Germany has asked the Austrian EU presidency to drop agreement on the European Fundamental Rights Agency from European Council Summer summit conclusions set to be agreed later today.
The German government is concerned that the agency’s role, to balance human rights against security considerations, is in violation of the Treaties establishing the European Union, which stipulate that justice is a matter for inter-governmental co-operation.
The German government has particular problems making decisions on justice issues, because its constitution stipulates that many justice powers lie in the hands of the federal provinces, known as Länder.
If Germany gets its way, the agency’s future is uncertain and will be referred back to the Coreper committee of national ambassadors, which will prevent the agency commencing operations on 1 January 2007.
It is now anticipated that a decision on the agency will be deferred until the December European Council summit meeting.
16 June 2006