Thursday

23rd Nov 2017

Fiscal compact, bailout fund challenged in German court

  • Supporting documents for the complaints lodged on behalf of 12,000 Germans (Photo: Mehr Demokratie)

Six constitutional complaints were lodged in Germany over the weekend against the treaty on fiscal discipline and the establishment of a permanent eurozone bailout fund. The plaintiffs cite a lack of democratic oversight and a denting of budgetary powers.

Barely had the German parliament approved the two pieces of legislation late Friday evening (29 June), when centre-right and leftist lawmakers, as well as a democracy group filed their promised constitutional challenges.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The group “More Democracy” represented by former justice minister Herta Daubler-Gmelin lodged its complaint with the Karlsruhe-based court on behalf of 12,000 people who signed an online petition. In a video they explain that the permanent bailout fund - the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - will be a sort of super-bank eluding any democratic or judicial controls. Rules enshrined in the fiscal compact - a Berlin-driven project - will in its turn undermine the sovereignty of the parliament in budgetary matters, they say.

Peter Gauweiler, a lawmaker from the Bavarian Christian Social Union, the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, also filed a petition with the court. Gauweiler argues that the ESM breaches the no-bailout clause included in EU's treaties, ruling out any direct aid to struggling states.

But that rule has already been circumvented by the temporary bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility. The Karlsruhe-based court has already ruled that bailouts are allowed as long as the German parliament approves each one of them.

A fourth complaint comes from a group formed around law professor Karl Albrecht Schachtschneider, a long-standing euro-critic who also challenged the introduction of the single currency.

Two more complaints come from German citizens whose names are not mentioned, Markische Allgemeine newspaper reports.

The court is expected to rule within a few weeks. German President Joachim Gauck has already indicated he will not sign the two bills into law pending the Karlsruhe verdict.

The ESM was supposed to come into force on 9 July. A meeting of eurozone finance ministers that day is expected to approve a Spanish bailout of up to €100 billion, as well as a full bailout for Cyprus.

Both are likely to be funded out of the EFSF, which has €250 billion left until the ESM comes into being.

Germany to delay eurozone bail-out fund

The 9 July start for the eurozone's €500bn bail-out fund is set to be delayed as Germany waits for a ruling by its highest court - a move adding to the woes of Italy and Spain.

Amsterdam wins EU medicines agency on coin toss

The staff of the London-based EMA will move to the Dutch city of Amsterdam after Brexit, following a coin toss. Chance also decided the new home of the European Banking Authority: Paris.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

News in Brief

  1. Spain sends migrant arrivals to unfinished prison
  2. Iceland prepares for biggest volcano to blow
  3. Greek parliament postpones debate on Saudi arms deal
  4. Family of murdered Malta journalist to sue police
  5. UK to sell RBS bank stake, boosting government coffers
  6. December euro summit still on, Tusk confirms
  7. EU calls for end to Kenya election crisis
  8. Report: Israeli PM invited to meet EU ministers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  2. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  3. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  4. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  5. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  6. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya
  7. Orban stokes up his voters with anti-Soros 'consultation'
  8. Commission warns Italy over high debt level