From Subordinated to Prominent: The Role of the European Commission in EMU. Reflections on Euro Area Democracy



This contribution, based on a Paper for the International Conference on The Democratic Principle and the Economic and Monetary Union, held in Rome (Italy) on 22 January 2016, sketches the development of the role of the European Commission in EMU affairs, discusses, in the context of EMU, issues of democracy and legitimacy and puts forward ideas on fostering accountability, representation and transparency, as well as humane outcomes of policies.


Member State Euro Area National Parliament Growth Pact Economic Governance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bauer MW, Becker S (2014) The unexpected winner of the crisis: the European Commission’s strengthened role in economic governance. J Eur Integr 36(3):213–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bauer MW, Becker S (2016) Absolute gains are still gains: why the European Commission is a winner of the crisis, and unexpectedly so. A rejoinder to Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt. J Eur Integr 38(1):101–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Begg I, Bongardt A, Nicolaïdis K, Torres F (2015) EMU and sustainable integration. J Eur Integr 37(7):803–816CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bickerton C (2013) European integration – from nation-states to member states. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Bini Smaghi L (2015) Governance and conditionality: toward a sustainable framework? J Eur Integr 37(7):755–768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Claeys G, Darvas Z, Wolff GB (2014) Benefits and drawbacks of European unemployment insurance. Bruegel Policy Brief 2014/06, September 2014. Available at:
  7. Conceição-Heldt E (2015) Why the European Commission is not the “unexpected winner” of the Euro crisis: a comment on Bauer and Becker. J Eur Integr 38(1):1–6Google Scholar
  8. Culver K, Giudice M (2013) Not a system but an order – an inter-institutional view of European Union law. In: Dickson J, Eleftheriadis P (eds) Philosophical foundations of European Union law. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Douzinas C (2000) The end of human rights. Hart, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Eleftheriadis P (2011) The moral distinctiveness of the European Union. Int J Constit Law 9(3–4):695–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eleftheriadis P (2014) Misrule of the few – how the Oligarchs ruined Greece. Foreign Affairs, pp 139 et seqqGoogle Scholar
  12. European Commission (1998) Proposal for a council decision on the representation and position taking of the community at international level in the context of economic and monetary union, COM(1998) 0637, 9 November 1998, withdrawn in 2015. OJEU C 392, 25 November 2015, pp 6 et seqqGoogle Scholar
  13. European Commission (2015a) Assessment of the social impact of the new stability support programme for Greece, SWD(2015) 162 final, 19 August 2015. Available at:
  14. European Commission (2015b) Proposal for a council decision laying down measures in view of progressively establishing unified representation of the euro area in the international monetary fund, COM(2015) 603 final, 21 October 2015Google Scholar
  15. Ferreira N (2016) The human face of the European Union: are EU law and policy humane enough? An introduction. In: Ferreira N, Kostakopoulou T (eds) The human face of the European Union. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (forthcoming). Available since 9 September 2015 at:
  16. Glienicker Group (von Bogdandy A, Calliess C, Enderlein H, Fratzscher M, Fuest C, Mayer F, Schwarzer D, Steinbeis M, Stelzenmüller C, von Weizsäcker J, Wolff G) (2013) Towards a Euro Union, 17 October 2013. Available at:
  17. Gysi G (2015) Wir wollen den Euro retten aber anders (“We want to save the euro, but differently”), presentation before the Court of Justice of the EU during the oral hearing in Case C-62/14 (Gauweiler) concerning the OMT. Available at:
  18. Habermas J (2011) Zur Verfassung Europas. Ein Essay. Suhrkamp-Insel Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  19. Hers J, Suyker W (2014) Structural budget balance: a love at first sight turned sour. CPB Policy Briefs, 21 October 2014. Available at:
  20. Jones E, Torres F (2015) An “economics” window on an interdisciplinary crisis. J Eur Integr 37(7):713–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Juncker J-C, Tusk D, Dijsselbloem J, Draghi M, Schulz M (2015) Report completing Europe’s economic and monetary union, 22 June 2015. Available at:
  22. Nicolaïdis K (2013) The idea of European demoicracy. In: Dickson J, Eleftheriadis P (eds) Philosophical foundations of European Union law. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  23. Puetter U (2012) Europe’s deliberative intergovernmentalism: the role of the Council and European Council in EU economic governance. J Eur Public Policy 19(2):161–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rifkin J (2004) The European dream, how europe’s vision of the future is quietly eclipsing the American dream. Tarcher/PenguinGoogle Scholar
  25. Rubio E (2016) Federalising the Eurozone: towards a true European budget? Policy Paper 155, 14 January 2016. Available at:
  26. Singh D (2016) Safeguarding “critical social functions” post the global financial crisis. In: Ferreira N, Kostakopoulou T (eds) The human face of the European Union. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  27. Smits R (1997) The European Central Bank – institutional aspects. Kluwer, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  28. Smits R (2015) European Central Bank’s room for manoeuvre provisionally confirmed, blog on the website of the Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance. Available at:
  29. Trichet J-C (2011) Building Europe, building institutions, speech by the President of the ECB on receiving the Karlspreis 2011 in Aachen, 2 June 2011. Available at:
  30. Tumpell-Gugerell G (2014) Expert group on debt redemption fund and Eurobills. Final Report, 31 March 2014. Available at:
  31. Weiler JHH (2012) Deciphering the political and legal DNA of European integration – an exploratory essay. In: Dickson J, Eleftheriadis P (eds) Philosophical foundations of European Union law. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG and G. Giappichelli Editore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Law of the Economic and Monetary UnionUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for Commercial Law StudiesQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Administrative Board of Review, ECBFrankfurtGermany
  4. 4.Belgian Competition AuthorityBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.EMU Law and Banking RegulationRS Law & Society Consulting B.V.HoofddorpThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations