The forces of European consolidation are attempting to force through the Lisbon Treaty without allowing anyone other than the Irish to vote. And, of course, the Irish have been pressed to vote a second time since they made the “wrong” decision last year, rejecting Lisbon.
But now the treaty faces a serious challenge before the German high court. Reports the EU Observer:
Several of the eight judges in charge of examining whether the EU’s Lisbon Treaty is compatible with the German constitution have expressed scepticism about the constitutional effects of further EU integration.
According to reports in the German media, the debate during the crucial two-day hearing starting on Tuesday (10 Februrary) on the treaty centred on criminal law and the extent to which it should be the preserve of member states rather than the EU.
The judges questioned whether the EU should be allowed to increase its powers in criminal law.
Judge Herbert Landau said new EU powers in criminal justice affected “core issues” of German legislative authority.
“These are issues affecting the shared values of a people,” he said.
Judge Udo Di Fabio, who prepared the procedure and will deliver the judgement on the treaty, asked whether the transferral of powers to the EU really means more freedom for EU citizens.
“Is the idea of going ever more in this direction not a threat to freedom?” he asked, according to FT Deutschland.
Judge Rudolf Mellinghoff asked whether the treaty was already “in an extensive way” being applied when its comes to the area of criminal sanctions in environment issues – the European Commission may sanction companies for polluting the environment
In all, four of the eight judges questioned the Lisbon Treaty.
The Irish vote was bad enough, causing wailing and gnashing of teeth throughout the continent’s Eurocratic elite. If the EU’s most important country rejects the Lisbon Treaty, the entire EU project will be in doubt. After all, it’s one thing to browbeat the Irish, threatening to toss them out of the EU or push them into some form of second-rate status. But the EU couldn’t do that with Germany and survive.
It’s hard to imagine the German court overturning the government’s ratification of the treaty. But no one expected the Irish to say no as well. Europe might soon find itself dealing with a political as well as economic crisis.