The Metamorphosis of the European Economic Constitution
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The Metamorphosis of the European Economic Constitution

Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann, Katerina Pantazatou and Giovanni Zaccaroni

Demonstrating the ways in which the micro and macro-economic constitutions of Europe have reacted to legal measures enacted to counter the economic crisis of the past decade, this innovative book takes an interdisciplinary approach in its attempt to understand and portray the metamorphosis of the European Economic Constitution. It contains contributions from leading scholars and experts in European economic law, discussing the challenges, solutions found, problems arising and possible approaches to embed the economic constitution in the broader constitutional framework of the EU.
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Chapter 4: European economic constitution: from soft to hard policy coordination?

Frédéric Allemand

Abstract

The crisis that the Union and the euro area have been experiencing since 2008 has made it possible to judge the flexibility of the EMU framework. Its resolution made innovations hitherto ignored or rejected politically possible. In the economic pillar of the EMU, the lack of constitutional change to date has not prevented a remarkable transformation of the framework of the coordination of economic policies and specifically of their budgetary components. The new European economic governance, which has been taking shape since spring 2010, has transformed what was previously ‘soft’ or ‘minimum’ coordination into ‘strong’ or ‘maximum’ coordination. Three examples illustrate this strengthening of the framework for the budgetary policies: the move from a quantitative budgetary indicator to a qualitative indicator, the move from ex post to ex ante coordination, and the move from vertical to horizontal coordination (i.e. the ‘Euro area fiscal stance’). It remains to be seen whether this evolution opens the way for a more radical change in the European economic constitution.

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