The impossible constitutional reconciliation of the BVerfG and the ECJ in the OMT case. A legal analysis of the first preliminary referral of the BVerfG

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Abstract

In Gauweiler v. ECB, the German Constitutional Court referred for the first time a case to the European Court of Justice. The BVerfG openly doubted the legality of the OMT program of the European Central Bank, one of the most effective European instruments in counteracting the effects of the Euro-crisis. Despite the apparent willingness of the BVerfG to accept the referring decision of the ECJ, it is clear that the German judges have a different constitutional interpretation of the monetary mandate of the ECB. This article will focus on the different conceptions of European Monetary Union and in particular of the ECB proposed by the two Supreme Courts in their case-law, and will explain why the legality of the ECB’s activity will be re-examined in the near future.

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