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German high court rejects appeal against EU reactivation plan

The Constitutional Court of Germany rejected on Wednesday an appeal to block the European economic recovery plan, which aimed above all against the mechanism based on a common debt of the bloc countries.

“A summary examination did not reveal any probability of violation” of the fundamental law, explained on its website the highest jurisdiction of the country, which at the end of March suspended the ratification process in Germany.

The court will study the text more deeply but rejected the request for an emergency suspension, citing “the inconveniences” that would cause a delay in the ratification of the plan.

The economic reactivation fund, negotiated last summer, is endowed with 750,000 million euros (almost 900,000 million dollars) and is essential to help EU countries cope with the economic consequences of the covid-19 pandemic.

The president of the European Commission, Urusla von der Leyen, “welcomed” the ruling in a tweet, and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz praised “a very important advance in the fight against the pandemic.”

The two houses of the national Parliament adopted the plan in March. Now, it can be ratified by the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The Karlsruhe court considered that a delay in the entry into force of the plan “would compromise the economic policy objective”. In addition, he estimated that “the inconveniences could be irreversible”, given the need to encourage recovery from the pandemic.

A delay would also lead to “considerable friction on European and foreign policy,” the Court said.

Seventeen European countries ratified the plan, which is based on an unprecedented debt mechanism common to all member states. Part of the money will be transferred in the form of grants (€ 312.5 billion, $ 368 billion), especially to the countries most impacted.

Opponents of the text argue that the German Constitution prohibits the country from sharing the burden of debt with other states.

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