The European Court of Justice may “never” comment on a judgment of a national court, it left its reserve Friday, three days after the Constitutional Court of Karlsruhe invited the European Central Bank to stop within three months of sovereign debt purchases if it did not warrant it. A judgment that contradicted a previous court decision in 2018 on the legality of ECB asset purchases.
In a short press release, the CEJ considers that it is “The sole authority to find that an act of a Union institution is contrary to Union law”. The Luxembourg Court is also working to demonstrate how prejudicial to its supremacy could be to the detriment of the Union. “Divergences between the courts of the Member States as to the validity of such acts could indeed jeopardize the unity of the legal order of the Union and jeopardize legal certainty”, she argues, adding that “National courts are obliged to guarantee the full effect of Union law”. According to the Court, “Only in this way can the equality of the Member States in the Union created by them be ensured.”
At this point, and while the ECB is planning to buy EUR 1,000 billion this year, Karlsruhe’s judgment has had no significant impact on the markets. “This has a limited effect because the ECB continues its purchasing program. His reaction was extremely clear and the markets reacted calmly ”, says a European source. However, the German Constitutional Court’s ruling is a wake-up call for European leaders.
If it loses its supremacy and its decisions are challenged, then there is no Union
A European diplomat
They fear that this judgment will open Pandora’s box and encourage certain Member States – Poland and Hungary in mind – to question the decisions of the European Court. “If it loses its supremacy and its decisions are challenged, then there is no Union”, a European diplomat worried on Tuesday. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, called on Friday to “Respect for the fundamental principle of the hierarchy of standards“