Volume 48 (2011)

Volume 48 (2011) / Issue 6

Matthias Ruffert, 'The European debt crisis and European Union law' (2011) 48 Common Market Law Review, Issue 6, pp. 1777–1805


Economic governance in the EU has been undergoing substantial changes since the beginning of the sovereign debt crisis. The re-arrangements are affecting the convergence of European economies, budgetary control and emergency reactions. Some of them are still at proposal stage, such as the "sixpack" proposed by the Commission for a series of legislative measures on convergence and budgetary surveillance, which is still under scrutiny in Parliament and which is accompanied by activity of the European Council (Euro-Plus-Pact, European Semester). Emergency action is being undertaken since May 2010 (Greek package, EFSM, EFSF) and should lead to a newly inserted provision in the TFEU together with a new international financial institution (ESM). From a European constitutional lawyer's view, the soundness of the reforms already at proposal stage, as well as the emergency activity currently undertaken, may be called into question. European constitutionalism is at stake, as core rules of the Treaties are disrespected. Democratic governance is threatened, as most of the new structures are devoid of parliamentary backing. Stability and welfare are jeopardized as the policy of the Union deviates from successful ways of economic governance as enshrined in the Treaties. European legal scholarship must not be reluctant in pointing at such deficiencies and should participate in showing ways out of the crisis.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2011070