EU issues: Karlsruhe clarifies the Bundestag's information rights

EU issues: Karlsruhe clarifies information rights of the Bundestag

Published on 15.2015 .2015

  • The Federal Constitutional Court is examining the extent to which the Federal Government must inform the Bundestag. Photo: Uli Deck/dpa

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The Federal Government must inform Parliament “comprehensively and at the earliest possible time” on EU matters – this is what the Basic Law says. In practice, this always causes controversy.

Karlsruhe.

The Basic Law obliges the federal government to inform the Bundestag as early as possible on EU matters – but does this also apply to defense and security policy issues?

The factions of the Greens and Left want to have this clarified by the Federal Constitutional Court. Against the background of the refugee crisis, they 2015 each filed a lawsuit against the federal government in Karlsruhe. The Second Senate is now negotiating it today.

Focus on EU operation “Sophia”

Both complaints relate to the EU operation “, which has since expired Sophia” against smugglers in the Mediterranean. The Greens and the Left complain that the Federal Government at that time before the decision in the Council of the EU Member States on 18. May 2015 had not passed on the draft for a concept. The left faction is also concerned with an EU/Turkey summit at the end of November 2015. In this context, a letter from the then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) was not made available to her coast on the life-threatening way towards Europe. The Bundeswehr was involved until mid 2019 and had more than 22. People in distress at sea saved. Operation Eunavfor Med was named after a Somali girl who was born on board a German naval ship in August 2015: Sophia . The summit with Turkey was about limiting the entry of Syrian refugees into Europe.

Article

of the Basic Law states that the Bundestag and Bundesrat participate in matters relating to the European Union. And further: “The federal government has to inform the Bundestag and the Bundesrat comprehensively and at the earliest possible time.”

The Greens’ lawsuit was successful

The Greens faction has already sued successfully in Karlsruhe. It was not until spring 2015 that the constitutional judges insisted that the federal government get the Bundestag on board in good time before important decisions were made. At that time it was about the line of negotiations before decisive meetings with the euro partners at the height of the Greek crisis 2015. This affected the responsibility of the Bundestag for the budget.

This time the judges want to clarify whether Article 23 also applies to Common Security and Defense Policy issues. In addition, it should be about the limits of the obligation to inform in individual cases, as they announced in April. Experience has shown that the verdict will be announced a few months later. (Az. 2 BvE 3/15 and others)

The federal government sees no shortcomings in the required information. “We meet these obligations,” said Susanne Baumann, State Secretary at the Federal Foreign Office in Karlsruhe. Much more is often done than is legally required. However, Baumann also said that according to the German government’s understanding of the common security and defense policy, separate rules apply. The European Union is no more than the sum of its member states, the area is not communitized. (dpa)

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