Not only is Italy facing problems with ratifying the Lisbon Treaty. Germany too is facing problems. A legal challenge has been made to Lisbon in effect stating that it is unconstitutional, and the President Horst Koehler (pictured) has accordingly delayed his signature, although it has passed both houses of the German legislature.
Legally the Irish vote brings the Lisbon process to a halt, and the German President may now withhold his signature permanantly, as he did in 2005 over the EU Constitution after the French and Dutch referenda. As the Germans would say ‘Alles nicht in ordnung sind’. (corrections in the comment file please!)
From Deutch Presse Agentur
Jun 13, 2008, 16:14 GMT
Berlin – The Irish no to the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty Friday has cast uncertainty over the German ratification process.
While both houses of the German parliament have passed the legislation ratifying the treaty – the only party to oppose it was the minority Left – German President Horst Koehler has yet to sign it.
But Peter Gauweiler, a member of the Lower House, the Bundestag, for Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), applied to the Constitutional Court to have the treaty ruled unconstitutional.
Gauweiler cited objections similar to those heard from the no side in Ireland and to those voiced by eurosceptic members of Britain’s Conservative Party – that the treaty impinges on German sovereignty, in particular on the rights of German citizens to representation by members of the German parliament.
The situation in Germany facing the Lisbon Treaty after the Irish no is similar to that faced by the European Constitution in 2005.
After the German parliament had passed the European Constitution in May 2005, Gauweiler raised similar objections and Koehler waited for the court to rule.
The rejections by the French and Dutch electorates in the middle of that year brought the process to a halt. The German Constitutional Court did not rule, and Koehler did not sign.
See this from The Huntsman – Germans are filtering out non-German euros! LINK.
Full Lisbon round-up post-Ireland BBC report HERE.
UPDATE 29 January 2009 – See HERE
UPDATE 10th February 2009 – Open Europe
German court to decide whether Lisbon Treaty is unconstitutional
AFP reports that Germany’s Constitutional Court will today consider claims that the Lisbon Treaty is unconstitutional. The article notes that the Federal Constitutional Court has allotted two days for the hearings – an extremely rare step that the plaintiffs say indicates that the court is taking the case very seriously.
The complaint has been lodged by MP Peter Gauweiler, who argues that the proposed Treaty calls into question the principle of democracy, a cornerstone of Germany’s constitution, as it undermines the Bundestag – the country’s parliament. EUobserver notes that the court’s judgement is expected to be made in two to three months. But even if the court comes out in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, the process may not be over. Last month, a separate group handed in another complaint against the Treaty, listing political and economic faults.