Differentiation of parliamentary powers:The German Constitutional Court and the German Bundestag within the financial crisis
Abstract: In combatting the financial and debt crisis in Europe a number of measures have been established outside the legal EU framework. This has lead to an increased differentiation of parliamentary powers between Eurozone and non-Eurozone countries, but also within the Eurozone itself. Some parliaments must give prior consent to financial tranches being granted within the EFSF or ESM framework, while in other settings the finance ministers exclusively decide. This paper demonstrates that the strong position of the German Bundestag is also a result of a series of Post-Lisbon judgements of the German Constitutional Court. The judges in Karlsruhe started to enlarge their jurisprudence to intergovernmental treaties. Essentially, the Court regards the Bundestag as the only fully democratic representation of the German people in the EU system. Consequently, the democratic legitimacy of decisions taken within the current crisis management must be derived from the German parliament. However, the strengthening of the Bundestag’s powers lead to further differentiation of parliamentary powers in the EU. This has far-reaching consequences for the democratic legitimacy of the policy-making processes in the Economic and Monetary Union.
OPAL Online Paper No. 9/2012