Political legitimacy and European Monetary Union : contracts, constitutionalism and the normative logic of two-level games
Title: Political legitimacy and European Monetary Union : contracts, constitutionalism and the normative logic of two-level games
Citation: Journal of European public policy, 2015, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 257-274
ISSN: 1466-4429; 1350-1763
The crisis of the euro area has severely tested the political authority of the European Union (EU). The crisis raises questions of normative legitimacy both because the EU is a normative order and because the construction of economic and monetary union (EMU) rested upon a theory that stressed the normative value of the depoliticization of money. However, this theory neglected the normative logic of the two-level game implicit in EMU. It also neglected the need for an impartial and publically acceptable constitutional order to acknowledge reasonable disagreements. By contrast, we contend that any reconstruction of the EU's economic constitution has to pay attention to reconciling a European monetary order with the legitimacy of member state governance. The EU requires a two-level contract to meet this standard. Member states must treat each other as equals and be representative of and accountable to their citizens on an equitable basis. These criteria entail that the EU's political legitimacy requires a form of demoicracy that we call ‘republican intergovernmentalism’. Only rules that could be acceptable as the product of a political constitution among the peoples of Europe can ultimately meet the required standards of political legitimacy. Such a political constitution could be brought about through empowering national parliaments in EU decision-making.
Published online: 22 Jan 2015.
Type of Access: openAccess
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