HomeMedia LibraryCrisis and Democracy: Europe's Constitutional Response to the Financial and Economic Crisis


Crisis and Democracy: Europe's Constitutional Response to the Financial and Economic Crisis


Tuesday, September 04, 2012 5:00PM - 6:00PM


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Event Details

The euro area crisis is a complex blend of financial, economic, political and institutional problems. Over the past years, developments in these interwoven elements have dominated the political and news agenda.

Europe’s reaction to these problems was multi-faceted. On the one hand, regulatory measures were taken within the existing institutional framework (e.g. the so called “six-pack” and several proposals for enhanced financial supervision in a European banking union). On the other hand, the EU’s response to the crisis included far-reaching institutional amendments outside the existing EU treaty architecture. These treaties on EFSF and ESM as well as the fiscal compact treaty fundamentally alter the way decisions are taken on a European level.

Power is shifted away from the European Commission as the traditional guardian of the Treaty and the European Parliament, the EU’s only directly elected institution, has virtually limited say in the new "Fiscal Union". The new center of power lies with the Member states’ governments. The “Community method” with its supranational approach, once a cornerstone of European integration, seems to be replaced by a more classical intergovernmental method. But can national governments alone provide the necessary democratic legitimacy for far reaching measures regarding budgetary control and fiscal stability? Can national parliaments step in, providing this legitimacy by the scrutinizing their governments’ EU policy? What is the new role of old supranational institutions like the Court of Justice and the European central bank in this new framework? And, finally, is democracy itself in danger once “markets” demand decisions within weeks that in a deliberative democratic process could normally only be delivered in months or even years?

Join Professor Günter Herzig for an in depth discussion of Europe's response to the crisis.

This event is co-hosted by the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and the McGeorge International Society.

Speaker (s):

Günter Herzig, Associate Professor for European Union Law, University of Salzburg



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