Germany’s Constitutional Court has issued an unprecedented ruling that directly challenges the authority of both the European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice.
The seemingly obscure ruling, which seeks to reassert national sovereignty over bond purchases by the European Central Bank, has called into question the legitimacy of the EU’s supranational legal and political order.
The European Union is now engaged in a power struggle with its largest member state, Germany. The legal feud threatens to unravel not only Europe’s single currency, the euro, but the EU itself.
On May 5, the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG)ruledthat the European Central Bank’s practice of buying vast amounts of government bonds, a monetary policy known as quantitative easing, is illegal under German law as neither the German government nor the German parliament signs off on the purchases.
The European Central Bank has purchased government debt worth…
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