Sunday

16th May 2021

German parliament to vote on euro measures ahead of summit

  • The German constitutional court told parliament to increase its scrutiny of EU deals (Photo: BriYYZ)

The German parliament will on Wednesday (26 October) vote on the government's negotiating mandate for the eurozone bail-out fund, just hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel is to attend yet another EU crisis summit in the European capital.

It is the first time the Bundestag will vote on the content of a euro-rescue package before the deal is actually sealed among EU leaders. The new powers follow a key ruling by the German constitutional court last month.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The need for a negotiating mandate approved by the Bundestag was one of the reasons Merkel insisted for another first in EU history: a two-part summit on Sunday and Wednesday.

Initially, the vote was supposed to be held just in the 41-member budget committee, but Merkel's own Christian Democrats in the House demanded a full debate and vote early Wednesday.

The vote will come just ahead of Merkel's departure to Brussels to attend a meeting with all other 26 EU leaders starting at 5pm, followed by a eurozone-only summit likely to end in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The Bundestag is seen as unlikely to block the set of measures - an estimated EU-wide bank recapitalisation of €100 billion, a haircut for Greek bondholders of between 50 and 60 percent and a possible expansion of the firepower of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to some €1 trillion - but has irked countries such as Luxembourg, whose premier, Jean-Claude Juncker, criticised Germany for slowing down the decision-making process.

But to other observers, the improved scrutiny by German MPs is a welcome democratic oversight in a process that has sacrificed transparency and accountability for the sake of the markets.

"I can't see this in a negative light because the responsibility of democratically elected MPs to have their say is a very important democratic right that has been underlined several times by the constitutional court in Karlsruhe," German Green MEP Reinhard Buetikofer told this website.

German MPs increased powers over the government's EU negotiations "will be a change, but not for the worse," he says, because it will force Merkel to be more transparent.

"Of course if you have a dictator he can take a decision in a second, but democracy takes time. If there was no scrutiny by national parliaments, these issues would have no democratic oversight whatsoever, and that would be extremely deplorable," he said.

The Green MEP, who also sits as an observer in the Bundestag's EU affairs committee, said he was "confident" the vote would pass on Wednesday, although "nobody should take any parliament for granted."

Germany to set up MP group to fast-track euro decisions

The German government plans to set up a special committee in the Bundestag to fast-track euro-related decisions, as the legislature will be given a veto right on every future bail-out following a ruling by the country's constitutional court.

German court suspends key parliament committee

The work of a special committee designed to speed up Berlin's decisions on the use of the eurozone bailout fund has been suspended after complaints about its legality.

'Summit to save Europe' still vague on details

With so many aspects of the deal still far from being brought together, any grand bargain reached between the bloc’s premiers and presidents on Wednesday will likely be only the broad outline of a plan.

News in Brief

  1. No EUobserver newsletter on Friday 14 May
  2. Germany stops Facebook gathering WhatsApp data
  3. Italy rebuts reports of EU deal with Libya
  4. MEPs demand EU states protect women's reproductive rights
  5. At least nine dead in Russia school shooting
  6. Bulgaria interim government appointed until July election
  7. German priests defy pope to bless same-sex couples
  8. New EU public prosecutor faults Slovenia

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU aims at 'zero pollution' in air, water and soil by 2050
  2. French police arrest Luxembourg former top spy
  3. Vaccine drives spur better-than-expected EU economic recovery
  4. Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office
  5. 'No place to hide' in Gaza, as fighting escalates
  6. EU chases 90m AstraZeneca vaccines in fresh legal battle
  7. Fidesz MEP oversees FOI appeals on disgraced Fidesz MEP
  8. Belgium outlines summer Covid relaxation plans

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us