From the SGP to the TSCG through the Lenses of European Integration Theories

  • Abstract:

    Started in 2010, and still not fully over in some countries, the Euro crisis has been the major shock European economy has been through ever since the beginning of European integration. Triggered by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, it made apparent a series of structural imbalances and failures in the design of the Eurozone, putting into question the own nature of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the survival of the common currency. In spite of the doubts emerged concerning the future of the Euro, the response to the crisis eventually led to a deepening of economic integration within the EU. This is visible in the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the creation of a Banking Union and the deepening of fiscal coordination through measures such as the Six pack, the Two pack and the so-called Fiscal Compact. Economic coordination was also strengthened though the Euro Plus Pact. Which were the driving forces and key actors of this deepening in economic integration? Are they found at a national or at a supranational level? These are the questions that this paper aims to answer, through the study of the strengthening of the fiscal and economic pillars of EMU. The analysis will be done through the lenses of the two grand theories of European integration: Neofunctionalism and Liberal Intergovernmentalism; as well as a more recent theory: the New Intergovernmentalism approach. The paper will argue that the deepening of fiscal coordination can be theorized as the result of asymmetrical interdependence and differences in bargaining power among member states, which decide to transfer national sovereignty as a tool for reaching credible commitments.