Monday

25th Oct 2021

German court gives conditional green light to new treaty

Germany's highest court on Tuesday ruled that the EU's new treaty is compatible with German law, so long as the role of the national parliament in EU decision-making is strengthened.

"The German constitution says yes to the Lisbon treaty, but on a national level the parliament has to have a stronger say in EU matters", vice-president of the German constitutional court, Andreas Vosskuhle, said on Tuesday after reading the verdict.

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  • The German constitutional court says Lisbon treaty can be fully ratified only if national parliament is strengthened (Photo: Bundesverfassungsgericht)

The court in Karlsruhe also said that the treaty and the German constitution would not allow the creation of an "EU federal state" - one of the concerns of the MPs who filed a complaint.

But the 147 page-long ruling suspends the ratification process of the treaty until the new provisions requested by the court come into force.

Germany's parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the treaty last year, but the final step of ratification, signature by President Horst Koehler, had not been taken due to the court challenge.

Tuesday's decision may have an impact on the ratification calendar, with Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic also not having completed the process.

The German parliament (Bundestag) only has a few days left until summer recess and there are general elections coming up in September.

However, the parliament is planning an extraordinary session on 26 August to examine a draft law on strengthening parliamentary oversight. This should then be voted on 8 September, reports Spiegel Online.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed the judgement saying "the Treaty of Lisbon is essential for the EU's capacity to act in present times."

He also said he was "confident" that ratification of the document would be completed by all member states "by the autumn."

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