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ESM and fiscal compact infringe German constitution

ESM and fiscal compact infringe German constitution


The German citizens’ alliance Mehr Demokratie and 15,000 citizens will lodge a complaint with Germany’s Constitutional Court tomorrow, Friday 29 June 2012, to hold a referendum on the ESM and the fiscal compact, which are due to be ratified by both houses of the German Parliament on the same day.


According to Mehr Demokratie, the treaties infringe the democratic principles of Germany’s basic law (Grundgesetz) that stipulate to hold a referendum when essential competences concerning the budget are transferred to the EU.   

“Europe’s planned rescue measures have caused a conflict with Germany’s constitution and the democratic idea of parliament’s budget sovereignty”, says Gerald Häfner MEP, President of Democracy International.  “The way governments want to handle the ESM and the fiscal compact would dismantle democracy in the EU as well as in the member states. But Europe has to be based on accountability, solidity and solidarity – as well as on democracy. We should not try to win the markets at the cost of losing the citizens. That is why we support Mehr Demokratie’s call for a referendum”, he adds. 

Democracy International is a coalition of individual citizens and non-governmental organisations advocating more citizen participation and direct democracy in Europe and the world. Democracy International, its German partner organisation Mehr Demokratie and many other democracy groups call for the re-launch of a European convention to revise the institutional set-up of the EU. A possible outcome of this open process could be a new EU Treaty to be adopted by referendum in all Member States. 

“We certainly need a profound treaty reform to make sure that we do not give up the idea of a really democratic Union based on the will of the people, rather than the will of governments, banks and markets”, Gerald Häfner emphasizes.

 Background: For the memorandum “Europe needs more democracy”, providing detailed information about Germany’s legal situation and the constitutional complaint by Mehr Demokratie please check the German version

Press contact: Cora Pfafferott, Democracy International, Tel.: + 49 2203 102 14 75

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