Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The implications of the Court decision

Even though the Lisbon treaty does not violate German basic law, it cannot be ratified rightaway. The Constitutional Court forces the German Parliament to introduce measures which give it a greater power in European decision-making before the treaty will be accepted. This concerns the influence of the Bundestag on positions of the federal government in the Council of Ministers in particular.

What does that mean? For the moment, the treaty of Lisbon is held hostage until the German Parliament has got more power vis-à-vis the Government. The ratification of the treaty is stalled on account of national controversies. Admittedly, the federal government is now under European pressure to devolve more power to the legislators.

But will it be possible to implement the law for more involvement of the Bundestag before the German elections on September 27, as Socialist MEP Jo Leinen hopes? He says the law could be discussed on August 26 and passed on September 8. But that's at the height of the election campaign and only three weeks before the elections...

Plus, that will be only shortly before the referendum in Ireland, so that European pressure for a positive outcome cannot apply solely to Ireland but will be applied on Ireland and Germany equally until Germany can submit the ratification form to Brussels in September.

Things could have been easier with a simple ok to ratification...

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