By Andreas Kißler
BERLIN (Dow Jones) – The German government has refused to draw any direct conclusions from the judgment of the Constitutional Court on informing the Bundestag about EU negotiations. “We have taken note of the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court, we will now examine it carefully, and then we will decide what further conclusions are to be drawn from it or, if necessary, what further measures are to be taken,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert at a press conference. The political controversy over the issues pending in 2015 had been waged in public many times, he said.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance emphasized at the same event that the Karlsruhe decision concerned a matter of the previous government. “For the Federal Ministry of Finance, we take the duty to inform the German Bundestag and the parliament’s rights of participation in matters of the European Union very seriously,” she emphasized. The decision confirms the demarcation between the duty to inform “and the core area of executive personal responsibility, which includes an area of initiative, advice and action that cannot be explored in principle”.
The Greens had previously described the verdict as a “victory for parliamentary democracy”. “That the then Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble in 2015 Greece from the Eurozone wanted to push was a scandal. That he kept this initiative a secret from the Bundestag, “declared Manuel Sarrazin and Sven-Christian Kindler, the initiators of the organ dispute proceedings initiated by the Green parliamentary group in Karlsruhe.” A deception of the parliament was and is unacceptable.
The constitutional court had ruled that the government had to inform the Bundestag “comprehensively and at the earliest possible point in time” about its lines in EU negotiations. The government violated parliamentary rights when it did not inform the Bundestag early in 2015 about its negotiating line on Greece’s possible exit from the euro. Schäuble had brought Greece’s temporary exit from the euro into play with the euro finance ministers in the absence of reforms. The Karlsruhe judges decided that the Bundestag had the right to be informed of the position before the Eurogroup meeting.
(with material from AFP)
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 26, 2021 8:26 AM ET (12:26 GMT)