Red Signal from Karlsruhe: Towards a New Equilibrium or New Level of Conflict?

  • László Blutman Full professor, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, University of Szeged
Keywords: primacy of EU law, constitutional review, ultra vires acts, principle of proportionality, identity review, ultra vires review


In its PSPP decision, the German Constitutional Court for the first time declared an EU act ultra vires. The decision resulted in a flood of studies, blog posts, and comments. Most criticised the verdict raising a series of objections. We agree with some objections. However, the present study approaches the judgment from the other side. It seeks to understand the situation of the constitutional courts of Member States in the EU legal system, to examine their main dilemmas in relation to EU law, and to explore their possibilities regarding their main task, which is the protection of constitutions. The study highlights the fundamental structural tension that currently characterises the EU legal system concerning Member States’ sovereignty and examines how a balance can be struck in addressing this tension.