Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s the European Union! The German Constitutional Court’s Lissabon-Urteil

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Series Details Vol.5, 2009 (Editorial)
Publication Date 2009
ISSN 1845-5662
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The ruling of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG) on the compatibility of the Treaty of Lisbon with the German Constitution has sparked off a fundamental debate about the nature of the European Union. In its verdict, known as the Lissabon-Urteil, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany identifies the EU as a Staatenverbund, an association of sovereign states. Apart from the practical consequences which result from the verdict, the Court's conclusion on the identity of the EU raises serious theoretical questions. The purpose of this article is to investigate whether the Treaty of Lisbon - which should put an end to the elongated period of constitutional crisis in the wake of the defeat of the Constitutional Treaty by separate referenda in France and the Netherlands four years ago - does not allow for any other conclusion than that the EU should be classified as a Union of States.

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