Do central bankers dream of political union? From epistemic community to common identity
- 70 Downloads
The European Central Bank (ECB) started life as a symbol of European commitment to unity and to the value of central bank independence. As such, the ECB and the euro were positive sources of identification with Europe. During the crisis, however, the role of the ECB changed. The instruments monetary policymakers used to respond to the crisis had different impacts across member states, and the decisions they took to address tensions in financial markets often appeared arbitrary. In this context, the ECB ceased to operate as a symbol of commitment to integration and central bank independence became a contested rather than a shared value. This essay explains how that transformation took place and why it is important for the constitutive role of the ECB in the European project. The argument ends with populist movements using the ECB as a symbol for negative identification. European Central Banks can only fight back by promoting some kind of European political union to shore up their unique institutional arrangement.
KeywordsEuropean identity Central bank independence Political union European Central Bank Euro
- Hall, P.A. (ed.). 1989. The Political Power of Economic Ideas: Keynesianism across Nations. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Helleiner, E. 2002. The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Jabko, N. 2015. The Elusive Economic Government and Forgotten Fiscal Union. In The Future of the Euro, ed. M. Matthijs and M. Blyth, 70–89. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jacobs, L.R., and D. King. 2016. Fed Power: How Finance Wins. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Lynch, D.J. 2010. When the Luck of the Irish Ran Out. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Matthijs, M., and M. Blyth. 2015. Introduction: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Embedded Currency Areas. In The Future of the Euro, ed. M. Matthijs and M. Blyth, 1–20. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- McNamara, K.R. 1998. The Currency of Ideas: Monetary Politics in the European Union. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- McNamara, K.R. 2015. The Forgotten Problem of Embeddedness: History Lessons for the Euro. In The Future of the Euro, ed. M. Matthijs and M. Blyth, 21–43. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Otero Iglesias, M. 2017. Why the Eurozone Still Backs Its Common Currency: The Euro as Social Bond. Foreign Affairs. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2017-01-12/why-eurozone-still-backs-its-common-currency. Accessed 17 July 2018.
- Royo, S. 2013a. Lessons from the Economic Crisis in Spain. Basingstoke: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Vail, M.I. 2010. Recasting Welfare Capitalism: Economic Adjustment in Contemporary France and Germany. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
- Varoufakis, Y. 2017. Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment. London: The Bodley Head.Google Scholar