Wednesday

18th Oct 2017

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.

Eurogroup closes Schaeuble era

Eurozone finance ministers bade farewell to their longest-serving and most influential colleague, while preparing to also replace its chairman at the end of the year.

Opinion

Left flirting with antisemitism in EU parliament

It is outrageous that Leila Khaled, a member of a group listed by the EU as a terrorist organisation, was given a platform in the EU parliament, a body representing democracy and peaceful cooperation.

News in Brief

  1. Spanish Court declares Catalan referendum law void
  2. EU to keep 'Dieselgate' letter secret
  3. No deal yet on Mediterranean alliance for EU agencies
  4. EU Commission condemns Maltese journalist's murder
  5. Poland denies wrongdoing over forest logging
  6. Risk to asylum kids in EU increasing, says charity
  7. Schroeder warns of Turkey and Russia drifting towards China
  8. EU parliament wants equal pay for posted workers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU rejects UK claim it's slowing Brexit talks
  2. Nepal troops arrive in Libya to guard UN refugee agency
  3. Is Banking Authority HQ the Brexit 'booby prize'?
  4. EU-Russia trade bouncing back - despite sanctions
  5. No sign of Brexit speed-up after May-Juncker dinner
  6. EU defence strategy 'outsourced' to arms industry
  7. EU privacy rules tilt to industry, NGO says
  8. Malta in shock after car bomb kills crusading journalist