Last Thursday, the CNE and CSPF unions, the League of Human Rights and the Collectif Citoyen contre l’Austérité Constituante (Citizens’ Collective Against the Constituent Austerity Policy) detailed the arguments that were the basis for the four appeals they submitted to the Constitutional Court against the law to consent to the European Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG), last June. They believe “this treaty violates the Belgian Constitution”. “We used three ways to prove that our appeal was admissible,” explains Karin Verelst, a lawyer at the VUB and a member of the Constituent Collective. The treaty undermines national sovereignty, the principle of subsidiarity and local autonomy, as well as the social and economic rights guaranteed by the Belgian Constitution.
“The question of national sovereignty in budgetary matters is governed by Articles 170 and 174 of the Constitution, giving full power to the Parliament regarding budget adoption and fiscal policy,” says Mrs. Verelst. “Transferring it to a supranational authority is unreasonable,” especially as “all powers emanate from the Nation,” she reminds us, citing Article 33 of that same Constitution.
Moreover, these austerity measures prevent the Belgian Government from respecting Articles 7a and 23, which ensure that “everyone has the right to lead a life in keeping with with human dignity.”
The case is argued by Mr. Dominique Caccamisi, a lawyer from the Altea law firm.
“Four elements are being disputed here: imposed deficit limits, the mandatory implementation of an automatic correction mechanism by a national organisation to be created, the obligation to transcribe this provision into national law and, finally, the enhanced powers given to both the European Council and the European Commission.”
The decision of the Constitutional Court, which is the same for all four pleas, will be given in the spring of 2015. “I was told we might win,” says League of Human Rights president Alexis Deswaef.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)