C-233/94 Germany v Parliament (Deposit Guarantee Directive) [1997]

C-233/94 Germany v Parliament (Deposit Guarantee Directive) [1997] is an important decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that sheds light on the requirement of providing reasons for the compatibility of a legislative measure with the principle of subsidiarity in the context of EU law.

The case involves the Deposit Guarantee Directive, which mandated member states to establish a deposit guarantee scheme. Additionally, it required that no credit institution could be authorised to take deposits from customers unless it was a member of such a scheme. Germany contested the directive, arguing that it lacked an explicit statement of reasons justifying its compatibility with the principle of subsidiarity.

The request for annulment brought by Germany was rejected by the ECJ. The Court emphasised that there is an obligation for a legislative measure to contain reasons that are necessary for its review by the ECJ and for member states and their nationals to understand the rationale behind it. The Court held that express reference to the principle of subsidiarity is not explicitly required.

The ECJ found that the preamble of the Deposit Guarantee Directive provided a satisfactory explanation for the measure. Specifically, it referred to overseas branches of banks, the possibility of deposits becoming unavailable, and the need for harmonisation. The Court concluded that, in this case, an express reference to the principle of subsidiarity was not necessary, as the preamble and the general context of the directive offered a clear and sufficient explanation.

This case underscores the importance of providing reasons for EU legislative measures, but it clarifies that explicit reference to subsidiarity may not always be required if the reasoning can be derived from other parts of the legislative text or its context.
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