German Bid for EU Vote Rejected
Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005
Germany's highest court has rejected an attempt by a centre-right politician to stop the German parliament ratifying the EU constitution next month.
Peter Gauweiler of the opposition Christian Social Union wanted a German referendum on the EU constitution.
But the court threw out his challenge, clearing the way for the upper house to conclude the ratification on 27 May.
Germany, like many EU states, will vote on the EU treaty in parliament. Its own constitution prohibits referendums.
Mr Gauweiler argued that the EU constitution - which is aimed at streamlining decision-making in the enlarged EU - would supersede important elements of the German constitution.
But referendums are banned in Germany because of the way they were abused by the Nazis. All 25 member states must approve the EU treaty for it to become law.
Six countries have backed it so far, with only Spain using the referendum method.
There are concerns within the Yes campaign that the French referendum on 29 May could prove a stumbling block, as opinion polls suggest the majority of voters will say No.
Germany's conservatives are broadly in favour of the EU treaty and the lower house of parliament is expected to ratify it on 12 May. It would then go to the upper house, or Bundesrat, on 27 May.