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Friday, July 10, 2009

Ja, aber

The fall-out of the long awaited decision of the German Constitutional Court on whether the Lisbon Treaty violates the German Constitution (or "Basic Law") is ongoing, with German parties battling it out as to what it all means.

In a nutshell, the Court ruled broadly in favour of Lisbon but withheld approval for immediate ratification, demanding a law to guarantee the rights of the German Parliament in the EU decision-making process.

In its press release, the Constitutional Court noted that the German ratification act should be modified because the German Bundestag (Lower House) and Bundesrat (Upper House) “have not been accorded sufficient rights of participation in European lawmaking procedures and treaty amendment procedures.”

Handelsblatt analysed: “for the Court there is only one real basis for democracy in the EU: the national Parliaments”.

German ratification of the Treaty could be delayed until after the German national elections on 27 September because the Bavarian Christian Democrat CSU party and the Social Democrat SPD party, both of which are in government, have opposed fast-tracking the new law. With Czech President Vaclav Klaus vowing to be the last one to sign the Treaty, the German ruling offers him the opportunity to further delay the final step in Czech ratification. (Welt, 30 June; Handelsblatt, 3 July)

More widely, the ruling raises serious questions about the role of national parliaments and the Lisbon Treaty - shouldn't similar democratic safeguards be required for national parliaments in all member states?

This message has been echoed by publications across Europe, with French newspaper L'Alsace saying, "The German court has signalled that it is necessary - and possible - to convey rights upon the national parliaments in European decision-making. It's a pity such a message was not evoked by France". Dutch magazine Elsevier wrote, "What does this judgment mean for the sovereignty of other member states? Should they not also build a guarantee into their own legislation in order to secure their right to self-determination?"

In an analysis in English, German weekly Der Spiegel noted that the decision "very elegantly demolishes the old European idea that the recognised democratic deficits in the EU would disappear completely of their own accord by enhancing the rights of the European Parliament".

We will very soon return with our analysis of this extremely important question, looking at exactly what the ruling said and what changes are expected to be made to the German system of parliamentary scrutiny of EU law in order for Lisbon to come into force.

But reading through the long, and often awkwardly-worded English version of the Court's decision throws up several devastating conclusions in there that have so far escaped attention.

In particular, the ruling confirms what Open Europe has long been arguing - the simple fact that the Lisbon Treaty's extension of majority voting to so many new policy areas (about 60), necessarily means less influence for national parliaments in policymaking. Advocates of the Treaty have tried to ignore this simple and very logical truth, but here we have it from the Court:

"The status of national parliaments is considerably curtailed by the reduction of decisions requiring unanimity and the suprantioanlisation of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters."

It also clearly states:

"The Treaty of Lisbon does not lead to a new level of development of democracy."

With all these 'ifs' and 'buts', it seems unsurprising that 77% of Germans want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, according to our new poll.


Anonymous said...

The German decision has yet again highlighted the fact that a group of fanatical dictatorial europeans want to take over the Nations of Europe. They have learned that they could not achieve this by 2 world wars so they they are trying to achieve their goal trickery, manipulation, brainwashing and brazen lying. The people of the European Nations should wake up and take your countries back!!!!

Anonymous said...

If anyone is unsure of what the German word jein means, show the court's judgment on the Lisbon Treaty!

Stan said...

Nice to hear that the Germans are beginning to look more closely at the loss of sovereignty staring them in the face, and demanding that their parliament not be just a rubber stamp. If they can succeed in derailing Lisbon, it will be sweet irony: It is the more severe strictures of the German 'take' on such matters as food supplement dosages and choices that is threatening to make all the EU nations be 'harmonised' to their level. This is an assault on the UK's more liberal attitude, and needs to be tossed out. Good one, Germany: Maybe you can do something right, after all....

Anonymous said...

Every country in the EU should be assessed by size not population to determine how many asylum seekers are accepted by them. France has approx three times the land mass of England and yet has approx the same population. Going by this formula, France should be made to accept three times more asylum seekers than the UK. If this was carried out in all the EU states, assimilation of large numbers of asylum seekers could be made more easily and be more acceptable to all.

R Benbow said...

My parents and grandparents fought two world wars against the German nation to secure our own Parliamentary self determination. Ironic indeed that it seems now that the Germans should show us the way.
This may be the full measure of the truly demeaning level of dishonesty that the Labour and their Liberal stooges have stooped to justify breaking the promise of a vote to our electorate.

Unknown said...

Wellso much for Federal Europe, as far as i can see all these "Isms'" are the same, Socialism, Communisum, Facism and Federalism, i and i suspect most of the UK and indeed wider Europe want nothing to do with it.

Why not spend our taxpayers money on something worthwhile like sorting your own house out before trying to promote a treaty that by most peoples admittance no one wants

Unknown said...

God i hope that one day someone in this country has the courage and honor to get us out of europe and let them get on with their pipe dream without us

Steve said...

Surely there MUST be something in the Human Rights act to allow UK citizens a free vote on such a crucial issue that will cede our sovereignty. Is there no way Gordon Brown can be sued for breach of promise? If someone publicly called him a liar over this issue would he have a leg to stand on? If he didn't take libel action that would prove the case, and if he did take action he would lose anyway because he is a liar.

ANDREW said...

the 'wormtongue' Mandelson is propping up the appalling Brown government only to buy time for the Irish 'yes' vote and the final ratification of the Lisbon 'treaty', thus cutting out the possibility of a UK referendum, which Cameron will not call if ratification has happened before he takes power

Unknown said...

Well whatever happens the Czech will not ratify until everyone else has, we just need to have our election before then. Yes well mandelson is the reason behind all this, he and Brown and indeed Barroso (The Porker)will do anything to stop the UK having a referendum on this treaty, but the more they try thses underhand tricks the more people see them for the true facists they are.

Who really cares we as a sovereign nation can leave whenever we want. It just takes a government with some backbone to do it. They need us far more than we need them