The Chancellor of Justice: “The Parliament of Estonia must have a say on the granting of financial assistance under the European Stability Mechanism.”
Office of the Chancellor of Justice, 12 March 2012
Indrek Teder argues that the provision of the Treaty Establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) which in exceptional cases allows decisions on the provision of stability support to a Member of the ESM to be adopted by means of the so-called emergency voting procedure is contrary to the Estonian Constitution. The core feature of the emergency voting procedure is that, instead of using a regular voting mechanism based on mutual agreement (i.e. unanimity), a decision is adopted if a qualified majority of 85% of the votes cast endorse the decision. In essence, the emergency voting procedure might create a situation where Estonia must financially contribute to the ESM, but cannot influence the granting of aid, nor the terms under which financial assistance is provided. According to Indrek Teder, such a decision-making scheme jeopardises the principle of parliamentary democracy, the principle of parliamentary prerogatives as well as the budget autonomy of the Parliament.
Today the Chancellor of Justice submitted an application to the Estonian Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the provision of the Treaty Establishing the ESM, according to which the making of decisions on the provision of financial assistance to the ESM’s Member States is possible on the basis of 85% qualified majority vote.