Wednesday

16th Jan 2019

German constitutional court to examine Lisbon treaty

  • Germany's constitutional court is to hold a hearing on the treaty next month (Photo: EUobserver)

Germany's constitutional court is preparing for an unusually long hearing on the EU's Lisbon treaty in a process that will help determine the fate of the document across the European Union.

Over two days next month (10-11 February) the court's judges will discuss whether the treaty breaches Germany's constitution.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The time the court has allotted for the debate is exceptionally long. According to Focus magazine, it only happens once or twice in a decade that the court gives more than one day for a hearing.

The court is considering a complaint brought by conservative MP Peter Gauweiler, who has argued that the treaty infringes on the rights given to German citizens in their country's constitution by allowing a foreign court - the European Court of Justice - to decide upon such issues.

He also argues that the treaty undermines the power of Germany's own parliament, the Bundestag.

Dietrich Murswiek, the lawyer handling the case for Mr Gauweiler, also remarked on the hearing's length: "This shows that the constitutional court is taking the issue very seriously. A hearing of longer than a day happens very rarely."

Although Germany's parliament has ratified the treaty and the president has signed it off, the final step to complete the process – formally handing the papers over in Rome – will remain stalled until the court has decided.

But the fate of the treaty, which has to be ratified in all 27 member states to come into force, remains in the balance in three additional countries.

The Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland also have yet to complete ratification. The Czech parliament is due to debate the charter at the beginning of February. If it passes parliament, it then faces another hurdle in the shape of the country's eurosceptic president, Vaclav Klaus, who must also give his approval.

Ireland is having another go at ratifying the treaty after it was rejected by Irish citizens last June. The second referendum will take place in the autumn. The result will directly influence Poland's treaty situation.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski has said he will only give the nod to the treaty if Ireland's referendum produces a Yes vote.

German top court to rule on whether ECB can buy bonds

Germany's constitutional court is expected to rule this spring on the legality of the European Central Bank's bond purchases, a scheme that has eased the eurozone crisis by calming markets.

German court to begin hearing on EU treaty

Germany's highest court will today begin a hearing on whether the EU's Lisbon treaty undermines the country's own constitution by weakening the power of national parliaments.

MEPs redouble appeal on sexual harassment

The EU parliament's internal chiefs have so far refused to introduce mandatory training on dealing with sexual harassment. MEPs have now asked for it again.

Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret

A number of centre-right MEPs are pushing for a secret ballot on a plenary vote that would make EU lawmakers more transparent and accountable to the public - in a move described as "absurd" by Transparency International.

Lead MEP on Morocco resigns as her report passes

MEPs ultimately adopted a controversial report on an EU trade deal with Morocco - despite the sudden resignation by French liberal Patricia Lalonde as the file's rapporteur only moments beforehand. Her departure follows an EUobserver investigation into lobbying by Morocco.

News in Brief

  1. Macron starts 'grand debate' tour after yellow vests protests
  2. Barnier: up to London to take Brexit forward
  3. Stimulus still needed, ECB's Draghi says in final report
  4. May's Brexit deal defeated by 230 votes
  5. German economy hit by global economic turbulence
  6. MEPs narrowly call for end to 'tampon tax'
  7. MEPs back spending €6bn on fusion energy research
  8. MEPs call for 'awareness campaign' on autonomous car benefits

Opinion

Fiscal discipline rules in eurozone are devastating

New rules are needed that do not place the heaviest burdens on a few countries, but ensure that all countries benefit from the euro. Avoiding imbalances in trade between countries can do this.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. German spies to monitor far-right AfD party
  2. On Morocco, will the EU ignore its own court?
  3. UK parliament rejects May's Brexit deal in historic defeat
  4. EU suggests majority vote on digital tax by 2025
  5. MEPs redouble appeal on sexual harassment
  6. Trump's wall vs Europe's sea
  7. Centre-right MEPs want transparency vote to be secret
  8. Germany scorns 'unusual' US threat on Russia pipeline

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us