Commission Vice President Věra Jourová said Brussels is deciding on “possible steps” it can take to respond to a German court ruling that challenged the European Central Bank’s bond-buying policy, and at the same time, the authority of the EU’s top court.
Jourová also criticized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s emergency measures to counter the coronavirus crisis, saying the leader is readying himself for “unlimited power.” In March, Hungary’s parliament voted to allow Orbán to rule by decree indefinitely.
In an interview published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Jourová said: “Let me make one thing quite clear: the final word on European law is still being spoken in Luxembourg. Nowhere else,” referring to the bloc’s highest legal authority, the Court of Justice of the EU.
The German court ruled that the European Central Bank’s 2015 policy — approved by the Luxembourg court in 2018 — to buy bonds as part of its quantitative easing stimulus package “was obviously not covered” by the ECB’s mandate.
In the interview, Jourová said “our lawyers are also looking at it very closely at the moment before we decide on possible steps to take. But it should be clear to everyone: there is the primacy of EU law legally in our union. Judgements of the ECJ are binding on all national courts.”
Responding to Jourová’s comments on Hungary, government spokesperson Zoltan Kovacs said they were “unbecoming of a commissioner,” and said she should settle any complaint via infringement proceedings.
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