The European Financial Crisis: Constitutional Aspects and Implications
With its provisions on the EMU, the Maastricht Treaty introduced a new, ’macroeconomic’ layer into the European economic constitution. The Maastricht layer of the European economic constitution was based on the following principles: exclusive competence of the EU in monetary policy in the euro area; price stability as the primary objective of Europeanized monetary policy; independence of the ECB and national central banks; Member State sovereignty in fiscal and economic policy with the Union accomplishing a mere coordinating task; Member State fiscal liability as the reverse of their fiscal sovereignty; and primacy of price stability pursued by Europeanized monetary policy over national fiscal-policy objectives. The ongoing euro-area crisis is a constitutional crisis, too. The European responses to the crisis include, on the one hand, emergency measures and stability mechanisms, and, on the other hand, strengthening European economic governance. As a consequence of these responses, the central Maastricht principles of the European economic constitution are teetering. However, the present constitutional crisis should not merely be conceived in economic terms. It extends to the political and social dimensions; it also affects democracy and transparency, as well as social values and rights.
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