Last week Germany’s constitutional court issued a decision ruling that the European Central Bank had overstepped its mandate with QE bond purchases,
- German court in Karlsruhe gave the ECB 3 months to justify its euro zone QE stimulus programme, or the Bundesbank might have to step aside from it
Responding, the European Union’s highest court (which had previously permitted the ECB QE programme) and the European Commission said that EU law holds precedence over national regulations
Further now, on Sunday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU executive might end up opening a legal case against Germany.
- “We are now analysing the ruling of the German Constitutional Court in detail. And we will look into possible next steps, which may include the option of infringement proceedings,”
These wort of legal wranglings are not a positive for EU coherency and stability. Nor are they positive for the EUR. Watching for developments on this front – both legal/political and for ECB actions ahead.
The judges reach a 7-1 ruling in the ECB QE case
Despite the ruling, the court says that some action by the ECB QE program partially violates constitution and that some of the action is held illegal i.e. not valid in Germany.
Adding that the ECB decision is not backed by the EU treaty. The decision can be found here
Although there are some caveats, I wouldn’t look too much into this. This just reaffirms that PEPP is going to be untouched, so the lack of suggestive price action means ‘let’s move on’.
I would argue that this is the key passage to take note of in the ruling above:
“Following a transitional period of no more than three months allowing for the necessary coordination with the Eurosystem, the Bundesbank may thus no longer participate in the implementation and execution of the ECB decisions at issue, unless the ECB Governing Council adopts a new decision that demonstrates in a comprehensible and substantiated manner that the monetary policy objectives pursued by the PSPP are not disproportionate to the economic and fiscal policy effects resulting from the programme. On the same condition, the Bundesbank must ensure that the bonds already purchased and held in its portfolio are sold based on a – possibly long-term – strategy coordinated with the Eurosystem.”