The Czech Constitutional Court was asked to inspect a possible legal correspondence of the Czech Constitution (Czech Constitution onwards) and the Lisbon Treaty amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community.
Following articles of the Lisbon Treaty were put into question in the Resolution of the Senate to the proposal of the Government from 24th April 2008:
Article 2a (1) TFEU (with additional declaration 17)Contradiction between the type of competences laid out in the Lisbon Treaty and those provided for in the Czech Constitution.
The proposed classification of EU competences exclusive, in particular, exclusive competences appears to be contradictory with Art. 10 (1) Czech Constitution where only some competences of national institutions can be transferred to international bodies. The status of exclusive competences is overwhelming, considering complex competences in specific political areas.
“When the Treaties confer on the Union exclusive competence in a specific area, only the Union may legislate and adopt legally binding acts, the Member States being able to do so themselves only if so empowered by the Union or for the implementation of Union acts.”
Within the proposed classification the difference between exclusive and shared competences is not strictly determined. Implicitly, in addition with Declaration No. 17, the Union law has a priority in more extended political areas.
Article 352 (1) TFEUMeans Higher than Objectives
The Lisbon Treaty is a blanket norm in the field of reaching objectives set by the Treaties, where the efficiency of the way how the aims should be met is not determined.
"(…) to attain one of the objectives set out in the Treaties, and the Treaties have not provided the necessary powers, the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, shall adopt the appropriate measures."
There is a serious risk the Council is consequently empowered to issue regulations in political fields other than internal market. The field of the internal market was however the only field stated in original Treaties to be subjected to EU regulations. Thus a serious risk of harming the Czech Constitution in transferring competences over already fixed framework of competences.
Articles 48 (6) and 48 (7) TEUSimplified revision procedures – a vicious tool
Simplified revision procedure and related bridge clause (passerelle) meant as tool for accepting changes in Union prime law substantially change the character of establishing Treaties that have been ratified in a proper process.
Loss of the right of veto and imprecise switching between ordinary and simplified revision procedures might be translated as damage to Art. 10 Czech Constitution (transfer of competences to international body).
Article 69b (1) TEECLess power to act for local parliaments
Local Parliament is ignored from the decision making process of the sector committee in the Council, where criminal actions are to be subjected to EU legal provisions. This only is a case of a general implicit weakening of the local parliamentary power in favour of the European Parliament, with a possible legal contradiction to Art. 15 Czech Constitution on Czech legislative architecture.
Article 216 TFEUInternational agreements approved in the name of the EU
"The Union may conclude an agreement with one or more third countries or international organisations where the Treaties so provide or where the conclusion of an agreement is necessary in order to achieve, within the framework of the Union's policies, one of the objectives referred to in the Treaties, or is provided for in a legally binding Union act or is likely to affect common rules or alter their scope."
The EU benefits from an enlarged status while approving international agreements: individual Member States are bound by the Treaties without any proper ratification on a national level. Consequently, there are possible risks of controversies with the national constitution. Art. 10 Czech Constitution must be taken into account while taking into account the diction of Art. 49 and 63/1b Czech Constitution, in this case.
Article 6 (2) TEUThe Charter of Fundamental Rights Vs. European Charter of Human Rights
The status of the Charter of Fundamentals rights of the European Union lacks a clear and distinct status not only in the relation to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, but also as a document endowed with wishes and aspirations. It is not explicitly stated whether the Charter represents a guarantee to human rights or if it is just an additional interpretation key to level out European rights protection.
Articule 2 TEUInterpretation of fundamental values
"The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail."
The fundamental values of the EU have been substantially extended in the Lisbon Treaty. If one of these values is broken by a member state, that member state can lose its rights originally guaranteed by the Treaties. International pressure inspired by EP/Commission proposal can consequently cause changes in an internal political status quo. Here we assume a contradiction with right for self-determination of the people.
1Please take into consideration that this is a summary of most striking arguments, find the full version by clicking here (in Czech only).
2All quoations were taken from the consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty.
3Treaty Establishing European Community. According to the tables of equivalence in the Lisbon Treaty Art. 69 of the TEEC was repealed.