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A way around my problem meanwhile is:

<arg name="ns" default="/" /> <!-- empty strings are not allowed for namespace ! -> "/" -->
<group ns="$(arg ns)">  

    <node pkg="robot_state_publisher" type="robot_state_publisher" output="screen"
          <param name="robot_description" value="robot_description"/>
          <param name="publish_frequency" value="30.0"/>
          <param name="tf_prefix"    value="$(arg ns)"/>

Unfortunatley this requires to have a group inside the launchfile. But the launchfile can be used with or without namespace.