Thursday 13 May 2010

European financial stabilisation mechanism: Article 122 TFEU and legal base

We started our topical discussion about Article 122 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) by recalling the legislative history in the blog post Background: European financial stabilisation mechanism (13 May 2010).

Council Regulation (EU) No 407/2010 of 11 May 2010 establishing a European financial stabilisation mechanism (published OJEU 12.5.2010 L 118/1) refers to Article 122(2) as the legal base, but it is probably better to present the whole Article (as in the latest consolidated version of the treaties, OJEU 30.3.2010 C 83/98):

Article 122 TFEU
(ex Article 100 TEC)

1. Without prejudice to any other procedures provided for in the Treaties, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may decide, in a spirit of solidarity between Member States, upon the measures appropriate to the economic situation, in particular if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products, notably in the area of energy.

2. Where a Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may grant, under certain conditions, Union financial assistance to the Member State concerned. The President of the Council shall inform the European Parliament of the decision taken.

Naturally, the provision on financial assistance has to be understood in the light of the aims of the European Union, such as the establishment of an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro, as stated in Article 3(4) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

As we know, the EU shall ensure the consistency between its policies and activities, taking all of its objectives into account and in accordance with the principle of conferral of powers (Article 7 TFEU).

Further, based on the objectives of the EU and the quest for consistency, the provisions of Title VIII on economic and monetary policy (Articles 119 to 144 TFEU) constitute a framework for the reading of individual provisions.

Are the measures taken on the basis of Article 122(2) TFEU valid, or should we believe the Open Europe blog, which has employed descriptions such as profoundly dishonest and profoundly deceitful with regard to the European financial stabilisation mechanism?

We are going to discuss these grave accusations and other related issues in coming blog posts here on Grahnlaw.

Ralf Grahn

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