German conservatives buckle on Lisbon

Aug. 19, 2009 at 9:55 AM
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BERLIN, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Bavarian conservatives have compromised in negotiations to determine how the Lisbon Treaty would be implemented in Germany, political analysts say.

Leaders of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, part of Germany's Christian Democrat Party, had wanted strong controls by parliament over how the government moves to implement the European Union treaty's provisions, but Tuesday agreed to softer measures, the EUobserver reported. The 2007 treaty would change the way the EU functions.

Under a breakthrough, the CSU reportedly gave in to an agreement in which the German government must hear the Bundestag but will not be bound by its opinion, while the government must also tell lawmakers in detail of any EU-level international trade negotiations.

"We don't feel like the loser, as the position of the parliament has been been strengthened overall," CSU chief negotiator Hartmut Koschyk told the German newspaper Die Zeit.

The EUobserver said the deal still must pass muster with German constitutional judges who ruled in June that the Bundestag's role had to be strengthened for the Lisbon Treaty to be legal.

Germany, Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic are the only EU states yet to ratify the treaty, which critics see as centralizing too much power in Brussels.

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