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Online event
Opening Pandora’s box? The impact of Karlsruhe’s decision on the EU’s Rule of Law Agenda

Wednesday, 03 June 2020


Csaba Györy
Re:constitution fellow
Joelle Grogan
Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University
Marta Pardavi
Co-Chair, Hungarian Helsinki Committee
Sergey Lagodinsky
Member of European Parliament, The Greens/EFA


Sophie Pornschlegel
Project Leader, Connecting Europe

In the midst of a public health crisis, the German Federal Constitutional Court issued a historic judgement with potential implications for the EU’s rule of law agenda. The “ultra vires” decision on the ECB’s bond purchasing programme opens up the question of the sustainability of constitutional pluralism: Can two legal orders - national and supranational - coexist without confrontation? The ruling from Karlsruhe comes at a time when the primacy of the EU legal order is crucial from the perspective of the EU’s rule of law agenda. With infringement procedures pending against Poland and Hungary, the two countries could instrumentalise the German decision to avoid complying with the European Court of Justice’s’s judgements. The Hungarian government already declared that it would not accept its latest ruling on the Röszke transit zone for migrants. This has serious implications for the rule of law at a time when the Union needs to uphold its values.

During this Policy Dialogue, we will discuss a number of issues. Is an escalation between the European court and national courts unavoidable and could it potentially threaten the EU legal order and more broadly, the European project? What is the best way to address political and legal concerns and, at the same time, safeguard the rule of law and European values?  

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