Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann, Katerina Pantazatou and Giovanni Zaccaroni
Chapter 9: In conditionality we trust: what scope for conditionality in the emerging European Economic Constitution?
In the aftermath of 2008 economic crisis and the 2013 EU budgetary reform, EU budget conditionality emerges as a powerful EU governance tool, used by the EU to reinforce Member States’ commitments under the EU’s economic constitution. In this sense, the strengthened macroeconomic and ex-ante conditionality packages, as well as the novel conditionality policy thinking for the next financial period, suggest an increased conditioning of EU Funds as a lever to important EU economic governance objectives at the Member States level. While conditionality often proves a successful tool to achieve policy change and compliance, its increased use risks upsetting the EU’s most intimate constitutional commitments such as legality, equality between Member States and fundamental rights. This contribution argues that the successful use and operation of budget conditionality at the EU level must necessarily be counter-balanced against the EU’s underlying constitutional principles.
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