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Accreditation conditions and information for journalists and visitors concerning the oral hearing in the “ESM/ECB” principal proceedings
Press Release No. 36/2013 of 14 May 2013
2 BvR 1390/12
2 BvR 1421/12
2 BvR 1438/12
2 BvR 1439/12
2 BvR 1440/12
2 BvR 1824/12
2 BvE 6/12
- Special Fax Number for Accreditation: + 49 721 9101-541 -
As already announced, the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court will conduct an oral hearing on Tuesday 11 June 2013 and Wednesday 12 June 2013 in the "ESM/ECB" principal proceedings. Press release no. 29/2013 of 19 April 2013 contains additional information (in German), including the outline of the oral hearings.
Please Note the Following Important Information for the Accreditation Procedure:
Accreditation requests can only be made by telefax on the form provided, under the number +49 721 9101-541. The period for accreditation starts on Tuesday 21 May 2013 at 12:00 noon and ends on Tuesday 28 May 2013 at 12:00 noon. For the allotment of seats and their distribution, the media will be broken up into four different groups. For further information, please consult the last pages of this press release.
Subject-Matter of the Proceedings
1. With regard to most of these proceedings, the Senate has already conducted oral hearings dealing with applications for preliminary injunctions according to § 32 of the Federal Constitutional Court Act (Bundesverfassungsgerichtsgesetz - BVerfGG). The objective of these applications was to prohibit the Federal President from signing the statutes, which the Bundestag and the Bundesrat had passed on 29 June 2012 in order to deal with the sovereign debt crisis in the euro currency area, before the Court had come to a decision in the principal proceedings (cf. press release no. 47/2012 of 2 July 2012). After performing a summary review of the legal issues, the Senate rejected the applications for the most part in its judgment of 12 September 2012 (2 BvR 1390/12, 2 BvR 1421/12, 2 BvR 1438/12, 2 BvR 1439/12, 2 BvR 1440/12 and 2 BvE 6/12) and its order of the same day (2 BvR 1824/12). For further details please see press release no. 67/2012 of 12 September 2012 (available in English).
a) In the present principal proceedings, the Senate will render a final judgment on the constitutionality of the following Acts: the Act approving the European Council Decision of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Act approving the Treaty of 2 February 2012 establishing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM Treaty), and the Act approving the Treaty of 2 March 2012 on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact). The Senate will also clarify the legal questions which the judgment of 12 September 2012 expressly reserved for the principal proceedings (on this, cf. also press release no. 47/2012 of 2 July 2012). This concerns in particular two issues: the involvement of Parliament in decisions taken by the European Stability Mechanism regarding the issue of shares of its capital stock on terms other than at par (Art. 8 sec. 2 sentence 4 TESM) and ensuring with regard to the budget that Art. 4 sec. 8 TESM will under no circumstances be applied to the Federal Republic of Germany (cf. BVerfG, judgment of the Second Senate of 12 September 2012 - 2 BvR 1390/12 et al. -, marginal no. 280, German original: [Link auf: http://www.bverfg.de/entscheidungen/rs20120912_2bvr139012.html] English translation: [Link auf: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/entscheidungen/rs20120912_2bvr139012en.html]).
b) Also under review is the way in which the Act for Financial Participation in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM Financing Act, ESM-Finanzierungsgesetz - ESMFinG) structures the participation of the German Bundestag in matters of the European Stability Mechanism. The Senate has reserved for the principal proceedings in particular the following points: under which circumstances a constitutional complaint can be filed against the allocation of competencies between the plenary session, the budget committee and other subsidiary bodies of the German Bundestag alleging that this violates the core of the right to vote, protected by Art. 38 sec. 1 in conjunction with Art. 79 sec. 3 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz - GG); whether rights of the members of the Bundestag have been violated, a claim that was made in the Organstreit proceedings; and the functional allocation of competencies between the bodies of the Bundestag (cf. BVerfG, judgment of the Second Senate of 12 September 2012 - 2 BvR 1390/12 et al. -, marginal no. 294).
2. Measures taken by the European Central Bank in the context of the sovereign debt crisis were not part of the proceedings for a preliminary injunction.
a) After the delivery of the judgment of 12 September 2012, some of the complainants and the applicant in the Organstreit proceedings extended their applications in some aspects; now, they challenge in particular the European Central Bank's decision of 6 September 2012 on the so-called Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme, its decision of 14 May 2010 on the Securities Markets Programme (SMP), the purchase of government bonds within the framework of both programmes, the lowering of the credit standards for the government bonds to be deposited as a security for Central Bank loans, and the establishment of the TARGET2 system.
b) Furthermore, some constitutional complaints challenge an unconstitutional omission by the Federal Government. They put forward that due to its responsibility for the European integration (Integrationsverantwortung), the Federal Government is obliged to ensure that the boundaries of the integration programme are respected, and to counteract possible violations of the integration programme by suitable measures. They therefore argue that the Federal Government has a duty to bring an action before the Court of Justice of the European Union against the OMT decision and the purchase of government bonds or to work in another way towards a cancellation of these measures. They claim that the challenged measures and omissions violate their right under Art. 38 sec. 1 in conjunction with Art. 79 sec. 3 GG. They further claim that the European Central Bank acted outside its mandate, i.e. ultra vires. They further argue that the Basic Law's constitutional identity, which is protected by Art. 79 sec. 3 GG, and the Bundestag's overall budgetary responsibility are violated. They finally argue that the measures of the European Central Bank endanger monetary stability (Art. 14 sec. 1, Art. 88 GG).
c) The applicant in the Organstreit proceedings now also objects to what it claims is an unconstitutional omission by the German Bundestag to work towards a cancellation of the OMT decision. The applicant argues that also the Bundestag's responsibility for the European integration results in an obligation to counteract transgressions of the European Union's competencies, and to take the measures necessary to abolish such transgressions.
Accreditation Conditions and Information for Journalists
The accreditation procedure starts on Tuesday 21 May 2013 at 12:00 noon. Accreditation requests received before this point in time will not be considered. The Federal Constitutional Court will not of its own accord inform the sender if an accreditation request has been made ahead of time.
The accreditation procedure ends on Tuesday 28 May 2013 at 12:00 noon. After the expiry of this period, no accreditations are possible.
Accreditation requests can be made by telefax only. They must be sent to the telefax number +49 721 9101-541; several lines will be connected to this number. Accreditation requests which are sent to other telefax numbers of the Federal Constitutional Court will not be considered, nor will accreditation requests received by email.
For accreditation requests, the following forms must be used: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/documents/Formblatt_ESM_Akkreditierung-Presse.pdf
(in German) or
The form must be filled in completely, and it must indicate for which of the four media groups the accreditation is requested.
The accreditation requests will be considered in the order in which they have been received. This will be deter-mined by the order shown on the notice of receipt in the log report of the fax server of the fax number +49 712 9101-541. If faxes have been received at the same time, accreditation is awarded by drawing lots.
A few days after the expiry of the deadline, the Federal Constitutional Court will notify the applicants by email of whether their accreditation requests have been successful or unsuccessful.
Available Seats and Allocation of Seats
In the press gallery, there will be a total of 40 seats for media representatives. In addition, two press rooms (C003and C213) will be established, which will provide a total of another 47 seats. The available seats are allo-cated as follows:
1. In the press gallery, 15 seats are reserved in advance for full members (honorary members excepted) of the Justizpressekonferenz Karlsruhe e.V. (JPK). Each medium which is represented in the JPK by a full member is entitled to one of these seats. The same applies to each full member who does not represent a specific medium. A full member who represents more than one medium is only entitled to one seat.
2. For the distribution of the other 72 seats, the media are broken down into four groups. The seats are allo-cated in the following sequence:
- Seats nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 each go to a medium headquartered in Germany.
- Seats nos. 3and 6 each go to a medium headquartered in another state of the euro currency area.
- Seat no. 9 goes to a medium headquartered in a state outside the euro currency area.
- Seat no. 10 goes to a free journalist. All free journalists form part of this group, irrespective of their countries of origin.
- Subsequently, counting starts again at 1. If all applicants from an entitled group have already been con-sidered, the respective figure is skipped.
3. The seats in the press gallery are allocated first, then, counting consecutively, the seats in press room C003, and last, the seats in press room C213.
4. First, every medium accredited in due time is allocated only one seat. Another seat per medium is allo-cated if all media accredited in due time have received a seat. The same applies to the allocation of fur-ther seats. Free journalists are considered within their above-mentioned group.
It is not permitted to make phone calls, tweet or send other messages, retrieve digital data, or use the internet in any way within or from the courtroom. All electronic devices which can be used for these purposes, in particular mobile phones, laptop computers and tablet computers, may not be used in the courtroom. Media repre-sentatives can obtain permission to use computers in offline mode if it is ensured that the devices are not used for sound or image recording or for data transmission.
The seats in the press gallery must be taken by 9:30 a.m. on the respective day. If a seat has not been taken by this time, it will be allocated otherwise for this day. At 9:40 a.m., the seats in the press gallery which have remained vacant will be offered to the journalists with the lowest seat number which are present in press room C003at this time. Journalists who do not have a seat in the press gallery will have to leave the courtroom after the presiding justice of the Senate has established the presence of the parties to the proceedings. The area outside the courtroom must be vacated.
There will be an audio transmission from the courtroom to both press rooms. Each press room is equipped with 230V sockets for laptops and an analogue telephone line. The Federal Constitutional Court cannot guarantee the capacity of mobile telephone and data networks. In press room C213, a total of 15 additional workplaces are at the disposal of all journalists who have been allocated seats in the press gallery. These workplaces are not assigned individually.
Taking Photographs and Filming; Pooling
1. Taking photographs, filming and sound recording are permissible until the end of the establishment of the presence of the parties to the proceedings by the presiding justice of the Senate. After that, photographers and camera teams have to leave the courtroom and the press gallery.
2. Two television teams (a public and a private television station with a maximum of three cameras each) and six photographers (four agency photographers and two free photographers) are admitted to the courtroom (pooling).
The willingness to be a pool representative must be stated with the accreditation request. The pool representatives undertake to supply, upon request, their photographs and films to other radio and television stations, as well as photographic agencies.
The allocation of seats to pool representatives takes place in the order in which the faxes with their accredi-tation requests have been received. This will be determined by the order shown on the notice of receipt in the log report of the fax server of the fax number +49 712 9101-541. If faxes have been received at the same time, the seats are allocated by drawing lots.
The television stations, agencies and photographers are free to determine the persons who are part of their teams.
3. When taking photographs and filming in the courtroom, photographers, camera operators and other media representatives must ensure that the Senate has free vision to all sides. Taking photographs, filming and sound recording from behind the Justices' bench is not allowed. It is not allowed to enter the area behind the Justices' bench. Instructions by the court staff must be complied with. Taking photographs and filming is only permitted with silent devices without a flash.
4. After the end of the oral proceedings, and during the lunch break, a period of 20 minutes is assigned for interviews with the parties to the proceedings in the courtroom, as well as for filming them and taking photographs of them there. Beyond this period, the press niches in front of the courtroom are available for this purpose.
Vehicles of Radio and Television Teams; Technicians
There are only a limited number of parking spaces available for SNG vehicles, editing vehicles and OB vans. If parking spaces are needed, this must be indicated with the accreditation request on the form provided. The parking spaces are allocated in the order in which the requests have been received. For the allocation of the parking spaces, the following information is requested: number plate, vehicle type, make, dimensions (L x W x H in meters), weight and, if applicable, demand of power to be supplied by the Federal Constitutional Court.
The names, dates of birth and ID card numbers of the accompanying technicians and the vehicle data can be submitted subsequently. They must be sent via fax by Monday, 10 June 2013, 10:00 a.m. at the latest (fax no. +49 721 9101-461 - use only for the data which are submitted subsequently). The following forms must be used as well: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/documents/Formblatt_ESM_Akkreditierung-Presse.pdf
(in German) or
Data which are submitted after the expiry of the deadline or by email cannot be considered.
It is possible to arrive and to set up the equipment on the day before the oral hearings from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on the day of the oral hearings between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
Setting up of Studios
It is only possible to set up studios in the press niches. The two large press niches will be allocated to the televi-sion stations that act as pool representative. The smaller press niche will be allocated in the order in which the faxes with the accreditation requests have been received. This will be determined by the order shown on the notice of receipt in the log report of the fax server of the fax number +49 712 9101-541. If faxes have been re-ceived at the same time, the press niches are allocated by drawing lots.
This information is based on § 17a of the Federal Constitutional Court Act in conjunction with the supplementing provisions laid down by the First and the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court.
Information for Interested Citizens
Interested citizens who want to attend the oral hearings are requested to register, by phone or by fax, under the following address:
Postfach 1771, 76006 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721 9101-400
Fax: -49 721 9101-461
Registration starts on Tuesday 21 May 2013, at 12:00 noon and ends on Tuesday 28 May 2013, at 12:00 noon.
The registration must indicate the person's surname, first name, date of birth and a phone or fax number.
Registrations will be considered in the order in which they have been received.