Thursday

23rd Feb 2017

New German complaint aims to further delay bailout fund

  • The Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has already pushed forward the bailout fund creation until September (Photo: Al Fed)

A new legal challenge filed with the German Constitutional Court on Monday (13 August) calls on judges to further delay their ruling on the eurozone's permanent bailout fund, pending a verdict by the EU's top court.

The Karlsruhe-based court had already said it would rule on 12 September on six legal challenges lodged against both the permanent, yet-to-be-set-up European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the treaty on fiscal discipline signed by 25 EU countries.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But a group of plaintiffs led by German professor Markus Kerber, who already had challenged the Greek, Portuguese and Irish bailouts for allegedly being in breach of EU law, on Monday asked the court to further delay its verdict because a similar complaint has been filed with the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice.

"As long as the European Court of Justice [ECJ] hasn't taken a final decision on the incompatibility of these treaties, neither the Federal Constitutional Court nor the Federal President must take a decision," Kerber's group, Europolis, said in a statement on its website.

The court on Monday confirmed it had received the complaint, but refrained from commenting on whether it would accept it or not, Die Welt reports.

The prospect of a further delay on the €500-billion-strong ESM fund is already spooking investors, with the German Dax index falling on the news on Monday evening.

But legal experts are sceptical whether Karlsruhe will postpone its 12 September ruling.

"It is not likely that the Constitutional Court changes its schedule just because of a similar case in the European Court of Justice, because the ECJ is not a 'higher instance' (for the German court)," Joachim Wieland, a constitutional expert, told Handelsblatt Online.

"Both decisions are from a legal point of view on parallel tracks and are independent from one another," he added

The case in Luxembourg was filed by Thomas Pringle, an Irish MP, who challenged the ESM in Irish courts for being in breach of EU law.

The Irish Supreme Court, for its part, asked the ECJ for legal advice.

If accepted, the Luxembourg court would take at least "a few months" to rule on the matter, an ECJ spokesman told Financial Times.

The paper also noted that it would be for the first time if the German judges took the ECJ ruling into account, as they have never before asked this court for an opinion on EU-related matters.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

Le Pen used 'fake' EU parliament jobs

A leaked EU anti-fraud office report says French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, had her bodyguard and personal assistant paid by the EU parliament for jobs they did not do.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

News in Brief

  1. Romanian parliament buries controversial corruption decree
  2. Dozens drown off Libyan coast
  3. EU ministers approve anti-tax avoidance directive
  4. Poland rejects EU criticism of court changes
  5. German nationalist leader met with Putin allies in Moscow
  6. German housing market overheated, says Bundesbank
  7. France invites three EU leaders for Versailles summit in March
  8. Greece agrees on new bailout reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  2. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  3. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  4. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  5. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  7. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  9. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  10. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  11. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe