The German Constitutional Unblocks The Disbursement Of European Funds

The German Constitutional Court this Wednesday lifted the provisional brake on the millionaire European recovery plan that it announced at the end of last March.

This means that the German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, can already sign the law approved by the Bundestag -Lower House- and the Bundesrat -Territorial Chamber- for the Federal Republic’s participation in the recovery fund of up to 750,000 million euros. euros approved last summer by the European Council -the governments of the states of the European Union-. With it, the EU wants to face the consequences of the pandemic .

The European Commission has shown its confidence that the ratification of the European recovery fund will be completed “in the coming weeks” in Germany and in the other states, thus paving the way for the first disbursements.

For now, 17 Member States have ratified this regulation and 10 still have some pending procedures. “I welcome the decision of the Constitutional Court. The EU maintains the course of its economic recovery after this unprecedented pandemic,” the president of the Community Executive, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Twitter, as soon as the judicial decision was known

The fund of 750,000 million euros that will be disbursed in the form of direct transfers and loans to European countries, will be financed in part by a joint debt of the community states in international markets . Spain will be the second beneficiary with about 140,000 million.

The European Commission expects to have everything ready to go to the markets on June 1 and, if by that month all countries have ratified the legislation, to start issuing in July.

The temporary mutualisation of European public debt has historically generated widespread rejection in Germany, especially among conservative circles and also from the far right.

On March 26, when President Steinmeier was preparing to sign the law after its approval by the federal Parliament, a citizens’ initiative presented an emergency appeal , which was temporarily accepted by the Constitutional Court, based in the city of Karlsruhe. The judges thus wanted to avoid irreparable damage to the German constitutional order.

International consequences
Today, those same judges have decided to definitively reject this urgent appeal, considering that, although they have not yet been able to prove the absolute constitutionality of the law, the international consequences of Germany not joining the European rescue mechanism in time would be worse than a rejection later of the legislation by the Constitutional.

In order for the European Commission to launch the millionaire fund, it needs the ratification of all the EU states. The economies hardest hit by the recession caused by the pandemic restrictions, such as Spain or Italy , urgently await these EU funds to finance their reconstruction programs.

Open decision
Despite the fact that after a “summary review” of the case the German Constitutional Court does not see “a high probability of violation” of the fundamental law, it also warns that its decision remains open . This Wednesday’s announcement is therefore not a final ruling. In the event that there is a ruling against the law, the government and the federal parliament would have to react to “restore constitutional order,” says the high court.

The citizens’ initiative that presented the unconstitutionality appeal is led by the co – founder of Alternative for Germany (AfD) , the economist Bernd Lucke , who left the party in 2015 after its definitive turn to the extreme right.

The initiative led by Lucke, who founded the now far-right AfD in 2013 together with a group of Eurosceptic professors and economists, considers that the European rescue fund violates community treaties , as these “establish that the EU cannot assume any credit.”

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