Inducing Cooperation through the Backdoor? - The Case of Cross-Border Bank Resolution

22 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2012

See all articles by Seraina N. Grunewald

Seraina N. Grunewald

University of St. Gallen (HSG); Radboud University Nijmegen; EUSFIL Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence

Date Written: September 25, 2012


The Member States show particularly fierce resistance to giving up national sovereignty in favor of a EU-­level approach when dealing with failing banks. While the crisis has given some momentum to reforming the nationally based framework for bank resolution, a supranational system represents a longer‐term project even within the euro area. This paper argues that a EU legal and institutional framework for bank resolution must deal with two mutually reinforcing aspects. First, it must distribute the responsibility for dealing with failing banks that operate across borders. Second, the framework must allocate the financial burdens associated with banks’ resolution. Instead of first establishing shared responsibility for resolving cross‐border banks before addressing the issue of financing, the Commission seems to take the opposite approach. While the proposed implementation of harmonized structures for resolution financing likely increases the political feasibility of shared responsibility for banks’ resolution, the Commission’s prioritization is somewhat counter‐intuitive. The paper concludes that the Commission seeks to induce Member State cooperation through the backdoor.

Keywords: financial crisis, European Union, bank resolution, burden sharing

JEL Classification: E53, E58, E62, G21, G33, K23

Suggested Citation

Grunewald, Seraina, Inducing Cooperation through the Backdoor? - The Case of Cross-Border Bank Resolution (September 25, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Seraina Grunewald (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen (HSG) ( email )

St.Gallen, 9000

Radboud University Nijmegen ( email )

Postbus 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK

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EUSFIL Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence ( email )


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