048 The Euro Crisis and Questions Of Legitimacy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
E0.02 (VOC Room) (Oost-Indisch Huis)
With Industrial Relations, Skill Formation & Welfare State Network


Fritz Scharpf, Professor and Emeritus Director, Max Planck Institute for the Studies of Societies

Pepper D. Culpepper, Professor of Political Science, European University Institute

Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Chair of European Integration, Professor of International Relations and Political Science, and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Europe, Boston University

Phillippe Pochet, General Director of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and visiting lecturer at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL).


Each contributor will be given 15 minutes to outline their respective perspective. This will be followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers.


This semi-plenary offers a timely discussion on the Euro Crisis, EU and national responses to the crisis and questions arising therefrom about the legitimacy of the current project of European Integration. Since the onset of the global crisis in Europe, the European Union has been shaken by its own inability to manage the crisis. Nowhere is the intensity of crisis management greater than within the European Monetary Union. It is also here that the future of the European Union appears to be negotiated. In this unstable situation, opportunities for alternative imaginations of what the EU might look like further down the line arise. The semi-plenary thus also considers the future of Europe, providing insights from both business and labour perspectives.

The discussion will be structured roughly along these points:

1. The EMU crisis and democratic legitimacy

Rather than saving European integration, could the efforts to rescue the EMU actually undermine popular support for the project of European integration? By trying to save the EMU, is the economic crisis turning into a profound crisis of democratic legitimacy? Under which conditions, if any, is the EMU’s future feasible? Are these solutions democractically legitimate?  How is the crisis affecting popular support to the EU?

2. The crisis and the future of the EU

Despite the intensity of the current crisis, it may have the potential to lead to the creation of a “EU-topia” (V. Schmidt), a deeper form of economic and political integration that produces a flourishing Europe. But how can this be brought about? Indeed, the Eurozone, already suffering from a deep democratic deficit, has become subjected to rampant intergovernmentalism and the advent of technocracy. Intergovernmentalism has led to the advent of technocracies implementing austerity measures that not only are deeply unpopular, but also undermine future growth.

3. The crisis and the welfare state

The current crisis could set in motion lasting institutional changes both in European welfare states as well as in EU social policy itself. How does the crisis affect the balance of power between the organized interests of business and labor? Which kind of social policy reforms are triggered by the EMU crisis? Will the crisis lead to a strengthening of the role of the Commission and other EU institutions in social policy? Or will it lead to a transfer of policy-making powers back to the level of the member states?

Claes Axel Belfrage , Marius Busemeyer and Caroline Anne de la Porte
Fritz Scharpf , Pepper Culpepper , Philippe D. Pochet and Vivien A. Schmidt