Thursday

29th Jun 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEGet the Latest News from the 2017 Estonian EU Council Presidency @EU2017EE
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  3. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  4. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  6. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  7. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  8. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  9. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  10. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  11. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  12. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million