Keep It Complex! Prodi’s Curse and the EU Fiscal Governance Regime Complex
Fickle Formulas Working Paper 04-2021
24 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2022
Date Written: July 9, 2021
The EU fiscal framework has gradually morphed into a regional regime complex through various reforms of the preventive and corrective arms of the Stability and Growth Pact. A regime complex encourages actors to arbitrage between partially overlapping, parallel and nested rules. By drawing on this central insight, this article demonstrates that regime complexity enables member states to respect the letter but not the spirit of the fiscal rules to lower the cost of compliance. It further shows empirically how regime complexity weakens technocratic enforcement capacity when authority is dispersed across multiple levels of governance by focusing on the example of the general escape clauses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Keywords: EU fiscal governance, Stability and Growth Pact, fiscal rules, euro area, regime complexity, European Commission
JEL Classification: H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, P48, E62
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