Connectivity Principle

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The principle of connectivity ( connectivity means connection) has different meanings in the individual areas of law.

The principle of connectivity in constitutional law

In German constitutional law in the relationship between the Federation and the Länder, the principle of connectivity is understood to be the scientific term for the principle anchored in Article 104a, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law . According to this, the federal and state governments generally separately bear the expenses that result from the performance of their tasks. In short: the expenditure burden follows the task burden (enforcement causality, not legal causality).

In the relationship between the federal states and their municipalities (municipalities and associations of municipalities), the principle of connectivity (sometimes also referred to as the “requirement of connection”) is a legal principle that establishes legally enforceable claims by the municipalities against the federal states. In the last few decades it has been anchored in all state constitutions of the (13 area) states, and in some cases expanded in favor of the municipalities (most recently in 2008 Baden-Württemberg Art. 71 Para. 3 State Constitution). The basic features are the same everywhere (even if the details and formulations differ from one another): If a Land entrusts its municipalities with a certain task (other formulation: they are obliged to perform) and this leads to a significant additional burden, the Land must at the same time provide compensation by it makes provisions on the coverage of costs or pays financial compensation itself. This was also expressed briefly and popularly: "Whoever orders should pay."

Since the Federal Government was strictly forbidden to delegate tasks to the municipalities in the federalism reform in 2006 through an amendment to the Basic Law ( Article 84, Paragraph 1, Sentence 7 of the Basic Law), these state constitutional regulations have become even more important. They are often asserted by municipalities at the state constitutional courts. If successful, this leads to a financially serious condemnation of the country to compensate for the additional burden for a certain task. Headlines made z. B. the conviction of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia by the Constitutional Court there on October 12, 2010 to offset the municipal costs of expanding daycare for young children in accordance with the Child Promotion Act.

This special financial protection of the municipalities under the law of connection against individual assignments of tasks is in addition to the protection provided by the general financial guarantee of the states: According to all state constitutions, the states must constantly ensure that the municipalities are appropriately financed with regard to all tasks, e.g. B. also for voluntary tasks, increased social expenditure due to unemployment or federal legislation. This is mainly done through the state laws on communal financial equalization and communal financing. The municipalities also obtain sensational judgments on this general financial guarantee (e.g. most recently Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate, judgment of February 14, 2012 - VGH N 3/11)

The principle of connectivity in private law

The term connectivity is also used in substantive private law when regulating the right of retention in Section 273 of the German Civil Code . , Related actions here means that the claim of the debtor who exercises his right of retention, "from the same legal relationship, on its obligation based," must come. The concept of connectivity is to be interpreted in the broadest sense. A coherent and coherent living relationship is sufficient for the connection. In addition, formal law also knows the concept of connectivity. According to Section 33 (1) ZPO “a counterclaim can be filed if the counterclaim is related to the claim asserted in the lawsuit (...)”. The connection in Section 33 (1) ZPO is to be understood in the same way as in Section 273 of the German Civil Code (BGB), so a direct economic connection is sufficient.


  • Thomas Mann, Günter Püttner (Hrsg.): Handbook of municipal science and practice . 3. Edition. tape 1 : Fundamentals and municipal constitution. Springer, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-23793-8 .
  • Stefan Mückl: Principle of connectivity in the constitutional order of the federal and state levels. In Henneke / Pünder / Waldhoff (ed.): Law of communal finances. 2006, p. 33 ff.
  • Klaas Engelken: The principle of connectivity in state constitutional law. 2009

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. VGH N 3/11 (PDF) Constitutional Court of Rhineland-Palatinate. February 14, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  2. Palandt / Heinrichs, BGB Commentary, § 273, Rn. 9, 66th edition 2007.
  3. cf. BGH 92, 196.