EU Economic Law in a Time of Crisis

EU Economic Law in a Time of Crisis

Edited by Harri Kalimo and Max S. Jansson

How has the EU’s economic crisis affected the development of economic law in the Union? This book contributes to the debate by examining EU economic law from a contextual and policy-oriented perspective. The expert authors explore areas such as the EMU and the internal market, and emphasize the important fields of public procurement, taxation, and intellectual property rights. The investigation proceeds along themes such as harmonization, institutional interplay, non-economic values, and international actions. The authors conclude that, during the crisis, the attention of the Barroso Commission focused quite narrowly on the most urgent problems, failing to consider longer-term issues to spark off bold policy endeavours, and break inter-institutional blockages.

Chapter 1: Assessing economic law under crisis – a framework of analysis

Harri Kalimo and Max S. Jansson

Subjects: law - academic, european law, law and economics


The second term of the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso coincided with the most severe economic crisis in the Union’s history. What started as a credit crunch and sovereign debt crisis grew into a litmus test on the entire European Union. While it still too early to tell if the Union weathered the crisis, one thing appears certain: the unique circumstances have led to myriads of intriguing developments and, subsequently, lively scholarly activity to analyse and explain them. The intention of this edited volume is to contribute to the debate. First of all, we propose to approach the topic from a specific institutional viewpoint: that of the Barroso II Commission. It is important to state from the outset that our intention is not to give an authoritative judgment on whether the policy choices during the crisis have been ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Both the scale and normative tone of such an approach push it beyond our competences and intentions. Rather, our objective is more modest; to critically analyse whether and how EU economic law developed during the Barroso II Commission, taking as a premise the Commission’s central, supra-nationalist (that is integrationist) position in the EU’s institutional framework. Second, the impacts of the crisis were felt in the EU’s overarching legal framework. This is particularly true for economic law because of its obvious close interrelationships with the distressed economy.