Courts are increasingly considered to be political actors in liberal democracies as they deal with fundamental disagreements within a given polity. Because of its political salience and the extent of its consequences, the crisis of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has exposed such fundamental disagreements between and within its member-states, which numerous plaintiffs have brought before domestic courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
The aim of this paper is to analyze this judicialization of the EMU crisis. Using a database on lawsuits introduced in all 28 member states with regard to crisis measures and the new EMU governance mechanisms introduced since 2010, we study which actors use the courts and under which circumstances. This article is embedded in the politics of law literature, developed in EU studies since the 1980s. Based on this literature we developed five central hypotheses on actors and legal timing in order to understand the process and the reasons for the judicialization of the EMU crisis.