Volume 51 (2014)

Volume 51 (2014) / Issue 2

Michael Schwarz, 'A Memorandum of Misunderstanding – The doomed road of the European Stability Mechanism and a possible way out: Enhanced cooperation' (2014) 51 Common Market Law Review, Issue 2, pp. 389–423


The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stands pars pro toto for how the EU and the Member States have confronted what allegedly started out as a sovereign debt crisis and has turned into an existential crisis of the EU. Attempts to get Europe back on track rely too heavily on technocratic governance and abandon some of the EU's core values. This paper proposes an alternative, more legitimate route. It argues that ESM-like financial assistance should be integrated into the framework of the EU's legal order, by using the legal instrument of enhanced cooperation under Article 20 TEU.A critical analysis is given of economic governance under the ESM, addressing and assessing its shortcomings in terms of human rights protection, the rule of law ideal and lack of input legitimacy. The feasibility of using enhanced cooperation for the ESM is examined.

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ISSN: 0165-0750
ID: COLA2014032