This agreement, established by the Lindau Agreement of 1957, is based on the state`s acceptance that the Federal Government is acting on their behalf in the negotiation or signing of foreign contracts that resolve their jurisdictional issues either in part or in full. In exchange for the Confederation`s authorization to act on their behalf, the federal states secured broad participation rights that deprive the Confederation of the right to sign such contracts without unanimous prior agreement. The central institution for the implementation of this agreement is the Standing Committee on the Treaties of the Lands. Its mission is to forward to the federal state the requests of the federal states for draft treaties of the type described above and to coordinate their recommendations both within and between the federal states. The agreement of each of them must be guaranteed before the treaty obligations become applicable under international law. The ratification process, starting with the treaty to the Federal Council, usually does not begin until the federal government has sought the agreement of the federal states. In any event, international ratification by the tabling of the document for the ratification of international law cannot be initiated unless all the cabinets of the federal states have given their consent to the federal government on the basis of the recommendations of the Treaty Committee. If international treaties affect the essential interests of countries without necessarily being relevant to one of their exclusive competences, countries must also be informed as soon as possible of the proposed conclusion of such contracts, so that they can express their demands in a timely manner. However, the conclusion of the treaty is not subject to the unanimous agreement of the countries, as is the case for the exclusive competences of the countries. Nevertheless, according to the principle of federal unity [see below and in Philip Blair – Peter Cullen, federalism, legalism and political reality: the protocol of the Federal Constitutional Court, in C. Jeffery (Ed), redistribution of German federalism , op.cit.] is always obliged to take into account the opinion of the federal states and to do as much as possible in general during the negotiations. External Relations In accordance with Article 32 of the Basic Law, the federal states have the right to be consulted in a timely manner before the Confederation concludes a treaty concerning the particular circumstances of a country.
It also provides that the federal states, to the extent that they have the power to legislate, can, with the agreement of the federal government, enter into contracts with foreign states (s. 32/3). The text of the latter provision gives way to two different interpretations of the issue of contracting powers in areas under the exclusive jurisdiction of countries. On the one hand, the jurisdiction of the federal states applies exclusively to them, so that the transformation of the obligations arising from such contracts into German law falls within their exclusive jurisdiction.