European Constitutional Law Review

Comments on the German Constitutional Court's Decision on the Lisbon Treaty

Why the European Union is not a State

Some Critical Remarks

Tobias Lock*


German Constitutional Court decision of 30 June 2009 on the compatibility of the Lisbon Treaty with the German Constitution – Analysis of inconsistencies – Differences between the EU and a state – Sovereignty of the member states and Kompetenz-Kompetenz – Argument for a relative concept of sovereignty – Sovereignty and the right to withdraw – Critical analysis of BVerfG's assessment of the EU's democratic deficit and denial of the importance of the European Parliament

Key Words:

  • Bundesverfassungsgericht;
  • Lisbon judgment;
  • Lisbon Treaty;
  • European Union;
  • Statehood;
  • Sovereignty;
  • Kompetenz-Kompetenz;
  • Democratic deficit;
  • Simplified revision procedures;
  • EU membership;
  • European Court of Justice;
  • Implied powers doctrine;
  • Democratic legitimacy;
  • European Parliament;
  • EU citizenship


* DAAD/Clifford Chance lecturer at the Faculty of Laws, University College London.