Between the euro crisis, the refugee crisis, tensions within the single market, and anti-European political extremism, the European Union appears on the surface to be failing. This isn’t quite true though. Every time Europe faces a setback, it tends to make progress in response. This progress is usually only partial (or incomplete), but it is enough to lay the foundations for more comprehensive solutions to emerge in the future. What looks like failure is actually ‘failing forward’, a dynamic that Dan Kelemen, Sophie Meunier and I examined in a recent article in Comparative Political Studies. The latest incarnation of this concept is the recent developments – or lack thereof – at the December 2015 European Council summit, which was supposed to shore up European financial markets by pushing ahead with the construction of common institutions to safeguard European banks.
Tag / Banking Union
European Capital Markets: Efficient . . . but Resilient?
The goal of the capital markets union is to make European financial market integration more efficient. Firms will be able to gain access to international credit (and other forms of capital) directly from the market rather than having to rely on banks for intermediation; savers will be able to gain access to cross-border investment opportunities without facing high transaction costs.
Europe’s Political Economy Does Not Have to Be Tragic
None of what we are facing now is new or (wholly) unexpected. Of course everyone hoped this set of problems would pass and believed that politicians would do their utmost to make matters better. But no-one ever completely discounted the possibility that Europe would fall back into crisis.
Lessons to Learn (and Not to Learn) from the Greek Crisis
Europe’s heads of state and government held an emergency summit on Greece at roughly the same time that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled a report he drew up with support from the Presidents of the European Parliament, European Council, European Central Bank, and Eurogroup for ‘Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union.’ This juxtaposition is only partly coincidental. The ‘five presidents’ have been working on their report because the ongoing crisis in Greece makes it clear to all that there are still important gaps in the architecture of the single currency. Greece is not, however, the only reason many regard further reform of European institutions for macroeconomic governance as inevitable.
Banking Union and Democratic Legitimacy
The European University Institute hosted a symposium on Europe’s banking union last Friday, 22 May. The organizing theme was the interaction between ‘banking union’ as a form of integration and ‘democratic legitimacy’. My contribution was to try and frame that question within the larger context of European financial market integration. What follows is the formal presentation.