Stoiber proposes a competence council

Even the courts are arguing about monetary policy in the eurozone. Edmund Stoiber, Peer Steinbrück and a few other former politicians make a suggestion on how to mediate in the event of a conflict.

Edmund Stoiber

Wel which court controls monetary policy in the eurozone? The European Court of Justice and the Federal Constitutional Court have repeatedly argued about this – most recently the German court accused the European court of having exceeded its competences. An older government bond purchase program of the European Central Bank is unconstitutional, the Federal Government and the Bundestag should have ensured that the ECB explains the proportionality of their measures.

The proposal: a “competence council”

Because the dispute over competencies is not necessarily resolved, older politicians have now made a different proposal: The former Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber, the former candidate for Chancellor Peer Steinbrück, the former Minister of Economic Affairs Wolfgang Clement, the former EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, the economist Hans-Werner Sinn and four other colleagues propose a so-called “Competence Council”, which consists of the President of the ECJ and the national highest courts and which functions in a similar way to a competence court once proposed by the former Constitutional Court President Roman Herzog.

In the specific case, they take the side of the Constitutional Court, but also emphasize: “A further escalation of the conflict of competencies should be prevented” – so it is in a paper that Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble distributed among the responsible MPs.

Who organizes the “monetary policy dialogue”?

The conflict is currently so pacified that the Bundestag is setting up a quarterly “monetary policy dialogue”. The MPs spoke to Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann for the first time last Wednesday. This is organized in turn by the Finance Committee, the Budget Committee and the EU Committee. The former politicians are now pleading for the whole thing to be handed over to the finance committee. This proposal seems to have little chance of success, at least in the short term.

The Green MP Franziska Brantner is skeptical of the whole paper: “The phase of low interest rates will stay with us for a while, we should rather be prepared for it and make use of it.” The chairman of the finance committee, Katja Hessel (FDP), also does not believe that If something changes before the general election – after that the cards will be reshuffled.