The purpose of the paper is to examine the interaction between the sovereign debt crisis and the doctrine of state immunity. For this purpose, the ‘bail-out scheme’ for Greece and more specifically the Loan Facility Agreement concluded between Greece and its Eurozone partners is taken as a case study. The Agreement was signed by the contracting parties on 8 May 2010 and it included an undertaking by Greece to waive its immunity.
The contracting parties have conferred exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute that might arise from the Agreement to the ECJ. The main consequence of this is that Greece cannot invoke the plea of immunity, regardless of the inclusion of the waiver in the Agreement. The possibility of a Member State invoking the plea of immunity during proceedings at the ECJ would make the existence of the Court pointless.
There would be no formal measures to enforce the ECJ’s decision as such measures are not provided by the Treaties framework for the procedure under Article 273 TFEU. A way of enforcement that involves the institutions of the Union has to be provisioned by the Agreement, which has not been done in this case. Moreover, the judgment should not be enforced as a ‘common’ decision of a national court. Overall, the paper concludes that the notion of state immunity plays a limited role in the sovereign debt crisis.
© 2017 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston