The Karlsruhe-based court said on Monday it would decide next Tuesday whether two vital pieces of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s euro rescue policy might need to be re-drawn before the German president can sign them into law.
The court has to consider five constitutional challenges to the legislation, submitted by a private citizen, activist groups, as well as politicians from both ends of the political spectrum, who all fear that the legislation limits the powers of the German parliament.
These challenges have been filed by the socialist Left party, Peter Gauweiler, MP for the conservative Christian Social Union, pro-democracy organization Mehr Demokratie, a group of university professors, and an unnamed private citizen.
As well as the threat to democracy, the challengers also believe that the ESM could lead to Germany being exposed to unlimited liability for any future European financial crises.
They also argue that Germany’s contribution to the permanent European bailout system would be so high that the Bundestag will effectively no longer have control over the state budget. They also say that not enough parliamentary control has been built into the system.
Furthermore, they argue that the European fiscal compact, which is intended to impose budgetary discipline on European Union members, sets debt limits for the country, which means that by German law it should be put to a referendum.
President Joachim Gauck said earlier this month he would agree to wait to sign the laws in order to prevent them coming into force before the court had considered the challenges to them.