The recovery plan under the scrutiny of the German constitutional court: institutional implications and a lesson from the past


The article offers a critical analysis of the German Constitutional Court’s decision of 15 April 2021 on the law ratifying the Own Resources of the European Union Decision. Two central problems are highlighted. The first has institutional implications: the case at issue not only highlights a potential conflict between the European institutions and a national court but also an ongoing conflict between two constitutional bodies of the German State, in which one — the BVG — appears to challenge (or at least check the actions of) the other, namely the Bundestag, for exercising its authority in breach of the fundamental Constitutional norms protecting citizens’ rights and national identity. The second regards the two opposing visions of Europe that have always been in dialectical contrast on this point, specifically, an ever-closer union between the peoples of Europe on the one hand and an expanding but less cohesive one on the other. Lastly, the article suggests some lessons from the past, recalling how the League of Nations rescued Austria in the aftermath of World War I.

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