Research Handbooks in European Law series
Edited by Adam Lazowski and Steven Blockmans
Chapter 3: New dynamics in EMU decision-making in the wake of the European financial and sovereign debt crisis
For the last few years the euro area has been experiencing the worst crisis in its existence. Its effects have been profound, not only on the economy of the euro area Member States, but also on the institutional relations and decision-making processes that characterise the euro area set-up. The policy response to the challenges that the crisis has brought to the fore has been sizeable; a large array of measures has been taken, contributing substantially to mitigating its immediate negative effects and reconstructing a more sustainable framework for Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) for the future. Analysing these measures from the point of view of dynamics in decision-making, a number of developments can be observed, both in taking the measures in question and in the consequences these measures have for the institutional balance between the Union institutions and between the national and supranational level. The extent to which such ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ shifts in institutional balance have occurred is the main topic of this chapter. After a general overview of the developments in the euro crisis and related policy developments, the focus of this chapter comes to rest on two distinct elements, relating to respectively the E and M of the EMU. First, the dynamics in decision-making in the new construction of economic policy coordination will be analysed. Thereafter, the evolving role of the European Central Bank (ECB) will be discussed. This is followed by a general conclusion and an outlook.
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