The Lisbon treaty complies with Germany’s constitution, says the nation’s highest court. Judges have given the treaty the green light thus bringing ratification a step nearer, but at the same time the ruling suspends the ratification process.
This is because the court wants additional guarantees for the Berlin parliament’s freedom to act. EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso says he is satisfied with the ruling and now expects the treaty to pass into German law before the end of the year. The optimism is shared by Chancellor Merkel as she prepares for the extraordinary Bundestag session on the treaty on August 26. “The most important message today is that the Lisbon treaty has cleared another important hurdle. I am very happy about this. The Federal Constitutional court has confirmed the constitution says ‘yes’ to the Lisbon treaty,” she said. But there could still be a surprise derailment in parliament as the session comes just a month before a general election, when national, not European interests may dominate the debate.