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EU Glossary: Legal sources

Legal sources of the European Union, the EU institutions and the guidelines for the revision of the treaties in accordance to the constitutional rules of the member states since the "Treaty of Lisbon" (1. December 2009).

Legal Sources of the European Union

Treaty Adoption In-force since
Treaty on European Union 
13. Dec, 2007 1. Dec, 2009
Treaty on the functioning of the European Union 13. Dec, 2007  1. Dec, 2009

 

Legal Bases of EU Institutions

Institution Juridical bases
European Parliament
EP
 
European Commission
EUCOMen
 
Council of the European UnionEURat  
European Council
EUEURat
 
Court of Justice of the European Union
EUGh
 
 
European Central Bank
ECBen
 

 

The EU Treaties in Member State Law

 

Member state Revision of the treaties/
Constitutional rules of the member states
Austria
(1995)
Oesterreich.gif
Ratification of the European Unions’ treaties with a majority of two-thirds of the Members in both chambers (Art. 50 (1), (2), (4)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of the Members of the National Council is required. If the competences of the States are concerned, the approval of the Federal Council by a majority of two-thirds of the Members is required (Art. 44 (1), (2)). For a referendum the absolute majority of the votes is decisive (Art. 45 (1)).
Belgium
(1957)
Belgien
Ratification of international treaties by an absolute majority in both chambers (Art. 34; Art. 77 (6); Art. 53; Art. 167 (2)). If competences of the five Regional Governments are concerned, their approval is required (Art. 167 (3)). A revision of the constitution requires a majority of votes of at least two-thirds from both chambers after the dissolution of both chambers and their Re-election (Art. 195).
Bulgaria
(2007)
Bulgarien
Ratification of international treaties by National Assembly with a majority of two thirds of all Members of the Parliament (Art. 85 (1),(2)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, the ratification of the treaty has to be preceded by the passage of such an amendment, by a majority of three quarters of all Members of the National Assembly (Art. 85 (4); 155 (1)).
Cyprus
(2004)
Zypern.gif
Every international treaty relating to commercial matters and economic co-operation shall be concluded by the Council of Ministers (Art. 169 (1)). Any other treaty requires ratification by the House of Representatives by a simple majority (Art. 169 (2)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of all Representatives belonging to the Greek Community and a majority of two-thirds of all Representatives belonging to the Turkish Community is required (Art. 182 (2),(3)). The President and/or Vice-President of the Republic have the right of veto on decisions of the House of Representatives or Council of Ministers concerning foreign affairs, except on decisions relating to the participation of the Republic in international organizations and pacts of alliance in which the Kingdom of Greece and the Republic of Turkey both participate (Art. 50 (1a); Art. 57 (1),(3)).
Croatia (2013)
Kroatien
Ratification of international treaties by a majority of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament (Art. 139; Art. 140; Art. 141). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament is required. (Art. 149) The Parliament or the Government may call binding referendums on constitutional amendments or other important issues (Art. 87). A binding referendum on the accession or withdrawal from international alliances is mandatory. Such referendum is decided by a majority vote of the total numbers of electors. (Art. 142).
Czech Republic (2004)
Tschechien.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires the assent of both chambers (Art. 49). If a constitutional act is required, a majority of three fifths of all Members in both chambers is necessary (Art. 10a (1),(2); Art. 39 (4)). A constitutional act may lead to a referendum ratifying transfer of sovereignty (Art. 10a (2)).
Denmark (1973)
Daenemark
Ratification of international treaties with simple majority in the Parliament. (Art. 19 (1)). For the transfer of sovereignty, a majority of five sixths of all Members of the Parliament is necessary, a Referendum may be held (Art. 20 (1), (2); Art. 42 (1)-(8)).
Estonia
(2004)
Estland.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires majority of votes in the Parliament (Art. 65 (4); Art. 73; Art. 121). International treaties cannot be voted on in a referendum (Art. 106). If a constitutional amendment is required, the parliament endorses it by two successive approval votes, the first with a majority of its Members, the second with a majority of 3/5 of its Members after new elections and reassembling (Art.163; Art. 165). In case of urgency, a majority of 2/3 of its Members is sufficient (Art. 166).
Finland
(1995)
Finnland.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in the Parliament (Art. 93). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two thirds of all Members of the Parliament is required (Art. 93; Art. 94; Art. 95). A Referendum may be called by an act (Art. 53).
France
(1957)
Frankreich.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires majority in both chambers (Art. 53, Art. 46). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority in both chambers and a referendum is required (Art. 89 (2)). A referendum can be circumvented if both chambers approve the amendment by a majority of three-fifths of all Members (Art. 89 (3)).
Germany (1957)
Deutschland

 

Ratification of international treaties by majority in both chambers (Art. 23 (1), (2)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two thirds in both chambers is required. (Art. 23 (1); Art. 79 (1), (2)).
Greece
(1981)
Griechenland.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires an absolute majority of all Members of the Parliament (Art. 28 (2)(3)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of three-fifths of all members of the Parliament in two ballots is required (Art. 110 (2)).The amandmend has to be approved by the next Parliament by an absolute majority of the total number of its members (Art. 110 (3)). A referendum on “crucial national matters” may be held (Art. 44 (2)).
Hungary
(2004)
Ungarn.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires a majority of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament. (Art. E (2), (4)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament is required (Art. S (2). No referendum may be held on constitutional amendments and international obligations (Art. 8 (3)).
Ireland
(1973)
Irland.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in both chambers of Parliament (Art. 29 (5), (6)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a mandatory and binding referendum has to be held in addition to a majority vote in both chambers (Art. 46; Art. 47).
Italy
(1957)
Italien.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in both chambers (Art. 80; Art. 64). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, two successive approvals in each chamber are required, whereas, in the second voting, an absolute majority of all Members in both chambers has to be achieved (Art. 138 (1)). If the absolute majority is not reached in the second voting, a referendum may be held if requested by one-fifth of the Members of either chamber or by 500,000 electors (Art. 138 (2), (3)).
Latvia
(2004)
Lettland.gif
Ratification of international treaties by a two-thirds majority in the Parliament (Art. 68 (1), (2)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of votes in the Parliament in three readings is required (Art. 76). A referendum on matters regarding the Membership in the European Union may be requested by at least one-half of the Members of Parliament (Art. 68 (4)).
Lithuania (2004)
Litauen.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in the Parliament (Art. 67 (16); Art. 69; Art. 138 (5),(6)). An adoption of constitutional laws requires a majority of all Members of the Parliament, whereas an alteration requires a majority of three-fifths of all Members of the Parliament (Art. 69 (2)). An amendment of the Constitution requires a majority of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament in two separate votings (Art. 147; Art. 148). A referendum may be called on the “most significant issues” of the State and the Nation (Art. 9)
Luxembourg (1957)
Luxemburg.gif
Ratification of international treaties by absolute majority in the Parliament (Art. 37; Art. 62). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds in the Parliament, in two separate votings, is required.(Art. 49bis; Art. 114 (1),(2)). If requested by one-quarter of the Members of Parliament or 25,000 electors, the second voting in the Parliament can be substituted by a referendum (Art. 114 (3),(4)).
Malta
(2004)
Malta.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in the House of Representatives (Art. 71 (1)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary and if this amendment concerns basic rights and procedures, a majority of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament is required (Art. 66 (1),(2)). If the legislative period or the procedure defining the amending of the Constitution is to be altered, a binding referendum must be held in addition to the passing of the proposition in the Parliament with a majority of two-thirds of all Members (Art. 66 (3)). In other cases, a vote of majority of all Members of the House of Representatives is sufficient (Art. 66 (5)).
Netherlands (1957)
Niederlande.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in both chambers (Art. 92; Art. 91 (1),(2); Art. 67 (1),(2)). If a treaty conflicts with the constitution, its ratification requires a majority of two-thirds in both chambers (Art. 91 (3)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds in both chambers is required, after the Lower House has been dissolved and reassembled (Art. 137 (1), (4)).
Poland
(2004)
Polen
Ratification of international treaties by a two-thirds majority vote in the presence of at least half of the members in both chambers (Art. 90 (1), (2), Art. 89). If an absolute majority of deputies in the First Chamber requests so, a referendum regarding the ratification of such treaties may be held (Art. 90 (3), (4); Art. 125). If a constitutional amendment is necessary,a two-thirds majority vote in the presence of at least half of the members in both chambers is required (Art. 235 (4)).
Portugal
(1986)
Portugal
Ratification of international treaties by majority in the Parliament (Art. 161 (i), (n); Art. 116 (3); 166 (5); Art. 168). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of all Members of the Parliament is required (Art. 286 (1)). A referendum may be called on treaties regarding the European Union (Art. 115 (1); Art. 295).
Romania (2007)
Rumaenien.gif
Ratification of the European Unions’ treaties by a two-thirds majority in a joined session of both chambers ( Art. 148 (1)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds is required in both chambers (Art. 11 (3); Art. 151 (1)). A referendum on matters of national interest may be called (Art. 90).
Slovakia
(2004)
Slowakei.gif
Ratification of the European Unions’ treaties by a majority of three-fifths of all Members of Parliament (Art. 7 (2); Art. 84 (4)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of three-fifths of all Members of Parliament is required (Art. 84 (4)). Referendums on entering or withdrawing from an alliance are mandatory (Art. 7 (1)). A referendum on other matters of national interest may be called by the Parliament or 350,000 electors (Art. 93 (1); Art. 95 (1)).
Slovenia (2004)
Slowenien.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires a majority of two-thirds of all Members of the National Assembly (Art. 3a (1)). Before ratifying such treaty, the National Assembly may call a referendum (Art. 3a (2)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of two-thirds of all Members of the National Assembly is required (Art. 168; Art. 169).
Spain
(1986)
Espana.gif
Ratification of international treaties requires a majority vote in both chambers (Art. 74 (2); Art. 94 (1)). If a constitutional amendment is necessary, a majority of three-fifths of the members of each chamber is required (Art. 95 (1), (2); Art. 167 (1)). After its passing in both chambers, an amendment may be submitted to ratification by referendum, if so requested by one-tenth of members of either chamber (Art. 167 (3)). A consultative referendum may be called on all decisions of “special importance” (Art. 92 (1)).
Sweden (1996)
Schweden.gif
Ratification of international treaties by majority in the Parliament (Instrument of Government: Ch. 10 Art. 1; Art. 2; Art. 3). A transfer of decision-making authority within the European Union framework requires a majority of three-fourths of those voting and at least the half of all Members of Parliament (Instrument of Government: Ch. 10 Art. 6). If the Fundamental Law is to be altered, two successive approvals in the Parliament, separated by at least nine months and the dissolution and reassembling of the Parliament, are required (Instrument of Government: Ch. 8 Art. 14; Art. 15). A referendum on the proposition altering the Fundamental Law may be held, coinciding with the new election of the Parliament. If the majority of votes against the proposition exceeds half of all registered voters, the proposition is rejected. Otherwise, it goes forward to the Parliament for final approval (Instrument of Government: Ch. 8 Art. 16). Under particular circumstances a majority of 5/6 is sufficient to amend the constitution (Acts of law and other provisions: Ch. 8 Art. 15).
United Kingdom (1973)
England.gif
Ratification of the European Unions’ treaties by simple majority in both chambers (UK- European Union Act 2011: Art. 2 (1), (2)). Additionally, a referendum has to be held, unless the treaty only concerns the codification of an already existing competence of the European Union, or only relates to member States other than the United Kingdom, or contains the accession of a new member State (UK- European Union Act 2011: Art. 4 (1-4)).
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