There’s too much still to digest in the fall-out from yesterday’s summit for me to write a full blog entry on it all, but there is one technical point on which David Cameron is wrong. As if he didn’t already look petulant enough, Cameron stated that he would make sure the Euro+ group would not have access to EU institutions (see para 3 here).

Here’s Article 273 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union [PDF of full treaty here]:

Article 273
The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in any dispute between Member States which relates to the subject matter of the Treaties if the dispute is submitted to it under a special agreement between the parties.

The ‘special agreement’ would be part of the pact the 17 Eurozone members, plus 6 (+3) others would sign, and so the Court of Justice could intervene, making legally binding fiscal surveillance by the Court of Justice viable, whatever Cameron says.

5 Comments

  1. That said, the ECJ is not an intellectually honest court. Its primary aim is to progress European integration; and it will reach implausible, strained decisions on the meaning of Treaties and/or Directives in order to achieve this aim.

  2. I agree with Tim MacDonald. It is impossible to see how an intellectually honest court could interpret ‘the Treaties’ to include treaties outside the EU, including the putative 17+ Treaty.
    F Hoar, Field Court Chambers, Gray’s Inn

  3. Erm I read that as relating to existing treatys not bi lateral or multi lateral agreements between member states but hey one for the lawyers to argue over.

  4. Tim Macdonald

    Wait a moment, that isn’t right.

    Article 273
    The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in any dispute between Member States which relates to the subject matter of the Treaties if the dispute is submitted to it under a special agreement between the parties.

    Art 1.2 says that “the Treaties” specifically means the TEU and the TFEU. So any dispute under a new “17+6” treaty would not fall within Art 273 as it only applies to the two founding treaties.

    “Special agreement” presumably means that the parties agree that the dispute will be heard by the ECJ. If it were about treaties it would have said “any other treaty”.

  5. Thanks for pointing that out.
    British media seem to have made a meal of the (erroneous) assumption, that the Euro-zone could not go it alone if need be.

    I wish there could be an explanation of Britain’s strange stance on Europe. Are faded dreams of Empire that much stronger than hard and fast numbers?

    I’ve been wondering about this ever since the late 70ies …

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