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Germany lawmakers agree on draft law necessary for approving EU reform treaty

[JURIST] German lawmakers on Tuesday agreed to a draft law strengthening parliamentary involvement with the country's representatives to the European Union [official website], a step toward reforms necessary to Germany's ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty [EU materials; text]. The draft law would require [DW report] the government to fully inform the Bundestag [official website] about negotiations at the EU, and would allow parliament to issue non-binding guidance on issues before the EU. The Constitutional Court [official website, in German] ruled last month that such a law was necessary prior to ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, despite its compatibility with the German Basic Law [text]. The draft did not adopt [UPI report] a proposal by the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian affiliate of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) [party websites, in German] of Chancellor Angela Merkel [official profile], to make parliamentary decisions binding on the EU delegation. The Bundestag is set to vote on the draft law on September 8, with the Bundesrat [official website] to follow on September 18.

Efforts to ratify [JURIST news archive] the treaty in all of the 27 member countries required for approval have met some obstacles. Although the treaty has been approved in 23 countries, Irish voters rejected [JURIST report] the treaty last June, leading Czech President Vaclav Klaus [official website] to refuse to sign the measure, despite approval [JURIST report] by the Czech Senate [official website]. Last July, Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] refused to sign [JURIST report] the treaty despite parliamentary approval, calling it "pointless" in light of the Irish rejection. Ireland agreed in June to hold a second referendum [JURIST report] after EU leaders agreed to certain concessions [presidency conclusions, PDF].

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