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Monday, 11 May 2020

Separation of Powers in European Union

The European Union is not a Federation but an economic - and not a political - union of 27 countries. However, Germany is a Federation of 16 constituent states. Unlike other EU countries, Germany has a Federal Constitutional Court (FCC), which "is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany". This German FCC is the subject of a hefty debate.

Essentially, the debate is simple and complex: which court is higher, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) or the German FCC.

Many people (would) argue that that the ECJ is - or must be / should be - higher than the German FCC.  Initially, I assumed the same.

However, when I prepared my diagram to the left then I was forced to reconsider my initial assumption.

In case of a European Federation, there is no shadow of a doubt that the ECJ would be higher than the German FCC. The same would apply to the European Commission and the European Parliament.

However, the EU is not a Federation. It's merely an economic union and not a political union, which Wikipedia wrongly claims in its very first sentence.

Therefore, the European Commission is lower then the European Council of the political leaders of the 27 member states.

The same applies to the European Parliament as national parliaments must ratify proposed European legislation.

Given the above, it makes sense that the German FCC must or should be higher than the ECJ, despite the 99 balloons we read in the newspapers.

Last Friday, the ECJ has claimed superiority over the German Federal Constitutional Court. Financial Times, May 8: "ECJ issues rare warning over EU legal order after German judges question its superiority". To be continued.

99 Luftballons (1983) by Nena


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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