New Economic Governance in the European Union: Another Constitutional Battleground?
Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Law
May 15, 2014
FORTHCOMING in K. Purnhagen and P. Roth (Eds.), Varieties of European Economic Law and Regulation, Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London, New York, Springer, 2014.
The European financial and euro area debt crisis has exposed fundamental flaws of the system of economic governance in the euro area and namely of the legal framework introduced into primary Union law by the 1992/1993 Treaty on European Union governing economic policy coordination. This crisis has triggered a European regulatory response, the scope and swiftness of which is unprecedented in the 60 year history of European integration. These regulatory activities raise serious constitutional questions not only at the supranational, European level, but mainly also at the level of the Member States that fuel the long-standing debate on the relationship between the supranational legal order and the (constitutional) legal orders of the Member States. As the focus in the national sphere is increasingly on the impact of the European regulatory activities on core structural principles of the constitutional legal orders and namely the structural principle of parliamentary democracy, this debate has every potential to become even more entrenched. This could also put the much referred to co-operation and dialogue between the national highest (constitutional) courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union to the tested yet again. This contribution commences with a brief flashback to the beginnings of European economic and monetary union highlighting that the current judicial discourse on European economic governance and its democratic credentials is anything but new, as it finds its roots in the Treaty on the European Union. Thereafter, an overview of the new legal framework pertaining to economic policy coordination in the euro area and its impact on the national policy sphere is provided, followed by an analysis of a selection of decisions by national highest (constitutional) courts and tribunals, thereby focusing on their dealing with the constitutional impact of various aspects of the European regulatory response to the crisis. In the concluding part a preliminary answer to the question raised in the title of this contribution is offered.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: EU, Euro zone, euro, European Stability Mechanism, debt crisis, economic governance, European Semester, Six Pack, Two Pack, Fiscal Compact, national courts, European Court of Justice, principle of democracy, democratic legitimaction, European Parliament, national parliaments
Full text available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2436428