Germany’s top constitutional court has plunged the EU into chaos after they blocked the ratification of the bloc’s unprecedented €750billion recovery fund plan. Under the plans, agreed by the EU last year, Brussels would gain unprecedented powers to borrow hundreds of billions and hand it out as budget support to member states hit by the pandemic. However, a complaint lodged by Bernd Lucke, founder of the far-right and eurosceptic AfD party, has convinced the top German court to put this plan on hold.
On Friday, the constitutional court said that the German president cannot sign off on legislation ratifying the EU’s recovery fund as long as it was looking into an emergency appeal against the debt-financed investment plan.
France 24’s Europe editor Catherine Nicholson explained: “This is a preliminary injunction, stopping Germany’s president from signing off on this ratification process in German law.
“The lower house of the German parliament did approve the EU recovery plan by a large majority yesterday.
“But, there has been a complaint filed with the constitutional court by the founder of the far-right AfD, Bernd Lucke, with the support of more than 2,000 citizens.”
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She continued: “They say this EU recovery plan goes against Germany’s contract with the EU.
“This recovery fund is based on joint borrowing. People in Germany are worried that those with weaker economic may not be able to pay back those debts in the future.”
Leading German eurosceptics took to social media to hail the court’s decision as a victory.
One person tweeted: “There is hope for a sovereign Germany and an end to EU’s undemocratic power (and money) grab.”
Germany’s finance minister Olaf Scholz and the European Commission both maintain confidence the court will allow the fund to be ratified and be passed into law.
The Commission stated: “The EU objective remains to ensure the completion of the ratification process in all member states by the end of the second quarter of this year.”
However, Germany’s highest court did not give a time frame on when a legal decision could be expected.
The recovery fund is part of a huge €1.8 trillion budget up to 2027 agreed by the EU’s 27 members last December.