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Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress$
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Olaf Cramme and Sara B. Hobolt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198724483

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724483.001.0001

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Democratizing a Macroeconomic Union in Europe

Democratizing a Macroeconomic Union in Europe

(p.180) 10 Democratizing a Macroeconomic Union in Europe
Democratic Politics in a European Union Under Stress

Simon Hix

Oxford University Press

The sovereign debt crisis has transformed the focus of the EU: from creating a microeconomic union (the single market) to creating a new macroeconomic union. This new project involves facilities for fiscal transfers, mechanisms to coordinate national economic policies, and the European Central Bank as the ‘lender of last resort’. Together these mechanisms constitute a new framework for macroeconomic policy-making between eurozone and prospective eurozone states, which challenges the existing architecture of democratic government in Europe: of a market created and regulated at the European level, and taxing and spending policies decided by elected parliaments and governments at the national level. This chapter analyses two options for democratizing this new EU: a ‘minimalist’ option, via more scrutiny by national parliaments and the European Parliament, and a ‘maximalist’ option, via more direct forms of democracy, for approving the basic constitutional architecture and electing an EU President.

Keywords:   macroeconomic union, fiscal transfers, democratic deficit, direct democracy

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