Virtually nothing is more sacred to Germans than their constitution, which is known as the Basic Law. It was originally planned as a stopgap measure, but it has seen the Federal Republic of Germany through the past 62 years. During the Cold War, political parties may have squabbled over conservative Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s political commitment to Western Europe and the United States — and they had their differences over left-leaning Chancellor Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik policy of normalizing relations with communist Eastern Europe, particularly with East Germany — but they immediately and unanimously praised the Basic Law. “We have one of the best constitutions in the world,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel once said.
Now, it looks as if Merkel herself may order an overhaul of the German constitution. At the party conference of the chancellor’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which commenced on Monday morning, Nov. 14, it is expected to approve a plan that could change the face of Europe — and perhaps make it necessary for the Germans to rewrite their constitution.