Edited by Sara Drake and Melanie Smith
Chapter 11: The effective enforcement of economic governance in the European Union: brave new world or a false dawn?
The existing literature on economic governance in the EU is focused on the substantive changes to the rules and has, to date, given less weight to exploring the changing trends in the enforcement of those rules across the whole system of governance. This chapter seeks to fill this gap in the literature by taking a broad view of the enforcement structures and practices in a number of areas of economic governance. The chapter explores the extent to which the new rules will be more effectively enforced, with a particular focus on the excessive deficit procedure, the macro-economic imbalance procedure, the conditionality of financial assistance and the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance. The chapter argues that similarities in subject matter between areas may mask underlying policy differences that will have an impact on the effective enforcement of the rules. Moreover, areas that appear very different have certain shared features in their enforcement structures (i.e. staged, automatic, ratcheted and differential enforcement strategies) that may enhance effectiveness in those areas. The conclusion finds that innovation and experimentation in enforcement of economic governance has been fuelled, or even led, by the economic crisis. However, the chapter closes by considering the political barriers (i.e. political interference and political apathy) that may nullify the benefits of this creativity and innovation.
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