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Another twist in the saga

Posted by Helen Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The battle for power between the Commission and the European Council continues. The Council, as our readers may remember, failed to agree last November about the need to discipline France and Germany for breaking the terms of the Growth and Stability Pact, specifically in the question of the deficit.

The Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties (and the Pact does rely on Article 104 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community) took the Council to the European Court of Justice.

This morning the Court delivered its judgement, which adds another interesting twist to the painful saga of the Growth and Stability Pact. The Court has decided that the Commission had no right to take the Council to court, as the duty to enforce the Pact belongs to the Council and there is no higher power as far as that is concerned.

On the other hand, the Council ought to have enforced the Pact and, therefore, the Court has struck down its November 25, 2003 decision not to issue strong warnings to France and Germany.

And where do we go from here?

We shall analyze the decision in some detail on the blog. In the meantime, our readers might like to see the text of the ECJ’s press release.