Sunday

23rd Sep 2018

German court handed new complaint on EU treaty

  • The Lisbon Treaty was signed by EU leaders in late 2007 (Photo: Portuguese EU Presidency)

Germany's constitutional court has been handed a second complaint over the EU's Lisbon Treaty with the potential to delay the country's final ratification of the document for several months.

The new legal action, running to over 200 pages, is concerned with economic as well as political issues, which the complainants say are not addressed by the Lisbon Treaty.

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

They argue that a prognosis on European integration given by the country's constitutional court in a 1993 judgement on the Maastricht Treaty - which paved the way to the euro - has turned out to be false.

Instead, EU integration has been characterised by "continuous breaches of the stability pact, a presumptuous over-stepping of power by the European Commission, unaccountable leadership and dissolution of the separation of powers," say the authors in a statement on Monday(26 January), according to German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

They say that the constitutional court cannot approve the Lisbon treaty because it "strengthens the current practice of dismembering the division of powers and mixing of competences."

The complaint is being brought by Markus Kerber, a commercial lawyer, Dieter Spethmann, a former chief executive of Thyssen, former MEP Franz Ludwig Graf Stauffenberg and economist Joachim Starbatty.

Germany's highest court is already dealing with a separate complaint on the Lisbon treaty by conservative MP Peter Gauweiler. It is due to have a two-day hearing on his complaint - which says the treaty undermines freedoms guaranteed in the German constitution - on 10 and 11 February.

But the latest complainants have refused to take part in that hearing, reports Handelsblatt newspaper, wanting to have their argumentation proofed separately by the court.

The court now has to decide whether it will accept to proof their case. If it does, it is likely to take several months to come to a decision.

This could delay the German government's timetable for the treaty, which it would like in place across the bloc by the end of the year.

To go into force, the charter still needs to be accepted by Irish citizens, due to have their say in a second referendum later this year and be ratified in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, Poland's president Lech Kaczynski has said he will only formally approve the treaty if Ireland says Yes in autumn.

For its part, Germany has to hand the papers of the Lisbon treaty over in Rome for complete ratification to have taken place. The president, Horst Koehler, is waiting for the court judgement before making the move.

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.

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

Exclusive

Commission took no minutes at Juncker speech seminar

In August, Jean-Claude Juncker and his EU commissioners held a two-day seminar at a chateau outside Brussels to prepare this week's State of the Union speech. The commission implies there is no written record.

EUobserved

Juncker, the 'sad and wiser' man of Europe

Despite bold propositions for the EU's future, one could not help feeling the Commission chief's State of the Union address already sounded like a farewell speech.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us