- The assets of Länder or other public-law corporations or institutions that no longer exist, insofar as they were originally intended to be used principally for administrative tasks or are now being so used, not merely temporarily, shall pass to the Land, corporation or institution that now performs those tasks.
- Real property of Länder that no longer exist, including appurtenances, shall pass to the Land within which it is located, insofar as it is not among the assets already referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article.
- Insofar as an overriding interest of the Federation or the particular interest of a region requires, a federal law may depart from the rules prescribed by paragraphs (1) to (3) of this Article.
- In all other respects, the succession to and disposition of assets, insofar as it has not been effected before 1 January 1952 by agreement between the affected Länder or corporations or institutions established under public law, shall be regulated by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat.
- Holdings of the former Land of Prussia in enterprises established under private law shall pass to the Federation. Details shall be regulated by a federal law, which may also depart from this provision.
- Insofar as assets that on the effective date of this Basic Law would devolve upon a Land or a corporation or institution established under public law pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (3) of this Article have been disposed of by or pursuant to a Land law or in any other manner by the party thus entitled, the transfer of assets shall be deemed to have taken place before such disposition.
Article 135a. [Old debts]
- Federal legislation enacted pursuant to paragraph (4) of Article 134 or paragraph (5) of Article 135 may also provide that the following debts shall not be discharged, or that they shall be discharged only in part:
- debts of the Reich, of the former Land of Prussia, or of such other corporations and institutions under public law as no longer exist;
- such debts of the Federation or of corporations and institutions under public law as are connected with the transfer of assets pursuant to Article 89, 90, 134 or 135, and such debts of these bodies as arise from measures taken by the bodies designated in clause 1;
- such debts of the Länder or municipalities (associations of municipalities) as have arisen from measures taken by them before 1 August 1945 within the framework of administrative functions incumbent upon or delegated by the Reich to comply with orders of the occupying powers or to terminate a state of emergency resulting from the war.
- Paragraph (1) of this Article shall apply mutatis mutandis to debts of the German Democratic Republic or its institutions as well as to debts of the Federation or other corporations and institutions under public law that are connected with the transfer of assets of the German Democratic Republic to the Federation, Länder or municipalities, and to debts arising from measures taken by the German Democratic Republic or its institutions.
Article 136. [First convening of the Bundesrat]
- The Bundesrat shall convene for the first time on the day the Bundestag first convenes.
- Until the election of the first Federal President, his powers shall be exercised by the President of the Bundesrat. He shall not have authority to dissolve the Bundestag.
Article 137. [Right of state employees to stand for election]
- The right of civil servants, other salaried public employees, professional or volunteer members of the Armed Forces, and judges to stand for election in the Federation, in the Länder or in the municipalities may be restricted by a law.
- The election of the first Bundestag, of the first Federal Convention and of the first Federal President shall be governed by an electoral law to be enacted by the Parliamentary Council.
- Until the Federal Constitutional Court is established, its authority under paragraph (2) of Article 41 shall be exercised by the German High Court for the Combined Economic Area, which shall make determinations in accordance with its procedural rules.
Article 138. [South German notaries]
Changes in the rules governing the notarial profession as it now exists in the Länder of Baden, Bavaria, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern shall require the consent of the governments of these Länder.
Article 139. [Continued applicability of denazification provisions]
The legal provisions enacted for the “Liberation of the German People from National Socialism and Militarism” shall not be affected by the provisions of this Basic Law.
Article 140. [Law of religious denominations]
The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 of the German Constitution of 11 August 1919 shall be an integral part of this Basic Law.
Article 141. [“Bremen Clause”]
The first sentence of paragraph (3) of Article 7 shall not apply in any Land in which Land law otherwise provided on 1 January 1949.
Article 142. [Reservation in favour of basic rights in Land constitutions]
Notwithstanding Article 31, provisions of Land constitutions shall also remain in force insofar as they guarantee basic rights in conformity with Articles 1 to 18 of this Basic Law.
Article 143. [Duration of deviations from the Basic Law]
- The law in the territory specified in Article 3 of the Unification Treaty may deviate from provisions of this Basic Law for a period extending no later than 31 December 1992 insofar and so long as disparate circumstances make full compliance impossible. Deviations may not violate paragraph (2) of Article 19 and must be compatible with the principles specified in paragraph (3) of Article 79.
- Deviations from Titles II, VIII, VIIIa, IX, X and XI shall be permissible for a period extending no later than 31 December 1995.
- Independently of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Article, Article 41 of the Unification Treaty and the rules for its implementation shall also remain in effect insofar as they provide for the irreversibility of acts interfering with property rights in the territory specified in Article 3 of this Treaty.
Article 143a. [Exclusive legislative power concerning federal railways]
- The Federation shall have exclusive power to legislate with respect to all matters arising from the transformation of federal railways administered by the Federation into business enterprises. Paragraph (5) of Article 87e shall apply mutatis mutandis. Civil servants employed by federal railways may be assigned by a law to render services to federal railways established under private law without prejudice to their legal status or the responsibility of their employer.
- Laws enacted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this Article shall be executed by the Federation.
- The Federation shall continue to be responsible for local passenger services of the former federal railways until 31 December 1995. The same shall apply to the corresponding functions of rail transport administration. Details shall be regulated by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat.
Article 143b. [Privatisation of the Deutsche Bundespost]
- The special trust Deutsche Bundespost shall be transformed into enterprises under private law in accordance with a federal law. The Federation shall have exclusive power to legislate with respect to all matters arising from this transformation.
- The exclusive rights of the Federation existing before the transformation may be transferred by a federal law for a transitional period to the enterprises that succeed to the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst and to the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom. The Federation may not surrender its majority interest in the enterprise that succeeds to the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst until at least five years after the law takes effect. To do so shall require a federal law with the consent of the Bundesrat.
- Federal civil servants employed by the Deutsche Bundespost shall be given positions in the private enterprises that succeed to it, without prejudice to their legal status or the responsibility of their employer. The enterprises shall exercise the employer’s authority. Details shall be regulated by a federal law.
Article 143c. [Compensation for the cessation of joint tasks]
- From 1 January 2007 until 31 December 2019, the Länder shall be entitled to receive annual payments from the federal budget as compensation for losing the Federation’s financial contributions resulting from the abolition of the joint tasks of extension and construction of institutions of higher education, including university hospitals and educational planning, as well as for losing financial assistance for the improvement of municipal traffic infrastructure and for the promotion of social housing. Until 31 December 2013, these amounts are to be determined by averaging the financial share of the Federation for the years 2000 to 2008.
- Until 31 December 2013, the payments pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be distributed among the Länder in the form of:
- fixed annual payments the amounts of which shall be determined according to the average share of each Land during the period 2000 to 2003;
- payments earmarked for the functional area of the former joint financing.
- Until the end of 2013, the Federation and the Länder shall review the extent to which the financing allotted to individual Länder pursuant to paragraph (1) is still appropriate and necessary for the discharge of their tasks. Beginning with 1 January 2014, the earmarking pursuant to clause 2 of paragraph (2) of the financial means allotted under paragraph (1) shall cease; the earmarking for the volume of the means for investment purposes shall remain unchanged. Agreements resulting from Solidarity Pact II shall remain unaffected.
- Details shall be regulated by a federal law which shall require the consent of the Bundesrat.
Article 143d. [Transitional provisions relating to consolidation assistance]
- Articles 109 and 115 in the version in force until 31 July 2009 shall apply for the last time to the 2010 budget. Articles 109 and 115 in the version in force as from 1 August 2009 shall apply for the first time to the 2011 budget; debit authorisations existing on 31 December 2010 for special trusts already established shall remain untouched. In the period from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2019, the Länder may, in accordance with their applicable legal regulations, deviate from the provisions of paragraph (3) of Article 109. The budgets of the Länder are to be planned in such a way that the 2020 budget fullfils the requirements of the fifth sentence of paragraph (3) of Article 109. In the period from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2015, the Federation may deviate from the provisions of the second sentence of paragraph (2) of Article 115. The reduction of the existing deficits should begin with the 2011 budget. The annual budgets are to be planned in such a way that the 2016 budget satisfies the requirement of the second sentence of paragraph (2) of Article 115; details shall be regulated by federal law.
- As assistance for compliance with the provisions of paragraph (3) of Article 109 after 1 January 2020, the Länder of Berlin, Bremen, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein may receive, for the period 2011 to 2019, consolidation assistance from the federal budget in the global amount of 800 million euros annually. The respective amounts are 300 million euros for Bremen, 260 million euros for Saarland, and 80 million euros each for Berlin, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein. The assistance payments shall be allocated on the basis of an administrative agreement under the terms of a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat. These grants require a complete reduction of financial deficits by the end of 2020. The details, especially the annual steps to be taken to reduce financial deficits, the supervision of the reduction of financial deficits by the Stability Council, along with the consequences entailed in case of failure to carry out the step-by-step reduction, shall be regulated by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat and by an administrative agreement. There shall be no simultaneous granting of consolidation assistance and redevelopment assistance on the grounds of an extreme budgetary emergency.
- The financial burden resulting from the granting of the consolidation assistance shall be borne equally by the Federation and the Länder, to be financed from their share of the value-added tax. Details shall be regulated by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat.
Article 144. [Ratification of the Basic Law – Berlin]
- This Basic Law shall require ratification by the parliaments of two thirds of the German Länder in which it is initially to apply.
- Insofar as the application of this Basic Law is subject to restrictions in any Land listed in Article 23 or in any part thereof, such Land or part thereof shall have the right to send representatives to the Bundestag in accordance with Article 38 and to the Bundesrat in accordance with Article 50.
Article 145. [Entry into force of the Basic Law]
- The Parliamentary Council, with the participation of the members for Greater Berlin, shall confirm the ratification of this Basic Law in public session and shall certify and promulgate it.
- This Basic Law shall take effect at the end of the day on which it is promulgated.
- It shall be published in the Federal Law Gazette.
Article 146. [Duration of the Basic Law]
This Basic Law, which since the achievement of the unity and freedom of Germany applies to the entire German people, shall cease to apply on the day on which a constitution freely adopted by the German people takes effect.