By Simon Miller
The German constitutional court has rules that the government had failed to sufficiently inform the Bundestag over the permanent euro rescue package, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
Following a complaint from the Green Party, the court in Karlsruhe said the government had not kept the German parliament sufficiently informed during negotiations over the ESM.
In addition, it said that by not keeping the Bundestag informed over negotiations on the Euro Plus Pact - where economic policy will be co-ordinated - the government had reneged on parliament’s right to be kept informed in matters concerning the European Union.
Although there should be no direct impact on decisions surrounding the rescue package, it will be a further headache for Chancellor Angela Merkel as it will strengthen the hand of MPs who resent Germany’s role as paymaster for Europe.
The government and opposition are already in talks about the ratification of the ESM and fiscal pact and meet again on 21 June to finalise talks which would open the road for the ratification of the treaties on 29 June.
Under German law, the government must notify the Bundestag and the Bundesrat as “comprehensively and at the earliest possible date’ on matters concerning the European Union.
The Constitutional Court has repeatedly enforced the central role of parliament in European integration and has, most recently, slowed schedules and block measures put forward to shore up the euro. Earlier this year it ruled that the Bundestag full budgetary committee needed to be involved in the decision-making process.