What's up, Europe? Germany affirms bailouts

Judges of the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court issue their ruling on the legality of the eurozone's bailout fund and fiscal pact for greater budgetary discipline on September 12, 2012 in Karlsruhe, southern Germany. Germany's high court rejected a petition to block Germany's participation in the eurozone rescue fund. What does that mean for Europe going forward?

A German high court ruled today that the underpinnings of the European bailouts are constitutional. There were a couple of caveats, but the Eurozone lives another day. And that calls into question the future of the European project, says the German Marshall Fund's Constanze Stelzenmueller.

"What we have now is a sitaution that is essentially a compromise," said Stelzenmueller. "It allows the government to go foward, which is important for the euro crisis because Germany, as you know, is in the pole position as the major lender to the European stability mechanism."

More broadly, the ruling calls into question the reasons for continental cooperation. EU nations are not likely to go to war anytime soon, so that's not the primary motive to stay together. And Europeans now know that sticking it out doesn't guarantee endless prosperity and unchecked economic growth.

"We are really redefining Europe for a new age," said Stelzenmueller.

This ruling affirms that vision of a unified European Union among a diverse set of players, allowing Europe to stay in the game in an age of globalization.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk covering sustainability news spots and features.

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