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The EU’s Crisis Governance Versus Populism

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During the crisis, the actions of the European Central Bank (ECB) were of immediate political significance for the entire EU and its legitimacy. The chapter first reviews the reforms of the EU’s economic governance framework, focusing on the new, broader, financial, and fiscal architecture post 2010. Secondly, it evaluates whether the observed financial market-driven austerity was connected or not to the traditional mechanisms of political legitimacy and accountability in the EU multi-level system. The chapter seeks to identify possible weaknesses in the EU’s crisis governance, if not able to explain the rise of populism in Europe on their own, at least building fertile ground for it, by exacerbating existing tensions.


  • EU economic governance
  • Crisis management
  • Troika
  • ECB
  • Populism
  • Legitimacy

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-44348-1_3
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  1. 1.

    The following list paraphrases Macchiarelli (2016).

  2. 2.

    The following section substantially relies on Wiesner (2019b, c).

  3. 3.

    Finland (53), the UK (51), Slovenia (48), Malta (46), and Spain (44) were the countries with the highest implementation scores. In Luxembourg (23), Slovakia (29), Hungary (29), Germany (29), and Bulgaria (30), implementation was lowest.

  4. 4.

    It is increasingly accepted that the direction in which Europe is moving is that of creating a European Monetary Fund (EMF), in the shape of a reformed ESM. The European Commission has in fact recently made a proposal for transforming the ESM, currently an intergovernmental institution, into an EMF under EU law. See

  5. 5.

    The European Central Bank is accountable to the European Parliament and this a legal requirement according to the EU Treaties. In practice, this accountability takes mainly the form of a quarterly Monetary Dialogue between the president of the ECB and the European Parliament Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee (see Chap. 5 for an evaluation).


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Correspondence to Corrado Macchiarelli .

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Macchiarelli, C., Monti, M., Wiesner, C., Diessner, S. (2020). The EU’s Crisis Governance Versus Populism. In: The European Central Bank between the Financial Crisis and Populisms. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-44347-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-44348-1

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