The involvement of the European Parliament and national parliaments in the Economic and Monetary Union in times of the Euro crisis
PhD student: Mrs M. Gold
Promotors: Prof B. de Witte, Mrs Prof M.L.H.K. Claes
Duration: 1/5/2013 - 30/4/2017
Since the beginning of the Euro crisis, a mosaic of short-term emergency and long-term strategic legislation, institutions and measures inside and outside the framework of the EU have been adopted.
Some Member States (MS) participate in all measures, while others decided to opt-out from some of them. In some instances only the Eurogroup MS are involved. The main actors or institutions associated with the Euro crisis management are the Eurogroup, the European Council as well as (certain) Head of States and Governments. The European Parliament (EP) and national parliaments on the contrary, seem to have been involved merely at the margins. Only recently, the need for "greater accountability and democratic legitimacy" is mentioned in relevant documents and visions for a strengthened Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Adding to this picture, 45 % of the
Europeans are not satisfied about the way democracy works in the EU,
while 64 % of the European population are of the opinion that their voice does not count in the EU. Against this background and due to this complexity, the clear allocation of legitimacy via parliamentary involvement seems to be blurred.
Taking into consideration the deep impact the crisis might have on the legitimacy of national and European decision-making and most importantly on each citizen, the above described situation triggers the question of how the European Parliament as well as national parliaments are involved in the EMU in times of the Euro crisis. This
research question contains a descriptive and a normative approach.
Firstly, by answering the question of what are the roles that on the one side, the EP and on the other side the national parliaments play for which kind of measures at which level, it is sought to disentangle and chart the parliamentary involvement in a descriptive way Secondly, turning to the normative part, the evaluation of the involvement of EP and the national parliament will be focused on. What kind of parliamentary involvement ought to be required for which legal measure at which level? Ultimately, what kind of legitimacy ought to be provided for at national level and what kind at European level?
This researchs objective is to examine how parliamentary involvement operates in the differentiated policy area of the EMU. It aims at untangling and structuring the involvement of EP and national parliaments in the mosaic of short-term emergency measures of different legal nature, the strategic reinvention and strengthening of the Eus economic governance as well as its implementation. Rather than only looking at the formal rights, rules and procedures, a second objective is to gain an insight in how the EP and the national parliaments are involved in the concrete and practical decision-making, especially concerning the implementing measures, both at European and national level. This research aims not only at analysing already existing measures but even more importantly it wishes to accompany the reforms and especially the implementation thereof through the prism of parliamentary involvement within the European multi-layered Constitution.
The European Parliament as well as the national parliaments will be looked at, while at the same time drawing a clear distinction between the involvement of European Parliament on the one side and national parliaments on the other side. As the examination of all 27 MS would reach well beyond the scope and the time-limits of this PhD research, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and Germany have been selected as case studies for the involvement of national parliaments.