News from Parliaments

Please find here the latest news.

Meeting between Members of the German Bundestag and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank

On 24 October 2012, members of the German Bundestag’s Budget Committee, Finance Committee and Committee on the Affairs of the European Union, and many other Members of the Bundestag, met the President of the European Central Bank, Professor Mario Draghi, for a discussion at the Bundestag.

At a press conference, the President of the Bundestag, Professor Norbert Lammert, said that the discussion had focused both on the differences in the tasks of the ECB and the Bundestag, and on the responsibility they share. This had helped to ensure that concerns and intentions were better understood and to build confidence in the context of cooperation to ensure the stability of the euro. He also emphasised that the ECB’s independence was strongly supported by Germany and represented an “important additional factor in dealing with this crisis”.

The President of the ECB gave assurances that the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMTs) announced on 6 September 2012 would not lead to disguised financing of governments. He said that OMTs were fully in compliance with the independence and mandate of the ECB, that they would not reduce fiscal discipline and that they did not constitute monetary financing. He explained that the ECB would only use OMTs to intervene in countries where the economy and public finances were on a sustainable path. In addition, these countries would first have to request support from the ESM and agree to conditionality in the form of an economic adjustment programme. Support from the ESM would not automatically lead to OMT actions by the ECB benefiting the country concerned, however. He noted that it was governments which had to set right their public finances and reform their economies.

Read more (in German):

Professor Draghi’s opening statement is available at the following address:

A video of the press conference is available at the following address:

French National Assembly voted on Fiscal Compact

On 9 October 2012, the French National Assembly has approved the ratification bill for the Fiscal Compact. MPs have voted as follows:

477 in favour, 70 against, 21 abstentions.

The bill has still to be passed before the Sénat, before the President of the Republic promulgates it as law of the land.

Read more in French under:

ESM Treaty signed

The ESM Treaty was signed by the 17 Member States of the Euro-zone on 2nd February 2012 and entered into force on 27 September 2012 following the notification by the German government of its ratification instrument to the EU Council, thus fulfilling the condition provided for by art. 48(1) of the same Treaty, according to which the entry into force is submitted to the ratification by the signatories whose initial subscriptions represent no less than 90% of the total.

Such entry into force was possible following the judgement of the German Constitutional Court which rejected, on 12 September 2012, complaints on the unconstitutionality of the ESM Treaty.

Germany’s Constitutional Court approves German legislation on the ESM Treaty and Fiscal Compact

On 12 September 2012, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court pronounced its judgment regarding several applications for the issue of temporary injunctions, dealing in particular with the constitutionality of the German laws giving consent to the ESM and the Fiscal Compact, which were adopted by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat on 29 June 2012. The judgment has paved the way for Germany to ratify the Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM Treaty) and the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (also known as the Fiscal Compact).

The Federal Constitutional Court stated in its judgment that the ESM Treaty may be ratified provided that it is ensured, under international law:

1. that under Article 8 (5), first sentence, of the ESM Treaty the amount of all payment obligations arising for the Federal Republic of Germany from the Treaty is limited to its portion of the authorised capital stock of the ESM (190,024,800,000 euros), and that no provision of the Treaty may be interpreted in a way that establishes higher payment obligations for the Federal Republic of Germany without the agreement of the German representative on the ESM boards; and

2. that the regulations of the ESM Treaty concerning the inviolability of ESM documents (Articles 32 (5) and 35 (1) of the ESM Treaty) and the obligation of professional secrecy for all persons who work for the ESM (Article 34 of the ESM Treaty) do not stand in the way of providing comprehensive information to the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

To fulfil these requirements, the German government is expected to enter a reservation when it deposits the instrument of ratification.

Read more:
Full text of the Act on Financial Participation in the European Stability Mechanism:

Follow-up on Monti II

In a letter to the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schultz, the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso, announced that it was decided to withdraw COM (2012) 130 - the Monti II initiative, which triggered the first yellow card, as stipulated by Protocol 2 of the Treaty of Lisbon.

"I would like to take the opportunity to inform you of the Commission's intention to withdraw its proposal for a Regulation on the exercise of the right to take collective action within the context of the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services ('Monti II')", said Mr. Barosso.

The text of the letter can be found here.

German Bundestag voted on Art. 136 TFEU, the Fiscal Compact and the ESM Treaty

On the 29th of June, the German Bundestag ratified, with the necessary 2/3 majority, the modification to art. 136 TFEU, the Fiscal Compact and the ESM Treaty.

The figures of the votes at the Bundestag are the following:

Art. 136: 504 in favour, 97 against, 1 abstension;

Fiscal Compact: 497 in favour, 101 against, 5 abstensions;

ESM: 493 in favour, 106 against, 5 abstensions.

Read more in German under:

The German Bundestag approves financial assistance for Spain

The German Bundestag has cleared the way for the temporary euro rescue fund, the EFSF, to provide financial assistance to Spain. At an extraordinary sitting on Thursday, 19 July 2012, 473 of the 583 Members present voted in favour of a motion in which the Federal Ministry of Finance had asked the Bundestag to give its consent to the granting of an emergency measure from the EFSF worth up to 100 billion euros in order to recapitalise Spanish financial institutions. At the same time, the Bundestag gave its consent to the transfer of the rights and obligations regarding the financial assistance for Spain from the EFSF to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) once the latter is in force. In this context, the ESM is to waive the preferred creditor status which had been provided for.

Under Section 3 (1), first sentence, of the Stabilisation Mechanism Act (Stabilisierungsmechanismusgesetz), in matters concerning the European Financial Stability Facility, the Federal Government may, through its representative, approve a
proposal for a decision which affects the overall budgetary responsibility of the German Bundestag or abstain from voting on such a proposal only after the German Bundestag has taken an affirmative decision to that effect.

Read more in German at the following address:

Italian Chamber of Deputies voted on Art. 136 TFEU, the Fiscal Compact and the ESM Treaty

On the 19th of July, the Italian Chamber of Deputies ratified, in second lecture, the modification to art. 136 TFEU, the Fiscal Compact and the ESM Treaty.

The Italian Senate has already ratified the three acts on the 12th of July. After the promulgation by the President of the Republic, the Ratification Acts will be published into the Official Journal within a few days.

The figures of the votes at the Chamber are the following :

Art. 136: 380 in favour, 59 against, 36 abstensions;

Fiscal Compact: 368 in favour, 65 against, 65 abstensions;

ESM: 325 in favour, 53 against, 36 abstensions.​

Revised IPEX symbols

The revised IPEX symbols entered into force as of 22nd of June, following an IPEX Board decision taken during the meeting which took place in Berlin.

The table with the revised IPEX symbols and explanations can be found in the About IPEX > Using IPEX section of our website

German Constitutional Court on "ESM / Euro-Plus Pact"

Jugdement of the Federal Constitutional Court referring to rights of the German Bundestag

In its judgement of 19 June 2012, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the action
brought by the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, which cited an infringement of the
rights of the German Bundestag to be informed by the Federal Government in connection with the
European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Euro-Plus Pact.

The Federal Constitutional Court’s Second Senate ruled that the Federal Government had infringed
the German Bundestag’s right to be informed, as laid down in Article 23 (2), second sentence of the
Basic Law, with regard both to the European Stability Mechanism and to the agreement on the
Euro-Plus Pact.

Article 23 (2) of the Basic Law gives the German Bundestag far-reaching rights of participation and
rights to be informed on matters of the European Union. This stronger involvement of Parliament
in the process of European integration is intended to counterbalance the shift brought about by the
Europeanisation process in the balance of powers at national level towards the executive arm, i.e.
the Member State governments. European Union affairs include changes to the treaties and
corresponding changes at the level of primary law (Article 23 (1) of the Basic law), as well as
legislative acts of the European Union (Article 23 (3) of the Basic Law). The Court was of the view
that international treaties are also part of European Union affairs where they supplement
European law or are particularly closely related to it.

Read more in German
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