Democratizing the Eurozone

In recent months, more and more attention has been focused on the failure of the Eurozone leaders’ policies of fiscal consolidation, with growth presented as the alternative. The problems for the Eurozone stem not just from the policies, however.  They also come from the governance processes and the politics—or lack thereof.

The main problem for EU democracy lies in decision-making processes that have increasingly combined excessive intergovernmentalism with technocracy. The European Council’s monopoly on Eurozone crisis decision-making has not just unbalanced the long-standing relationship among EU institutions. Its intergovernmental decision-making has also reduced itself largely to the Franco-German couple—or only to Germany.  This has skewed the process toward the almost exclusive consideration of national interests, negotiating strength, or even momentary whimsy of two EU leaders—or only one. It also enhances the lack of transparency in decision-making, increases concerns about accountability, and further alienates European publics who wonder what has been going on behind the closed doors of the Council.

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