How are the countries running out of money?

EU program Why some EU countries are hesitant to provide Corona aid

You can't wait to use the money from Brussels. In Italy and Greece, which were particularly economically set back by the corona crisis, the first funds from the € 750 billion reconstruction fund have already been planned.

If it stays on schedule, the first funds can start flowing in the second half of the year. But there are at least doubts as to whether that will happen. Because in Germany the Federal President is not allowed to sign the Capital Adequacy Ratification Act until it is examined by the judges in Karlsruhe. The EU Commission was nevertheless emphatically confident this week:

"The Commission is convinced that the own resources decision is legally watertight, it is necessary that all member states quickly approve it. Especially with a view to the challenges of the corona pandemic. So far, 16 states have ratified it."

The EU Commission sees no preliminary decision in the stop from Karlsruhe

After all, that's more than half of the member states. The Commission wants the ratification process to be over by the end of June. With their consent, the member states allow the EU, on the basis of an emergency article in the EU treaties, to borrow money for the reconstruction plan on the capital markets and then guarantee the debts. In the stop from Karlsruhe, the commission sees no preliminary decision on the matter.

"We believe that the validity of the capital adequacy decision has not been questioned. We are therefore confident that the Federal Constitutional Court will decide quickly."

Not everyone in Brussels, however, shares this confidence; one of them is the Green budget expert Rasmus Andresen. He assumes that the Federal Constitutional Court, after examining the lawsuit, will refer the case to the European Court of Justice in order to ultimately have it checked whether the reconstruction fund is in conformity with EU law.

"If the Federal Constitutional Court does not pass it on quickly to the ECJ or if the ratification is blocked until the main issue has been decided, then the construction fund will not be through in July and will not be able to be used, then there will be months of delays that we ourselves can not afford at European level. "

Andresen warns that the consequences would not only be devastating for the southern countries, but also for Germany and the domestic market, not to mention the political damage.

Poland and Hungary are hesitant for strategic reasons

In addition to Germany, there are a few other countries that have not completed the ratification process. For example Austria or the Netherlands, which at the time emerged as strict opponents of excessive lending during the negotiations. The FDP MEP Moritz Körner reckons with two other countries that their signature will not come quickly:

"Poland and Hungary have already dawdled to ratify the own resources decision, and for good reason. They have an ace up their sleeve, because in the end they can threaten to let the reconstruction fund and the entire budget fail, and this threat will of course help them Because the EU Commission will - it is to be expected - not crack down on the rule of law mechanism as long as it has to reckon with Hungary and Poland failing the budget.

How much the procedure in Karlsruhe endangers the current schedule is currently unclear. In cases of other constitutional complaints, such as the Lisbon Treaty or the ESM Treaty, the delay amounted to a few months. However, it is unlikely that the Corona aid fund will be completely overturned. A far-flung but conceivable option would be an intergovernmental treaty. So far, the head of the SPD in the European Parliament, Jens Geier does not want to think yet:

"The BVerfG decided on Friday to want to examine a legally ill-founded objection that was raised against a legislative decision of the Bundestag, which was passed with a two-thirds majority and now the Federal Constitutional Court has three and a half weeks to justify whether it is Objection really wants to seriously consider and if it actually decides to want to stop this law then I start to worry. "