Merkel CSU Ally Demands German Referendums on EU DecisionsJoseph de Weck
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian Christian Social Union ally wants to let Germans vote in referendums on major European Union integration moves.
Voters in Germany should be asked to approve EU treaty changes, the transfer of further power to Brussels and the admission of new countries to the 27-nation bloc, according to a declaration adopted today by the party in Wildbad Kreuth, Bavaria.
“We have to bring the EU closer to the people again,” Gerda Hasselfeldt, the Bundestag caucus leader for the CSU, said at a press conference in the mountain resort. “When fundamental decisions meaning big financial involvement are made, the way for people’s referendums should be opened.”
State elections in Bavaria, home to Siemens AG and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, will be held in September. National German elections will be held in the same month. The CSU, which has ruled Bavaria for more than 50 years, faces competition from the Free Voters party that opposes bailouts for Germany’s euro-area partners.
The Free Voters, which won 10.2 percent in the last Bavarian election in 2008, polled at 9 percent in an Infratest dimap survey published today by broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk. The CSU polled 47 percent and its Free Democratic Party coalition partner was at 3 percent -- below the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in parliament under German electoral law. The main opposition Social Democratic Party is at 19 percent.
The CSU also demands an orderly procedure for the default and exit from the currency union of euro area members.
Allowing German EU referendums would require a change of Germany’s Basic Law, the constitution, the paper says.