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After the OMT Case: The Supremacy of EU Law as the Guarantee of the Equality of the Member States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 March 2019

Abstract

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This article analyzes the recent judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Gauweiler, answering the first preliminary reference ever by the German Constitutional Court (BVerfG), on the legality of the Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) program of the European Central Bank (ECB). As the article explains, the ECJ rejected any possible claim of illegality of a key program devised by the ECB at the height of the Euro-crisis. However, because the BVerfG had defined the OMT program as ultra vires, and had threatened to strike it down if the ECJ did not reach the same result, the article defends the principle of the supremacy of European Union (EU) law, indicating that a possible nullification of the OMT program by the BVerfG would be clearly unlawful. To re-affirm the supremacy of EU law, the article argues that this principle is functional to ensure the equality of the member states before the law, preventing each country of the EU from cherry-picking which provisions of EU it likes or not. As the article suggests, respect of the principle of the supremacy of EU law – including by the BVerfG – is ultimately in the interest of every EU member state, including of Germany.

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Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by German Law Journal GbR 

References

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