Sovereignty, Stability and Solidarity: Conflicting and Converging Principles and the Shaping of Economic Governance in the European Union
28 Pages Posted: 21 May 2014 Last revised: 10 Jun 2014
Date Written: December 6, 2013
The central aim of this paper is to identify the content of the principles of stability, national sovereignty and solidarity and to analyse how these principles interact with regard to EU economic governance. The first prong of this paper research is largely conceptual in nature and looks at the principles of national sovereignty, stability and solidarity in a constitutional and conceptual way. The different conceptions of national sovereignty in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands are contrasted. The second part applies the principles of stability, solidarity and national sovereignty to the area of economic governance in the European Union. The second prong of our research takes a more practical viewpoint and focuses on the economic constitutional framework which the EU and the Member States have set up and in which they currently operate. Specifically, this part concentrates on the, mainly, executive measures which are adopted in the context of the European Semester. The analysis reveals an ambiguous relation and interaction between the principles, both at the conceptual level and at the level of economic policies. In any case, if national sovereignty is defined as being more than just the exercise of state powers, the interplay with solidarity and stability will not necessarily boil down to a zero-sum game. Instead, the three principles increasingly emerge as mutually indispensable and inseparable.
Keywords: sovereignty, solidarity, stability, EU economic governance, EU, Member States
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