Beyond Intergovernmentalism: The Puzzle of European Economic Governance
The Eurozone Crisis and the Transformation of the EU Governance: External and Internal Implications, M. J. Rodrigues & E. Xiarchogiannopoulou, eds. Ashgate, 2014
16 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2014
Date Written: April 4, 2014
The Euro-crisis has represented an occasion for assessing the crisis management capability of the intergovernmental EU. The test has been unsatisfactory. The intergovernmental EU has not been able to guarantee an effective decision-making process, nor legitimacy to the latter’s outcome. Indeed, the basis of the intergovernmental institutional framework, constituted by a centralised monetary policy (in the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank or ECB) and decentralised financial, fiscal and budgetary policies (in the member states), has been challenged by the Euro-crisis. Under the financial threat of the Euro’s collapse, the heads of state and government of the EU member states eventually ended up in dramatically redefining the intergovernmental system of economic governance in Europe (and the Eurozone in particular). New radical legislative measures were approved (from the 2010 European Semester to the 2011 Six-packs and 2012 Two-packs) within the institutional frame of the Lisbon Treaty and new intergovernmental decisions (the 2010 European Financial Stability Facility or EFSF and the European Financial Stability Mechanism or EFSM) and new intergovernmental treaties (the 2011 Treaty on European Stability Mechanism or ESM and the 2012 Fiscal Compact Treaty) were set up outside of the Lisbon Treaty. The new measures and treaties attempted to ameliorate market pressures on the weaker and indebted member states of the Eurozone, but they didn’t work as expected. They were considered ineffective by the financial markets and illegitimate by the affected citizens (as shown by the strikes and riots in the capitals of the indebted EU member states). The Euro-crisis has called into question the intergovernmental EU and, through it, the EU as such. It is necessary to go beyond intergovernmentalism.
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