August 05
Dolores Utrilla
12th May 2020
Banking & Finance Institutional law Justice & Litigation

Judge from German Bundesgerichtshof reacts to German Federal Constitutional Court’s ruling on ECB’s PSPP programme

In an article published yesterday, Professor Dr. Peter Meier-Beck, a presiding judge at the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), expressed his profound disagreement with the ruling of the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) in the Weiss II case, adopted last Tuesday 5 May.

As reported here on EU Law Live and explained here by Marijn van der Sluis, the BVerfG’s ruling declared a judgment of the Court of Justice (C-493/17, Weiss and Others), and ECB decisions as ultra vires and not applicable in Germany.

In his article, Professor Dr. Peter Meier-Beck depicts the BVerfG’s judgment as a ‘horror’ and ‘an attack on the European Union as a legally constituted community of European democracies’. He perceives many flaws in the BVerfG’s reasoning, strongly criticising the fact that, according to it, ‘the competence of the Court of Justice to interpret EU law also ends where the result of the interpretation is not comprehensible – for whomever, but at any rate for the Constitutional Court itself’. He recalls that even a judgment that is perceived as wrong or inadequately reasoned must be accepted if the legal system does not (any longer) provide for an appeal against it. He also stresses the fact that the reason why the BVerfG declared the Weiss judgment of the Court of Justice to be ‘methodologically no longer justifiable’ is that the BVerfG desired a different proportionality test. In the author’s view, the concerns regarding the PSPP and its proportionality are to be examined by the Court of Justice and by it alone, and have nothing to do with the scope of the ECB’s competence.

The article, published in the D’Kart blog of the Institute for Antitrust Law of the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, is available here.


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