Peter M. Huber
The Euro Crisis Jurisprudence of the Federal Constitutional Court
On September 12th 2012 the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) decided on several constitutional complaints and applications demanding a temporary injunction against the Federal law approving the Treaty on the ESM (TESM), the Federal laws implementing that treaty into the national legal order and the Federal law approving the treaty on the so called Fiscal Compact (TFCP). These demands had been put forward by the vastest amount of plaintiffs in the 62 years old history of the FCC – 76 MPs, several professors of economics, the parliamentary group of the Left and more than 41.000 citizens. The decision of September 12th had already been the fourth significant decision of the FCC dealing with the Sovereign Debt Crisis since 2011, and it won´t be the last.
These decisions belong to a long line of jurisprudence which started to deal with European integration already in the early 1970s. There may have been some change in tone over the past 40 years; the cornerstones of the FCC’s approach, however, remain unchanged. At the base of this long line of case law is a concept which conceives the EU as an association of sovereign states (Staatenverbund) in which the Member States are “masters of the treaties” and, as far as Germany is concerned, cannot be deprived of this role but for an act of the constituent power i.e. a referendum according to art. 146 Basic Law.