Financial Constitutions in the EU: From the Political to the Legal Constitution?
Sant' Anna Legal Studies (STALS) Research Paper N. 5/2012
29 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2012
Date Written: November 23, 2012
This study aims to analyse a recent, wide-ranging trend towards the constitutional entrenchment of balanced-budget clauses in national constitutions in the European Union. The article tries to answer this question: is this trend just pointing out the rise and triumph of a substantial approach to public-finance issues in constitutional law? Or is it also announcing a legalisation of financial constitutional law, an area of constitutional law which has traditionally been analysed in the framework of the relationship between the executive and the legislature?
This paper considers recent debt-constraining constitutional reforms in the four most important Member States in the Eurozone and in Hungary. Furthermore, it deals more specifically with the enforceability of those clauses before constitutional courts and the possibility of derogations to the new constitutional schemes. In the end, these transformations will be assessed in the light of the debate about the features (and respective virtues) of a political and a legal understanding of constitutionalism.
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