December 13, 2011

German Parliament Wants Input on EU Deals

Merkel’s party says deals have to go through Parliament first

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party has fired a shot across the bow of future European Union deals: It wants more say in any agreements with European partners, and intends that all future such arrangements must be approved by Parliament.

Reuters reported Tuesday that a paper approved by approved by parliamentary floor leaders from Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) and Free Democrats (FDP) says that the government must inform and consult parliament when it deals with EU issues or involves the use of EU institutions.

While the German Parliament already has greater say in EU matters thanks to a requirement put in place by its constitutional court that the Bundestag must be consulted on changes to the bailout fund, the new paper apparently aims to make sure Parliament also has a say in a proposed new treaty for deeper economic integration in the eurozone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Photo: AP)The paper lays out a number of demands that could make it very difficult for Merkel (left) to continue negotiations. They include requirements that the government inform Parliament of discussions from an early stage, as well as providing documents to show why each decision must be made quickly.

Durina a September vote, Merkel's center-right coalition supported changes to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) after the constitutional court ruling, but it was a narrow victory: 10 MPs from her Christian Democrat party voted against the measure. In October, dissent grew, and 15 coalition representatives either abstained or voted against another eurozone rescue measure.

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