Post-war Germany has been built on ruins: actual rubble as well as moral devastation and guilt. The war that Germany caused led to widespread destruction of its cities. After the war, a significant part of the population were refugees or displaced persons and an even larger part of the population had elected, supported or tolerated a system that caused a war and murdered millions of people. Under these circumstances, it can be considered extremely lucky – if only for the Western part of the country – that the Western allies not only were prepared to co-operate with the newly elected political leaders of the Federal Republic but – the United States in particular – actively helped to improve the economic situation. While the eastern part of Germany became part of the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union with a soviet-style political system, the strategy with regard to the Federal Republic was a firm integration of the country in the West on the basis of the democratic decisions of the citizens. European integration led to a situation in which a sovereign state had to cope with the fact that many decisions were taken at another level of government or, in other words, that in certain policy areas the role of the state institutions was reduced to taking part in the decision-making processes of the European Union. Nevertheless, the constitutional challenges in this respect were quickly accepted and the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) paved the way for the full integration into the European legal system. 1