Germany’s upper house of parliament has approved legislation on the EU’s Lisbon reform treaty to ensure compatibility with the German constitution.
As the Bundestag lower house gave its approval last week, this leaves the treaty only a presidential signature away from full ratification in Germany.The law now says the government has to inform parliament about EU business, and spells out parliament’s right to express an official view on any EU matter the government discusses in Brussels. This throws the spotlight on Ireland’s second referendum on the treaty on October 2. Irish voters rejected Lisbon last year. Poland and the Czech Republic also need their presidents to sign it. President Vaclav Klaus in Prague has said for a long time he will not sign until he sees how the Irish vote. Even if they say ‘yes’, it will be with strong reluctance, as he is an avowed Eurosceptic, like Poland’s President. It is expected they will both sign. Euronews asked a veteran European Parliament member, the Greens’ Daniel Cohn-Bendit, for his comment. Cohn-Bendit said: “The problem is how Czech public opinion, the Czech parliament and government are going to do their jobs. Anyway, we know how this will end if ratification is not completed: If the European Commission is made under the Nice Treaty, there won’t be a Czech Commissioner.” All 27 European Union states need to ratify the treaty, designed to streamline EU decision-making, for it to enter force. Opinion polls suggest that Ireland’s voters will approve the treaty. But the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ camps each claim the others’ campaigns have been preying on people’s fears.