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Managing the EU Crises: Another Way of Integration by Stealth?

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Europe has been hit hard by the financial and economic crisis, and there is no fast solution in view. The problem facing the EU is a problem of governance both technically and politically. Most actors, with the possible exception of the ECB, are in disarray because they are caught between the necessity to act and the political reluctance to acknowledge fully the consequences of a multi-level governance system, notably democratic legitimacy and accountability. The discrepancy between political rhetoric and actual practices during the crisis appears as a new form of government by stealth. There is not yet an obvious way out of this morass. The first one seems the easiest as it would be nothing more than ‘muddling through’ as usual, whereas the second option, a two-speed Europe, though more politically attractive, is technically very difficult to implement institutionally. The third possible solution is paradoxically the one that surreptitiously persists at present: a ‘federalism of executives’ that is both unmanageable in the long run and unacceptable from a democratic point of view.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 2, 2014

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