Ratification of the EU’s Lisbon reform treaty in Germany remains only a technicality, President Horst Koehler’s office has said. He has signed the documents needed for German ratification. The country’s top court had demanded that domestic legislation on the treaty be adjusted to make it compatible with the constitution. These were made, and Germany’s lower and upper houses of parliament approved them.
The changes oblige the German government to inform parliament about EU business and state that parliament has the right to express an official view on any European matter the government discusses in Brussels. The president’s last contribution will be to sign the ratification certificate. All of the EU’s 27 member states must ratify the treaty for it to come into force. Yet constitutional expert Giuseppe Guarino said: “Parliamentarians will probably pose questions on the new text again, which would require additional rulings by the German Constitutional Court. I would not say for sure that the new Irish referendum and the German Constitutional modification have definitively solved the problem.” Apart from Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Poland are left to ratify the treaty. The Irish second referendum on it is set for October 2, and the others require presidential signatures. After Ireland’s voters rejected the treaty last year, now opinion polls show most of them intend to support it, but a significant number are undecided.