Court to hear case against Treaty of Lisbon

  • 2008-09-24
  • By Monika Hanley

BIRTH OF A NATION: The complaint claims that the treaty, which was created to replace the failed consitution, would limit Latvia's sovereignty.

RIGA - The Latvian Constitutional Court initiated a case on the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon to the Latvian Constitution following a complaint from the Latvian Democratic Party, which claims that the treaty infringes on Latvian sovereignty.

The case was initiated based on a constitutional complaint filed by thirteen people who believe that the Treaty of Lisbon should be adopted only by popular vote. The complaint also states that the treaty limits the rights of Latvia to freely decide to leave the EU, thus limiting Latvia's sovereignty.
"The notification that was submitted wasn't about the Lisbon Treaty itself, but about the law," Constitutional Court press secretary Lina Kovalevska told The Baltic Times.

According to the signatories, the treaty includes measures that could also weaken democracy, including a new voting procedure based on the majority and not the consensus principle.
The applicants believe that the failure to organize a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon breached the constitutional provision that citizens be able to participate in the work of the country 's specifically, to be able to cast their individual votes at the referendum.

 "The submission of the complaint will not slow down the ratification process," Kovalevska said.
The Law on the Treaty of Lisbon Amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community became effective in late May 2008.
It is expected that the treaty will become effective on Jan. 1, 2009, if it is ratified by all the member states. The only EU country that needs a referendum for ratification of this treaty is Ireland, which voted against the treaty.

The Treaty of Lisbon was signed on Dec. 13, 2007. Supporters say the reform treaty improves the operation of the EU institutions and decision-making procedure and facilitates sustainable development of the EU, its competitiveness and its role in global affairs. 

The treaty also provides for initiative rights of the EU citizens. The European Commission must consider an issue if one million EU citizen signature are collected. The increased role of national parliaments in the EU decision-making progress is one of the most important amendments the Treaty of Lisbon provides.