EMU in the Case Law of the Union Courts: A General Overview and Some Observations

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Four main categories of CJEU cases. – II.1. EMU and the euro and debt crisis in general. – II.2. Problems of multilevel decision-making. – II.3. Questions of liability and responsibility. – II.4. Issues relating to the Banking Union. – III. Concluding observations.

Abstract: The main objective of this Article is to map and categorize the CJEU’s case law relating to EMU. Although in purely quantitative terms, this is not a huge task, there are already enough relevant court rulings, up to 31 December 2020, to enable the establishment of a taxonomy distinguishing between four different categories of EMU-related case law. The first and foremost category will comprise cases dealing with the fundamentals of EMU, including clarifying the distinction between monetary policy and economic and other policies. This category includes a number of well-known cases of great political importance, such as Pringle ECLI:EU:C:2012:756, Gauweiler ECLI:EU:C:2015:400, Weiss ECLI:EU:C:2018:1000, Kotnik ECLI:EU:C:2016:570 and Florescu ECLI:EU:C:2017:448. A second category relates to the nature of the EU as a system of multilevel governance and the need to determine whether the competence to act is at national or Union level or a mix of the two. Cases in point include UK v ECB (security clearing) ECLI:EU:T:2015:133, Berlusconi ECLI:EU:C:2018:1023 and Rimšēvičs ECLI:EU:C:2019:139. A third group of cases relates to issues of responsibility and liability, including questions of the liability of “abnormal” EU bodies or settings such as the Troika or the Euro Group. Fourth, especially the Banking Union has triggered cases relating to prudential supervision and other more technical issues. This analysis will be completed by some concluding remarks, including the question of the intensity of judicial control (standard of review), viewing the EMU case law in a broader context.

Keywords: Court of Justice – case law – judicial review – EMU – euro crisis – banking union.

European Papers, Vol. 6, 2021, No 3, pp. 1397-1414
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/531

* Dr.Jur, Dr.Jur. h.c., Dr.Pol.Sc. h.c., Professor Emeritus, Visiting Professor, College of Europe, allanrosas4@gmail.com.


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