Wednesday

16th Oct 2019

Brussels wins crucial court case over euro rules

The European Commission has scored a major victory over EU member states as the European Court of Justice annulled the decision of the Council to suspend a disciplinary procedure against France and Germany for repeatedly breaking the euro rules.

In a short ruling, read out in Luxembourg, the Court said today (13 July) it "annulled the conclusions adopted by the Council in which the Council held the excessive deficit procedures in abeyance".

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This represents a landmark victory for the Brussels executive and affirms its role as the supervisor of EU economic policy.

But there are few legal precedents to point to what might happen next.

Since the Council's conclusions are annulled, finance ministers may have to take another decision based on the Commission recommendations that the Council illegally rejected.

However, member states are unlikely to share a single opinion on the ruling. Germany and France, which could be fined up to 10 and seven billion euro respectively, will be outraged.

But the Netherlands, which currently holds the EU presidency, has frequently called for a strict interpretation of the rules underpinning the euro and is likely to welcome the judgement.

Glossary of key euro pact terms

The language surrounding the EU's Stability and Growth Pact can be highly complex for the uninitiated. Click here for an explanation of the key terms.

Economic control hangs in the balance

The European Court of Justice will on Tuesday effectively decide whether the European Commission or EU member states are in charge of the union's economy.

Both sides claim victory in euro pact ruling

The European Commission and member states were both claiming victory on Tuesday in their battle over the rules underpinning the euro after the European Court of Justice appeared to give a clear ruling in favour of the Commission.

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