After the Euro Crisis: A New Paradigm on the Integration of Europe

20 Pages Posted: 25 May 2014

Date Written: March 18, 2014


The Lisbon Treaty is the outcome of several constitutional compromises. The compromise between different political (supranational and intergovernmental) views of the Union, the compromise between the member states engaged in building a European Monetary Union (EMU) and those allowed to opt-out from it and the compromise, within the EMU, between a centralized approach to monetary policy and decentralized economic, fiscal and budgetary policies, constrained however within the formalized rules of the Stability and Growth Pact. These compromises were considered the price to be paid for preserving the unitary character of the project of integration. The dominant paradigm was one Union for all. The euro crisis has dramatically called into question this multiple constitutional compromises. The balance between supranational and intergovernmental views has been upset in favour of the former. The approval of new intergovernmental treaties has made crystal clear the separation of interests between the EMU and the opt-out member states. The voluntary coordination between national governments in dealing with the euro crisis has brought to the formation of a (German-French and then only German) directoire within the intergovernmental institutions. The European Union has entered a constitutional conundrum. A paradigm’ shift is required for escaping from it, based on the recognition of the end of the unitary project of integration. The historical challenge facing Europeans is to promote the integration of the continent in the context of a plurality of institutional and legal arrangements.

Keywords: Lisbon Treaty, euro crisis, european integration, external differentiation, political order

Suggested Citation

Fabbrini, Sergio, After the Euro Crisis: A New Paradigm on the Integration of Europe (March 18, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Sergio Fabbrini (Contact Author)

Luiss School of Government ( email )

via di Villa Emiliani, 14
Rome, 00197
00390685225051 (Phone)
00390685225056 (Fax)

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