A Tale of Two Treaties


Latest News

The European Court of Justice delivered their judgment on the Pringle case on the November 27th.

The ECJ held that the ESM Treaty is compatible with the existing EU treaties and has cleared the way for the ESM to proceed. The Court rejected Mr Pringle’s argument that the ESM was a departure from the treaties and conflicted with them. The ECJ also rejected arguments made by the European Council, the Commission and ten Member States that the Court had no power to consider these issues. The Court asserted its right to consider the legality of Decisions of this nature by the European Council.

Here is a link to the Court’s judgment.

Here is a link to the Court’s press statement, which provides a summary.

The full 27-judge European Court of Justice heard the Pringle case on October 23rd.

You will find an account of Mr Pringle’s arguments on our ECJ Case page. Here is a link to the brief remarks made Mr Pringle’s Counsel, John Rogers SC, to the Court at the oral hearing: click here for full text of Mr Rogers’ remarks


Welcome to the Tale of Two Treaties.

This tumblr site started out on 1st May 2012 as an Irish Citizen’s Guide to two new international treaties and an amendment to the European Union Treaties.

These are:

1. Treaty establishing the European Stability Mechanism
(called ‘ESM Treaty’)

2. Treaty on Stability Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (‘Fiscal Treaty' or 'Stability Treaty’)

3. Amendment to Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’)

In this site you will find an introduction to each treaty and an explanation of how the two treaties are interlinked. We also explain the amendment to Article 136 of the TFEU, agreed by EU Heads of Government to facilitate the establishment of the ESM.

A Referendum on the Fiscal Treaty was held in Ireland on 31st May 2012 when the voters approved an amendment of the Irish Constitution to permit Irish ratification of the Fiscal Treaty. The Irish people were not asked to vote on the ESM Treaty or on the Article 136 amendment.

An independent Donegal TD, Thomas Pringle, challenged the validity of the ESM Treaty and the Article 136 amendment in the Irish Courts. His claim was that the ESM Treaty and the Article 136 amendment are contrary to Irish constitutional law and to European Union law. His case was heard by the Irish High Court and Supreme Court in the Summer. The seven judges of the Irish Supreme Court decided in July to refer three questions of EU law to the European Court of Justice. As a result, the Irish case was adjourned pending the ECJ’s decision.

On 1st August 2012, the Irish Government ratified the Fiscal Treaty, the ESM Treaty and the Article 136 Amendment.

This site has links to the full text of the three questions referred to the ECJ, as well additional information on the Pringle case.

Feel free to share the information.

This Citizen’s Guide was written by Mary Linehan, Solicitor and Joe Noonan, Solicitor.

A Tale of Two Treaties · Mary Linehan & Joe Noonan

May 2012