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Friday, August 26, 2011

Foreword by the Federal President

On 3 October 1990 Germany achieved national unity. By virtue of a sovereign, conscious decision of the people, the Basic Law became the constitution for the whole nation. The successful democratic revolution in the former German Democratic Republic had achieved its goals: human dignity, civil rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy for the entire German people in a society based on the rule of law tempered by social justice. 

We overcame the division of Germany within the wider framework of a radical transformation in Europe. The creation of the European Union entails new challenges and opportunities for us all. Both our country's increasing integration and the completion of its national unity were bound to have repercussions on our constitutional law. The fact that only adjustments were necessary attests to the Basic Law's excellent quality as the foundation of our polity from its inception. Its liberal, democratic, federal and welfare elements enabled our country to acquire economic prosperity and social security while maintaining internal stability. 

The constitution can only set the standards and provide a framework of law and order. It cannot solve specific problems directly. If it is not to be rendered insignificant it must remain committed to fundamental principles. 

The Basic Law has proved its worth. It is the most liberal constitution the Germans have ever had and has served as a model for many other democratic constitutions. We Germans have every reason to be proud of our Basic Law and to defend it to the best of our ability.
Bonn, November 1994
Roman Herzog


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