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German constitutional court passes ESM and fiscal pact by sticking to Germany's budgetary competence

German constitutional court passes ESM and fiscal pact by sticking to Germany's budgetary competence

12-09-2012

Strasbourg, 12 September: Germany’s top constitutional court has ruled today that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the fiscal compact can only be ratified with the condition that the German Parliament keeps the control. Any exceeding of Germany’s ESM contribution must be approved by both legislating bodies of Germany (“Bundestag” and “Bundesrat”).

"The decision by the German court is a wise and clear signal that we must not step back from achieved levels of democratic control” says Gerald Häfner, Chairperson of Democracy International and Member of European Parliament. Democracy International is the global coalition working towards strengthening citizen participation and (direct) democracy in Europe and the world.

“The constitutional court made it very clear that the ultimate responsibility of parliaments for budgets cannot be delegated according to the German constitution. Final decisions towards a deeper European fiscal and monetary union must remain directly with the people.

The huge amount of people who raised their voice in Germany shows that citizens in Europe are worried about losing their power to influence political decisions. Citizens want to have a say. The only way out of the crisis leads through creating a more democratic, more credible European Union” Gerald Häfner points out.

Democracy International calls for an EU convention in which citizens and civil society can discuss the future of the European Union with European and national members of parliaments. According to Article 48 of the Lisbon Treaty (Treaty on European Union) the President of the European Council shall convene a convention when major changes are made to the institutional set-up of the EU.

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