Angela Merkel faces EU constitution setback

31st October 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 October 2006, Berlin (dpa) - Efforts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to revive the European Union's failed constitution were dealt a setback Tuesday when the country's high court delayed ruling on the text until as late as 2009. The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said it would not rule on whether the draft EU constitution conformed with Germany's constitution until after there was a final decision on the fate of the EU treaty. Merkel has made resuscitating the EU constitution - which was r

31 October 2006

Berlin (dpa) - Efforts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to revive the European Union's failed constitution were dealt a setback Tuesday when the country's high court delayed ruling on the text until as late as 2009.

The Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe said it would not rule on whether the draft EU constitution conformed with Germany's constitution until after there was a final decision on the fate of the EU treaty.

Merkel has made resuscitating the EU constitution - which was rejected by French and Dutch voters last year - a top priority for Germany's European Union presidency in 2007.

All 25 EU member state must approve the constitution for it to come into force. So far 14 states have ratified the text.

The German leader had hoped for a green light from the high court before she takes the EU helm for six months from January 1.

But now constitutional critics can spotlight the fact that the German parliament's 2005 "yes" vote for the EU treaty is not binding because President Horst Koehler has vowed not to sign the bill until the Karlsruhe court makes its final ruling.

High court judges said their decision might be delayed until 2009 because they did not want to influence the ongoing EU political process.

Bavarian Christian Social Union member of parliament Peter Gauweiler filed the high court lawsuit after alleging the EU constitution would deprive the Berlin parliament of its power.

Gauweiler hailed the ruling and issued a statement predicting "the EU constitution has in all probability also failed in Germany."

DPA

Subject: German news

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