November 28
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Trajan Shipley
9th June 2021
Institutional law

Commission initiates infringement proceedings against Germany over German Constitutional Court’s Weiss judgment

The European Commission has sent a letter of formal notice to Germany, the first step in infringement proceedings, concerning the German Constitutional Court’s Weiss judgment of 5 May 2020, by which it declared for the first time a judgment of the Court of Justice ultra vires and not applicable in Germany.

The Commission reckons that through that judgment, Germany violated several fundamental principles of EU law, in particular the principles of autonomy, primacy, effectiveness and uniform application of EU law, as well as the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice under Article 267 TFEU. In today’s press conference, a spokesperson of the Commission highlighted the breach of the principle of primacy as the main reason behind the infringement action, adding that it risked threatening the integrity of EU law and ‘open the way for a Europe à la carte’.

While noting that the German Constitutional Court recently dismissed as inadmissible two applications for an order of execution on 29 May, and held that the judgment had been sufficiently complied with, it reasons that the breaches of the principle of primacy of EU law have still not been dealt with. 

In this sense, the Commission considers that the Weiss judgment constitutes ‘a serious precedent, both for the future practice of the German Constitutional court itself, and for the supreme and constitutional courts and tribunals of other Member States’. Germany must now respond in two months’ time to the Commission’s letter.

Read the Commission’s press release here.


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