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Institutional change in the Banking Union: the case of the Single Supervisory Mechanism

Schammo, P. (2021) 'Institutional change in the Banking Union: the case of the Single Supervisory Mechanism.', Yearbook of European Law .


This article is about institutional change in the Banking Union. It has two related aims. The first is to engage with the law of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM)—the first pillar of the Banking Union—and in this context to discuss tensions that have lately emerged between the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and that of the German Federal Constitutional Court. The second, but main, aim of this article is to put the law of the SSM as it was enacted in the SSM Regulation, and as it was interpreted by the CJEU and by the German court, in a broader perspective of institutional change. For this purpose, this article adopts an interdisciplinary approach that seeks insights on institutional change in the political science literature. In particular, the article seeks to shed light on the role played by courts. In short, it argues that whilst the SSM is a story of change following an exogenous shock (ie the sovereign debt crisis), it is also an account of change and contestation between courts made possible by the ambiguities and incompleteness of the SSM rules. It will show that the evolution of the SSM is by no means frictionless and that it is only by tracing change from the point of the enactment of the law to its interpretation by the courts that one gains a real appreciation of the dynamics and salience of change within the SSM.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:15 February 2021
Date deposited:17 June 2021
Date of first online publication:21 April 2021
Date first made open access:17 June 2021

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