The Federal Constitutional Court rejected two constitutional appeals against German approval of the EU Corona Fund. The Karlsruhe court announced on Tuesday that the complainants had not violated their right to democratic self-determination. The powers of the European Union have obviously not been exceeded, nor has the budgetary responsibility of the Bundestag been harmed. The judges stressed that the Bundestag should monitor the use of the funds and the evolution of the liability risk and take countermeasures if necessary.
Entrepreneurs and former head of the AfD have sued against debt mutualisation
One of the constitutional complaints was filed by more than 2,200 complainants from the so-called Bündnis Bürgerwille (Bürgerwille Alliance) around the former head of the AfD Bernd Lucke, the other by the entrepreneur Heinrich Weiss. They argued that the EU had exceeded its powers. According to her, the Bundestag should not have approved the package.
The complainants had feared that the package could be the start of joint and several liability, so that Germany might eventually have to pay off other countries’ debts. Furthermore, the EU should not take on any debt of its own, they argued. The German government countered that this package served to stabilize the European economies.
The EU’s billions should revive Europe after the pandemic
The background is the multibillion-dollar EU Corona Fund. In March 2021, the Bundestag approved German participation in the reconstruction programme. To mitigate the consequences of the pandemic, the European Commission can borrow hundreds of billions of euros and transfer them to member states as grants or loans, largely to improve climate protection and digitalisation. The EU Corona Fund expects the EU Commission to raise 750 billion euros – at 2018 prices – on the capital market. The loans have to be repaid by countries between 2028 and 2058.