February 20, 2008
German parliamentary ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is assured in good time, but nevertheless Germany may prevent the new treaty coming into force on 1 January 2008. A contradiction? No.
According to the German daily newspaper Die Welt, Peter Gauweiler of the CSU and Left Party politicians are considering challenging the ratification before the country’s constitutional court.
After the parliamentary ratification (expected in May), German President Horst Kohler must sign off on the text. If the case has been commenced before then, the President will have to decide whether to sign off or wait for the court to decide.
In June 2005, Mr Kohler refused to sign off the German law approving the EU Constitutional Treaty as result of a case brought by Mr Gauweiler. The constitutional judge advised President Kohler to wait for the court’s decision.
The grounds for these challenges are that the EU Constitutional Treaty and now Reform Treaty remove too much power from the federal parliament.
Horst Kohler is in a difficult position as he will seek re-election in May 2009. To sign off would be politically dangerous, particularly if subsequently the Court decides against the treaty.Author : Stanley Crossick