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Journal Article

The constitutional implications of the European responses to the financial and public debt crisis

01 Jun 2013-Common Market Law Review (Kluwer Law International)-Vol. 50, Iss: 3, pp 683-708
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the European responses to the crisis since autumn 2008 have already set in motion a number of processes which are reshaping the EU polity, including the emergence of a new EU method of action, which breaks with the historically rooted balance of voices within the EU, while directing it towards a distinct form of reinforced intergovernmentalism.
Abstract: The wide-ranging debate on the responses to the crisis increasingly calls into question the future of the EU as a polity. This article contributes to such discussion in legal scholarship by arguing that the European responses to the crisis since autumn 2008 have already set in motion a number of processes which are reshaping the EU polity. Three important but often misrepresented processes are identified. The first is the emergence of a new EU method of action, which breaks with the historically rooted balance of voices within the EU, while directing it towards a distinct form of reinforced intergovernmentalism. The second process corresponds to the trend to have recourse to arrangements both partly internal and partly external to the EU framework. Such a process opens the way to the autonomization of the EMU, and of the eurozone within the EMU, which endangers the legal and institutional unity of the EU. The third is the transformation of the EMU from a "community of benefits" to a "community of benefits and risk-sharing", which reshapes the traditional construction of the EMU and might prefigure a federal transformation of the EU, but it also raises functional and legitimacy issues. These developments have the potential to undermine prerequisites of the EU as a project oriented towards democratic constitutionalism: they may ultimately lead to a de-institutionalization of the EU; they exhaust the main democratic legitimacy sources of the EU polity; and they undermine the already fragile social embeddedness of EU institutions.
Citations
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MonographDOI
01 Jan 2013
TL;DR: In this paper, two layers of the European economic constitution are discussed, and the authors propose a framework for the analysis of the economic crisis and the response to the crisis, as well as the reform of the macroeconomic constitution.
Abstract: Part I. Setting the Scene: 1. Introduction: framework of the analysis 2. Two layers of the European economic constitution 3. Towards the crisis: an economic narrative 4. Responses to the crisis Part II. Constitutional Mutation: 5. Constitutionality of European measures 6. Realignment of the principles of the macroeconomic constitution 7. Democracy and social rights Part III. What Next?: 8. Initiatives on the table.

112 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The risk of a total normative loss -a default rather than a simple deficit of democracy at the European level -is now quite concrete as mentioned in this paper, and it is not only the citizens that are being excluded from the debate about the future of the eurozone; most national governments are forced to accept solutions proposed by a few leaders representing the major stockholders of the European Central Bank.
Abstract: For more than half a century Euro elites succeeded in presenting integration as a positive-sum game, with economic benefits more than compensating for the limitations of supranational democracy. Since the beginning of the euro crisis, however, even the most inattentive citizen of the EU realizes that integration entails serious normative costs as well as some economic benefits. As the crisis intensifies, all proposed ad hoc solutions tend to aggravate the democratic deficit of the Union. It is not only the citizens that are being excluded from the debate about the future of the eurozone; most national governments are forced to accept solutions proposed by a few leaders representing the major stockholders of the European Central Bank. Thus, the risk of a total normative loss – a default rather than a simple deficit of democracy at the European level – is now quite concrete.

62 citations


Cites background from "The constitutional implications of ..."

  • ...…and even of intergovernmental co-operation in the form laid down by the Lisbon Treaty, in favour of ‘legal and institutional arrangements that are not purely internal to the EU framework, but combine EU law instruments with public international law instruments’ (Chiti and Teixeira, 2013, p. 689)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors study the effect of policy change in two periods of economic governance, the 2003-2005 Stability and Growth Pact crisis and the 2009-2013 economic governance crisis, and argue that the wider the window of opportunity and the more coherent the coalition of policy entrepreneurs, the higher the possibility for these actors to push in favour of legally constraining norms.
Abstract: The aim of this paper was to understand in which direction policies change in periods of crisis. Do they lead to the hardening of norms or the introduction of softer rules governing public policies? Based on the study of policy change in two periods of economic governance—the 2003–2005 Stability and Growth Pact crisis, and the 2009–2013 economic governance crisis, this article explains why the policy change in the first case led to softer governance mechanisms, while during the second crisis, soft governance mechanisms were transformed into hard law. In applying the multiple streams framework to study these policy changes, we argue that the wider the window of opportunity and the more coherent the coalition of policy entrepreneurs, the higher the possibility for these actors to push in favour of legally constraining norms. Hence, it is not solely the power or capacity of one policy entrepreneur, in this case—the German government—that leads to hardening of soft law, but the coherence of the coalition the policy entrepreneur is able to build.

50 citations


Cites methods from "The constitutional implications of ..."

  • ...than 2000 amendments to the Six-Pack in order to impose sanctions at an early stage of the EDP (Van Nispen 2011; Schelkle 2012; Chiti and Teixeira 2013)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the context of economic crisis, Europe has witnessed a spate of extraordinary political measures pressed by executive discretion as discussed by the authors, and it is worth noting that emergency rule will tend to blend in with normal rule, to the detriment of the political order's legitimate authority.
Abstract: In the context of economic crisis, Europe has witnessed a spate of extraordinary political measures pressed by executive discretion. This article examines what emergency rule of this kind implies for the possibility of normal rule thereafter. Political decision-makers face the challenge of drawing a line under the crisis so that the unconventional measures used to handle it do not compromise the polity's norms in lasting fashion. Based on an analysis of the preconditions for plausibly making such an act of separation, I suggest the principal resources for doing so in the EU case are missing. Emergency rule will tend to blend in with normal rule, to the detriment of the political order's legitimate authority. A more dubiously grounded ‘descriptive’ authority may conversely be enhanced by emergency rule, as may compliance for instrumental motivations, producing a polity that is stable even if weakly legitimate.

45 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Euro crisis reforms as major example of interstitial institutional change in the EU as mentioned in this paper, and forms of institutional change : unusual sources of law, new tasks for the EU institutions, new organs, competence creep, institutional hybrids, and more differentiated integration.
Abstract: Euro crisis reforms as major example of interstitial institutional change in the EU - Forms of institutional change : unusual sources of law, new tasks for the EU institutions, new organs, competence creep, institutional hybrids, and more differentiated integration - Question whether some or all of this amounts to a ‘constitutional mutation’ of the EU legal order - Reasons to doubt whether the constitutional fundamentals have changed - Alternative thesis: increased institutional variation, deepening the differences between EMU law and the rest of EU law.

39 citations