Brussels has launched legal action against Germany for defying it over a massive European Central Bank stimulus programme in a challenge to the supremacy of EU law.
In an unprecedented move, the European Commission retaliated on Wednesday by starting infringement proceedings against Germany.
Unless the dispute is resolved, the legal action could ultimately lead to huge, daily fines levied by the Luxembourg court.
It comes after the German constitutional court ruled that the European Court of Justice had overstepped its powers by backing the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing and bond-buying last May to curtail the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is an intriguing case. The German constitutional court was quite clear that Brussels had overstepped its legal authority. If the judgement goes against Germany, and it surrenders, all EU member states might as well dismantle their constitutional courts. If the German constitutional court can be argued into surrender then, de facto, the EU is a superstate. Brussels ought to be careful. We have seen how its overreach results in member states deciding to leave.