On 27 November 2012, Vassilios Skouris, President of the Court of Justice of the EU, pronounced his judgment in the case Pringle (C-370/12) on Economic policy.
On 2 February 2012 the Euro Zone Member States concluded the Treaty establishing the European stability mechanism (ESM), which is to have full legal personality. The purpose of the ESM is to mobilise funding and provide stability support under strict conditionality, appropriate to the financial assistance instrument chosen, to the benefit of ESM Members which are experiencing, or are threatened by, severe financing problems. That support may be granted only if indispensable to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and of its Member States. For that purpose, the ESM is to be entitled to raise funds by issuing financial instruments or by entering into financial or other agreements or arrangements with ESM Members, financial institutions or other third parties. The maximum lending capacity is set initially at €500 billion. The strict conditionality to which any support must be subject may take the form, notably, of a macro-economic adjustment programme or the obligation continuously to respect pre-established eligibility conditions. Mr Pringle, a Member of the Irish Parliament, claims before the Irish courts that the amendment of the TFEU by a European Council decision – therefore using the simplified revision procedure – is unlawful. He claims that the amendment entails an alteration of the competences of the EU and is inconsistent with provisions of the Treaties on which the EU is founded concerning economic and monetary union and with general principles of EU law. Further, Mr Pringle claims that, by ratifying, approving or accepting. The Court of Justice approves the European stability mechanism (ESM) EU law does not preclude the conclusion and ratification of the Treaty establishing the ESM by the Member States whose currency is the euro.
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