Tuesday 10 February 2009

Germany threatens to wreck Lisbon treaty

Eurosceptics from all around Eupore are looking to Germany's highest court today for an opportunity to scupper the Lisbon Treaty. The judges are hearing a case on the constitutionality of the project. Should the Federal Constitutional Court rule it unconstitutional, it may provide a roadblock too large for the controversial treaty to overcome. Lets hope this will be the death of the Lisbon treaty, but three countries have already said 'no' so there's no telling what they'll do.

"It would put a spanner in the works , Says Gawain Towler, the UK Independence party's South West MEP candidate. "One would say it's hard to see it continue but so far votes haven't stopped them so why would a court stop them?

"I can't imagine the EU institution would let it lie. They would find a way. "Theoretically it should scupper the whole affair but I can't see them accepting that. Pressure would be brought to bear some way or another."

German chancellor, Angela Merkel, a vociferous supporter of the treaty, appears to be taking the challenge very seriously, sending both her vice-chancellor and interior minister to court to argue the government's case today. The treaty has been approved by Germany's parliament and signed by the president, but will not be ratified until a decision is made on this case, which may take two or three months.

The complaint has been lodged by conservative politician Peter Gauweiler and a group from the left-wing Die Linke party, will be heard over two days, which is itself an extremely rare step. They argue the treaty undermines the German parliament by questioning the principle of democracy, a cornerstone of the constitution. Mr Gauweiler today presented the court with wriiten evidence and gave a hypothetical example of a problem case. (Below)

"The environment minister fails in the German parliament to have light bulbs banned in Germany as they are harmful to the environment," wrote Mr Gauweiler.

"Next, he brings the initiative to the European Council where it is supported by ministers from other countries and becomes a European Commission directive."

He said that under the treaty this would then have to be incorporated into German law despite being rejected by the German parliament. The treaty must be ratified by all 27 EU member-states to come into force but has been bogged down in Poland, Ireland, the Czech Republic and now Germany. Ireland has been bullied into holding a second referendum later this year, the first ending in a 53-47 percent 'no' vote, after concessions were made on issues of special concern to Ireland. But there is hope the Polish president has said he will not sign without an Irish 'yes' vote, while the Czech president has said he will delay signing the treaty for as long as possible. We wish them good Luck.