EU Economic Law in a Time of Crisis
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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.
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Chapter 3: A short history of the deepening EMU

Taneli Lahti


Taneli Lahti – economist in the Cabinet to the Commission Vice President Rehn – unveils in Chapter 3 how the crisis unfolded from the perspective of a Barroso II Commission insider. Lahti reminds us of the severe macro-economical imbalances that had, despite the warnings also from the Commission, built up in the European economy by the beginning of Barroso’s second term. Subsequent measures taken by the Commission were a combination of efforts to simplify and coordinate the policy processes, and to supervise and enforce Member State actions. The Commission focused on ensuring that the Member States respected the rules they had set from themselves, because the negative consequences of deviations quickly spread across the European economies. While the EU has indeed taken quantum leaps in the effective practical integration of the economic and monetary union, Lahti argues that the problems extend beyond public finances to more structural challenges. The Chapter concludes by contemplating the realms of legitimacy in European politics: European citizens currently seem to have limited appetite to proceed further on the path of European integration towards for example the collection and spending of revenues at the European level. Even the current framework remains contested.

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