Chang, Michele. (2007) "Creating Legitimacy in EMU". In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the Introduction]. The first part of this article looks at the bases of the EU’s legitimacy in general and EMU’s legitimacy in particular. Much of the EU’s legitimacy rests on output legitimacy, and the expected output of EMU was price stability and greater competitiveness, based on economic theories of the importance of price stability and its role in enhancing credibility and promoting investment. These were institutionalized in the highly independent European Central Bank, the Maastricht Treaty convergence criteria and the Stability and Growth Pact. However, despite the convergence towards neoliberal economic policies among European countries in the 1980s and 1990s, the institutions and policies adopted evoked controversy among academics and politicians, 3 and these initial disagreements later spilled over into the public debate over EMU’s implementation at the national level. The subsequent section examines how EMU’s legitimacy suffered as a result of expectations surrounding EMU were not fulfilled during its initial years of operation. In particular, the economic slowdown in the larger countries that contributed to the return of more politicized monetary policymaking and did a considerable amount of damage as a primary motivation for monetary integration was the expectation of higher economic growth. The next section looks at the politicization of EMU in more detail. In particular the implementation (and lack thereof) of the Stability and Growth Pact and its reform in 2005 demonstrated how the management of EMU had become a competition between EU institutions as well as participating member states. The most damaging one is that between the ECB and the Eurogroup. I offer three interrelated explanations to explain this rift: the differing incentives of the two institutions, the open-ended institutional design of monetary union, and the struggle for legitimacy that both face. This is followed by proposals for enhancing the legitimacy of EMU through market sanctioning, the European Parliament, the Commission and finally through political union. The final section concludes.
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