Bernd Hüttemann

This evening I met the Secretary General of the German European Movement and an old buddy, Bernd Hüttemann. Germany has no equivalent of the European Economic and Social Committee. Though it could never be such an institution and would never seek such a vocation, the European Movement has by its nature always encouraged civic dialogue. In this context, the German Constitutional Court’s recent ruling on the Lisbon Treaty has put fresh wind in its sails. In a little known passage in the judgement, the Court drew attention to the importance of civic dialogue and, yes, of participatory democracy, flanking representative democracy. This is a fascinating and unexpected offshoot of the constitutional debate surrounding the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty but, as Bernd argues, it should also be an important consideration in the implementation of the Treaty. Interesting stuff.