Brussels Powergrab

Monday, September 15, 2008

The powergrab from the ECJ

EUobserver has an article with the title "Stop the European Court of Justice". It relates how the European Court of Justice is steadily expanding its competencies - often explicitly against European law. The article gives many examples but focuses on the Mangold Judgement where the court threw out a German law that temporarily made it easier to take older employees on temporary contracts. As a consequence many German employers got stuck with older employees whose temporary contract had automatically been converted into a permanent one. However, there are many reasons to argue that the ECJ had no competency in this case. Now the case is going to the German constitutional court that is asked to rule that ECJ exceeded its competencies.

In this context it is also interesting that according to Articles 1 and 5 of the EU Treaty, the ECJ is obliged to participate in the "process of creating an ever closer union".. A rather strange thing to ask from a court.

In my opinion all references in all European Treaties about an "ever closer union" should be scratched. Just like any federation the EU needs a balance between local autonomy and centralization. Treaties that promise us ever stronger centralization are undemocratic.