Court rules lawmakers must be involved in euro decisions | News | DW | 19.06.2012
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Court rules lawmakers must be involved in euro decisions

Germany's constitutional court has ruled that parliament must be given an adequate say in the government's position in negotiations regarding the eurozone. The ruling doesn't affect previous measures.

Germany's top court handed down a landmark decision on Tuesday that strengthens the role of the country's parliament when it comes to issues related to further European integration.

The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that members of the Bundestag must be given the opportunity to effectively influence the government's position at an early stage in any new negotiations regarding Europe.

The judges found that the center-right coalition government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel had breached the rights of the German parliament by failing to sufficiently inform lawmakers during negotiations towards the creation of the permanent euro rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

This decision is "a further important building block in a series of decisions by the Constitutional Court that strengthen parliamentary responsibility in the context of European integration," the president of the court, Andreas Vosskuhle, said.

The ruling follows a decision that the court handed down in February in which it struck down a plan to create a committee of just nine members of the Bundestag to decide in secret about emergency measures regarding the euro. Then too, the court argued that the entire assembly must be involved in such decisions.

The court heard the case based on a complaint brought by the opposition Green party, which had argued that it wasn't given enough of a say in negotiations on the ESM, which is meant to come into force next month.

The Bundestag and the upper house, the Bundesrat, are expected to approve the creation of the ESM when they vote on the issue on June 29.

pfd/ncy (dpa, AFP)