More Europe in Berlin – not less Europe in Brussels'

Article published on Oct. 7, 2009
community published
Article published on Oct. 7, 2009
Andrew Duff, ALDE spokesman on Constitutional Affairs and President of the Union of European Federalists, welcomed the completion this week of Germany’s ratification of the Lisbon treaty. In a statement, he said: The German ratification of the treaty is terribly late, but none the less welcome for that.

There has been swift implementation of the recent decision of the recent verdict of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (German Federal Constitutional Court). There are two important practical outcomes which should be welcomed by all those who want a strong parliamentary European Union:

The Treaty of Lisbon does not undermine and is perfectly compatible with German Basic Law.The Bundestag and Bundesrat must participate in future more fully in EU affairs than they have done in the past. The legislative reforms brought about as a consequence of the court’s judgment mean more Europe in Berlin and not less Europe in Brussels.

The completion of the German ratification sends a strong signal to the remaining three countries – Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic. If the Irish referendum is positive, as the opinion polls suggest, there can be absolutely no excuse for any further procrastination in Warsaw or Prague.

In particular, the Czech constitutional court in Brno should follow exactly the conclusions of its German counterpart in Karlsruhe (and those of every other constitutional court of the EU) by dismissing further appeals brought against the treaty on spurious grounds. President Vaclav Klaus and dissident ODS senators are in danger of turning themselves into nuisance litigants.