Friday

27th Apr 2018

German ruling party ponders limiting powers of top court

  • The Karlsruhe-based Constitutional Court has a strong say on eurozone matters (Photo: jgieseking)

Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats are pondering how to limit the powers of the "latent anti-European" Constitutional Court, whose latest verdict will allow fringe parties to have representatives in the European Parliament.

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere, himself a Christian-Democrat, last week held consultations over dinner with a handful of constitutional law professors.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

His spokesperson confirmed on Friday (4 April) that discussions included the role of the Constitutional Court but he refused to give any further details.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported that the meeting was centred around the "growing resentment" between Karlsruhe and Berlin, particularly after the last verdict which scrapped the three-percent threshold for the EU elections.

There was also debate on how to limit the powers of the Karlsruhe-based court in EU affairs, for instance by rewriting the constitutional article regarding Europe, FAZ reported.

The court last month ruled that a three-percent threshold for the upcoming EU elections was unconstitutional and discriminatory against smaller parties.

The ruling is expected to result in the Neo-Nazi NPD party getting seats in the EP for the first time.

The court downplayed the risk of fragmentation in the European Parliament arguing that the EU assembly does not form a government as a national parliament does.

A parallel meeting on Thursday among leading figures of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag also focused on the Constitutional Court.

The gathering considered changing the rules of how judges are appointed to the court and potentially shortening their 12-year mandates, Spiegel reported on Sunday.

CDU deputy chief Armin Laschet tweeted that the Karlsruhe judges are displaying a "latent anti-European style" and that it is pure "hubris" to rule after 35 years that the EU election law is unconstitutional.

Justice minister Heiko Maas from the Social-Democratic Party rejected the potential move.

"The criticism is exaggerated and inappropriate. There will be no changes to the structure and competences of the Constitutional Court under my watch."

The Green opposition also criticised the stance of the ruling Christian-Democrats. "Shocking that Kauder&Co seriously want to limit the independence of the Constitutional Court because they dislike its rulings," tweeted Green MP Katja Dorner.

ECB overstepped its mandate, German top court says

The German constitutional court has said the ECB overstepped its mandate when promising to buy as many government bonds as necessary to stabilise the euro, but it referred the verdict to the EU's top judges.

Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP

Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala won a trailblazing court case two decades ago for the right of EU citizens to receive 'partial access' to documents. Now she says it is "outrageous" the European Investment Bank is refusing to release Volkswagen documents.

Investigation

MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes

MEPs are using so-called 'friendship groups' to cater to foreign governments without oversight and little public scrutiny. Initially set up to promote cultural exchanges, some have become lobbying platforms to push state views from governments with poor human rights records.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  2. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May
  3. EU Green Week 2018Green Cities for a Greener Future. Join the Debate in Brussels from 22 to 24 May
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  6. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  7. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  9. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  10. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  11. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  12. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off

Latest News

  1. EU tells platforms to sort fake news by October or face new law
  2. Civil society chief: social media can't replace engagement
  3. The reality behind the €7 'Brexit bombshell visa'
  4. Commission wants bigger post-Brexit budget
  5. Whistleblowers could be enforcers of rule of law in Europe
  6. EU shelves Macron idea for 'European Darpa'
  7. Don't play EU 'games' with military HQs
  8. EU had a plan for Jordan - now it's time to make it work