Ursula von der Leyen: Commission considering "infringement proceedings" over German court ruling against ECB

'This is no routine EU skirmish or political potshot. For the first time since the European Economic Community was founded in 1957, a member state has legally asserted European bodies have overreached. Germany is not just any member state. The highest court of Europe’s biggest economy, the eurozone’s paymaster, has just declared the EU’s ultimate authority is “invalid” within German borders.' Liam Halligan, writing in The Telegraph (May 9th).

The European Commission is to consider opening a legal case against Germany over a ruling by the country’s constitutional court that the European Central Bank had overstepped its mandate with bond purchases, it said on Sunday, Reuters has reported.

The court in Karlsruhe, in a ruling last Tuesday, gave the ECB three months to justify its eurozone stimulus scheme or said the Bundesbank might have to quit it.

In response, the EU’s top court - which had previously given a green light to the ECB scheme - and the European Commission have said that EU law holds precedence over national regulations. They added that the European Court of Justice’s rulings were binding for courts in the 27 member states of the bloc.

On Sunday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen went a step further, saying the EU executive might end up opening a legal case against Berlin.

“The recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court put under the spotlight two issues of the European Union: the euro system and the European legal system,” she said in a statement.

“We are now analysing the ruling of the German Constitutional Court in detail. And we will look into possible next steps, which may include the option of infringement proceedings,” she said.

Read also:

EU Schism: European Central Bank & German Constitutional Court at loggerheads over legal jurisdiction.

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