VIII. The Execution of Federal Laws and the Federal Administration
Article 83. [Execution by the Länder]
The Länder shall execute federal laws in their own right insofar as this Basic Law does not otherwise provide or permit.
Article 84. [Länder administration – Federal oversight]
- Where the Länder execute federal laws in their own right, they shall provide for the establishment of the requisite authorities and regulate their administrative procedures. If federal laws provide otherwise, the Länder may enact deviating regulations. If a Land has enacted a law pursuant to the second sentence, subsequent federal laws regulating the organisation of authorities and their administrative procedure shall not be enacted until at least six months after their promulgation, provided that no other determination has been made with the consent of the Bundesrat. The third sentence of paragraph (2) of Article 72 shall apply accordingly. In exceptional cases, owing to a special need for uniform federal legislation, the Federation may regulate the administrative procedure with no possibility of separate Land legislation. Such laws shall require the consent of the Bundesrat. Federal laws may not entrust municipalities and associations of municipalities with any tasks.
- The Federal Government, with the consent of the Bundesrat, may issue general administrative rules.
- The Federal Government shall exercise oversight to ensure that the Länder execute federal laws in accordance with the law. For this purpose the Federal Government may send commissioners to the highest Land authorities and, with their consent or, where such consent is refused, with the consent of the Bundesrat, also to subordinate authorities.
- Should any deficiencies that the Federal Government has identified in the execution of federal laws in the Länder not be corrected, the Bundesrat, on application of the Federal Government or of the Land concerned, shall decide whether that Land has violated the law. The decision of the Bundesrat may be challenged in the Federal Constitutional Court.
- With a view to the execution of federal laws, the Federal Government may be authorised by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat to issue instructions in particular cases. They shall be addressed to the highest Land authorities unless the Federal Government considers the matter urgent.
Article 85. [Execution by the Länder on federal commission]
- Where the Länder execute federal laws on federal commission, establishment of the authorities shall remain the concern of the Länder, except insofar as federal laws enacted with the consent of the Bundesrat otherwise provide. Federal laws may not entrust municipalities and associations of municipalities with any tasks.
- The Federal Government, with the consent of the Bundesrat, may issue general administrative rules. It may provide for the uniform training of civil servants and other salaried public employees. The heads of intermediate authorities shall be appointed with its approval.
- The Land authorities shall be subject to instructions from the competent highest federal authorities. Such instructions shall be addressed to the highest Land authorities unless the Federal Government considers the matter urgent. Implementation of the instructions shall be ensured by the highest Land authorities.
- Federal oversight shall extend to the legality and appropriateness of execution. For this purpose the Federal Government may require the submission of reports and documents and send commissioners to all authorities.
Article 86. [Federal administration]
Where the Federation executes laws through its own administrative authorities or through federal corporations or institutions established under public law, the Federal Government shall, insofar as the law in question contains no special provision, issue general administrative rules. The Federal Government shall provide for the establishment of the authorities insofar as the law in question does not otherwise provide.
Article 87. [Matters]
- The foreign service, the federal financial administration, and, in accordance with the provisions of Article 89, the administration of federal waterways and shipping shall be conducted by federal administrative authorities with their own administrative substructures. A federal law may establish Federal Border Police authorities and central offices for police information and communications, for the criminal police, and for the compilation of data for purposes of protection of the constitution and of protection against activities within the federal territory which, through the use of force or acts preparatory to the use of force, endanger the external interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.
- Social insurance institutions whose jurisdiction extends beyond the territory of a single Land shall be administered as federal corporations under public law. Social insurance institutions whose jurisdiction extends beyond the territory of a single Land but not beyond that of three Länder shall, notwithstanding the first sentence of this paragraph, be administered as Land corporations under public law, if the Länder concerned have specified which Land shall exercise supervisory authority.
- In addition, autonomous federal higher authorities as well as new federal corporations and institutions under public law may be established by a federal law for matters on which the Federation has legislative power. When the Federation is confronted with new responsibilities with respect to matters on which it has legislative power, federal authorities at intermediate and lower levels may be established, with the consent of the Bundesrat and of a majority of the Members of the Bundestag, in cases of urgent need.
Article 87a. [Armed Forces]
- The Federation shall establish Armed Forces for purposes of defence. Their numerical strength and general organisational structure must be shown in the budget.
- Apart from defence, the Armed Forces may be employed only to the extent expressly permitted by this Basic Law.
- During a state of defence or a state of tension the Armed Forces shall have the power to protect civilian property and to perform traffic control functions to the extent necessary to accomplish their defence mission. Moreover, during a state of defence or a state of tension, the Armed Forces may also be authorised to support police measures for the protection of civilian property; in this event the Armed Forces shall cooperate with the competent authorities.
- In order to avert an imminent danger to the existence or free democratic basic order of the Federation or of a Land, the Federal Government, if the conditions referred to in paragraph (2) of Article 91 obtain and the police forces and the Federal Border Police prove inadequate, may employ the Armed Forces to support the police and the Federal Border Police in protecting civilian property and in combating organised armed insurgents. Any such employment of the Armed Forces shall be discontinued if the Bundestag or the Bundesrat so demands.
Article 87b. [Federal Defence Administration]
- The Federal Defence Administration shall be conducted as a federal administrative authority with its own administrative substructure. It shall have jurisdiction for personnel matters and direct responsibility for satisfaction of the procurement needs of the Armed Forces. Responsibilities connected with pensions for injured persons or with construction work may be assigned to the Federal Defence Administration only by a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat. Such consent shall also be required for any laws to the extent that they empower the Federal Defence Administration to interfere with rights of third parties; this requirement, however, shall not apply in the case of laws regarding personnel matters.
- In addition, federal laws concerning defence, including recruitment for military service and protection of the civilian population, may, with the consent of the Bundesrat, provide that they shall be executed, wholly or in part, either by federal administrative authorities with their own administrative substructures or by the Länder on federal commission. If such laws are executed by the Länder on federal commission, they may, with the consent of the Bundesrat, provide that the powers vested in the Federal Government or in the competent highest federal authorities pursuant to Article 85 be transferred wholly or in part to federal higher authorities; in this event the law may provide that such authorities shall not require the consent of the Bundesrat in issuing general administrative rules pursuant to the first sentence of paragraph (2) of Article 85.
Article 87c. [Production and utilisation of nuclear energy]
Laws enacted under clause 14 of paragraph (1) of Article 73 may, with the consent of the Bundesrat, provide that they shall be executed by the Länder on federal commission.
Article 87d. [Air transport administration]
- Air transport administration shall be conducted under federal administration. Air navigation services may also be provided by foreign air navigation service providers which are authorised in accordance with European Community law.
- By a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat, responsibilities for air transport administration may be delegated to the Länder acting on federal commission.
Article 87e. [Rail transport administration]
- Rail transport with respect to federal railways shall be administered by federal authorities. Responsibilities for rail transport administration may be delegated by a federal law to the Länder acting in their own right.
- The Federation shall discharge rail transport administration responsibilities assigned to it by a federal law, above and beyond those regarding federal railways.
- Federal railways shall be operated as enterprises under private law. They shall remain the property of the Federation to the extent that their activities embrace the construction, maintenance and operation of the tracks. The transfer of federal shares in these enterprises under the second sentence of this paragraph shall be effected pursuant to a law; the Federation shall retain a majority of the shares. Details shall be regulated by a federal law.
- The Federation shall ensure that in developing and maintaining the federal railway system as well as in offering services over this system, other than local passenger services, due account is taken of the interests and especially the transportation needs of the public. Details shall be regulated by a federal law.
- Laws enacted pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (4) of this Article shall require the consent of the Bundesrat. The consent of the Bundesrat shall also be required for laws regarding the dissolution, merger or division of federal railway enterprises, the transfer of tracks of federal railways to third parties, or the abandonment of such tracks, or affecting local passenger services.
Article 87f. [Posts and telecommunications]
- In accordance with a federal law requiring the consent of the Bundesrat, the Federation shall ensure the availability of adequate and appropriate postal and telecommunications services throughout the federal territory.
- Services within the meaning of paragraph (1) of this Article shall be provided as a matter of private enterprise by the firms succeeding to the special trust Deutsche Bundespost and by other private providers. Sovereign functions in the area of posts and telecommunications shall be discharged by federal administrative authorities.
- Notwithstanding the second sentence of paragraph (2) of this Article, the Federation, by means of a federal institution under public law, shall discharge particular responsibilities relating to the firms succeeding to the special trust Deutsche Bundespost as prescribed by a federal law.
Article 88. [The Federal Bank – The European Central Bank]
The Federation shall establish a note-issuing and currency bank as the Federal Bank. Within the framework of the European Union, its responsibilities and powers may be transferred to the European Central Bank, which is independent and committed to the overriding goal of assuring price stability.
Article 89. [Federal waterways – Administration of waterways]
- The Federation shall be the owner of the former Reich waterways.
- The Federation shall administer the federal waterways through its own authorities. It shall exercise those state functions relating to inland shipping which extend beyond the territory of a single Land, and those functions relating to maritime shipping, which are conferred on it by a law. Insofar as federal waterways lie within the territory of a single Land, the Federation on its application may delegate their administration to that Land on federal commission. If a waterway touches the territory of several Länder, the Federation may commission that Land which is designated by the affected Länder.
- In the administration, development and new construction of waterways, the requirements of land improvement and of water management shall be assured in agreement with the Länder.
Article 90. [Federal highways]
- The Federation shall be the owner of the former Reich motorways and highways.
- The Länder, or such self-governing corporate bodies as are competent under Land law, shall administer the federal motorways and other federal highways used by long-distance traffic on federal commission.
- On application of a Land, the Federation may assume the administration of federal motorways and other federal highways used by long-distance traffic insofar as they lie within the territory of that Land.
Article 91. [Internal emergency]
- In order to avert an imminent danger to the existence or free democratic basic order of the Federation or of a Land, a Land may call upon police forces of other Länder, or upon personnel and facilities of other administrative authorities and of the Federal Border Police.
- If the Land where such danger is imminent is not itself willing or able to combat the danger, the Federal Government may place the police in that Land and the police forces of other Länder under its own orders and deploy units of the Federal Border Police. Any such order shall be rescinded once the danger is removed, or at any time on the demand of the Bundesrat. If the danger extends beyond the territory of a single Land, the Federal Government, insofar as is necessary to combat such danger, may issue instructions to the Land governments; the first and second sentences of this paragraph shall not be affected by this provision.