“Brussels EU” construct further eroded

The recent ruling by the German Constitutional Court, on Germany’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, does not merely threaten Berlin's schedule for the ratification of the treaty: it also further erodes the very credibility of the “Brussels EU” itself. As eloquently described in the comprehensive analysis published in the German Der Spiegel newspaper, published on 6th July, the court’s ruling and its possible ramifications are a political bombshell that could tip the scales for the other European countries that have yet to ratify the treaty – namely Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic.

In contrast to the premature and disingenuous pronouncements of those commentators and politicians who claimed that the ruling was favourable to Germany’s ratification of the treaty, examination of it reveals that the legal challenge filed with the court was largely successful – especially so given that the complainants and applicants are to be reimbursed their necessary expenses in proportion to their success in the proceedings.

In essence, the court has ruled that by passing the so-called "accompanying law" to the Lisbon Treaty, which determines the rights of the German parliament to participate in European legislation, Germany had relinquished significant monitoring rights to the “Brussels EU”. According to the judges, this unconstitutionally subjects the German people to the whims of a bureaucracy that lacks sufficient democratic legitimacy.

Moreover, the concluding statements of the court's decision make clear that the EU is not a state but rather an "association of sovereign states". As such, it follows that there can be no sovereign citizens' union and no completely representative organ in the form of the European Parliament – the latter of which the judges clearly state to be terminally undemocratic.

Significantly, therefore, the court has submitted a request to the German parliament to pass a new trial law. This could allow every German citizen to file a special EU suit with the Constitutional Court against unpopular European regulations and standards. As a result, no matter what German representatives agree to in Brussels, they will now always run the risk of a complaint being filed against them. The effect that this would have upon the Brussels EU dictatorship is nothing short of profound.

Little by little, therefore, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are witnessing the beginning of the end for the “Brussels EU” experiment. Whilst Chancellor Merkel and her friends may still be trying to pretend to the outside world that the treaty has cleared an important hurdle, the reality is that their deeply undemocratic plans for the future of Europe are now falling around them in tatters.

To read an analysis of the ruling published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper, click here.

For further analysis, from an Irish perspective, describing how the German judgment fundamentally changes the “Brussels EU” experiment, read Bruce Arnold’s insightful article in the Irish Independent by clicking here.

To read the German Constitutional Court’s ruling, click here.

To read the German Constitutional Court’s press release that accompanied the ruling, click here.