Our Way or No Way? German ECB Ruling Rocks EU Foundations

by Jan Strupczewski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Tuesday’s ruling by Germany’s constitutional court may have been aimed squarely at the European Central Bank’s bond-buying economic stimulus plans. But it also has the potential to shake the very foundations of the European Union itself.

For what the panel of German jurists did was claim the right of national courts to decide when European law overrules local law, and when it doesn’t. That challenges the supremacy of the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) and sets a precedent for future challenges by Eurosceptics across the bloc.

“This looks more like a message to the ECJ rather than a serious challenge to the ECB. The real issue is, who gets to interpret the law,” said one senior EU official speaking on condition of anonymity.

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