Gianni Lo Schiavo
The Judicial ‘Bail Out’ of the European Stability Mechanism: Comment on the Pringle Case
Since the beginning of the crisis, many responses have been taken to stabilise the European markets. Pringle is the awaited judicial response of the European Court of Justice on the creation of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a crisis-related intergovernmental international institution which provides financial assistance to Member States in distress in the Eurozone. The judgment adopts a welcome and satisfactory approach on the establishment of the ESM. This article examines the feasibility of the ESM under the Treaty rules and in light of the Pringle judgment. For the first time, the Court was called to appraise the use of the simplified revision procedure under Article 48 TEU with the introduction of a new paragraph to Article 136 TFEU as well as to interpret the no bail out clause under Article 125 TFEU. The final result is rather welcome as the Court endorses the establishment of a stability mechanism of the ESM-kind beyond a strict reading of the Treaty rules. Pringle is the first landmark ECJ decision in which the Court has endorsed the use of new and flexible measures to guarantee financial assistance between Member States. This judgment could act as a springboard for more economic, financial and, possibly, political interconnections between Member States in the Euro area.