Supreme Court: Lisbon Treaty signing was constitutional

Prime minister and foreign minister welcome the verdict which finds the former government did not have to hold a referendum before signing the EU treaty

February 20th, 2013 2:58 pm| by admin

The former government did not violate the constitution when it signed the Lisbon Treaty in December 2007, the Supreme Court ruled today.

The decision upholds a June 2012 ruling by the Eastern High Court rejecting a suit brought by a group of 30 people who argued that by signing the Lisbon Treaty, the then prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and the then foreign minister, Per Stig Møller, surrendered sovereignty to the EU, since the treaty would require the country to adopt legislation it did not agree with.

Opponents argued that a referendum should have been held before it was signed since the Danish constitution demands that any legislation handing over sovereignty to another power not passing parliament by a five-sixths majority be put to a referendum.

In a press release, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) and the foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), expressed their satisfaction with today’s verdict.

“The Supreme Court has found that Denmark’s signing of the Lisbon Treaty was not in violation of the constitution,” Søvndal and Thorning-Schmidt wrote. “The government has always argued that Denmark did not give up sovereignty when we enacted the treaty and now we have the support of the Supreme Court.”

The treaty allowed Denmark to keep its opt-outs in four areas of EU co-operation that were granted exchange for its 1993 approval of the Maastricht Treaty.