Chapter 11: Informality as an asset? The case of EMU
Jeannette Mak INTRODUCTION Following the rationale, laid out in the introduction of this book, that informal governance may be regarded as a mechanism that holds together the contradictory system of the EU and makes it work against all odds, it seems obvious that Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) should be regarded as a crucial case study in this respect. It concerns a policy area with a particularly complex and vague division of competences that deals with a highly political and politicized subject, in which large and diverging interests are at stake. An enormous institutionalization and procedural development has taken place in a relatively short period. On the one hand, this may have demanded pragmatic yet rational solutions to unforeseen problems. On the other hand, this may have resulted in ad hoc provisions, which in turn have led to institutional voids that could be easily filled by informal methods. To what extent have openings been created for new modes of interaction between the main actors in the policy field? How has this changed relative positions, and what is its effect on methods of governance? And finally, how conscious have the various players been of this transformation? In other words, has this been regarded as a desirable change, and if so, by whom, and to what extent? ‘Informal governance’ refers to exchanges that are non-codified and not publicly sanctioned. With regard to EMU, it is not too difficult to detect this type of dynamics. Private relations between the European political, financial and...
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