From the rule of law to the rule of rules: technocracy and the crisis of EU governance

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Abstract

This article focuses on two trends emerging through the eurozone crisis, both
of which diminish the quality of democracy in the EU and its member states.
Firstly, the crisis has led to an increased reliance on non-majoritarian institutions,
such as the ECB, at the expense of democratic accountability. Secondly,
the crisis has led to a new emphasis on coercive enforcement at the expense
of the voluntary cooperation that previously characterised (and sustained) the
EU as a community of law. Thus, the ECB’s (over-)empowerment is a synecdoche
of a wider problem: The EU’s tendency to resort to technocratic governance
in the face of challenges that require political contestation. In the
absence of opportunities for democratic contestation, EU emergency governance
– Integration through Crisis – oscillates between moments of heightened
politicisation, in which ad hoc decisions are justified as necessary, and
the (sometimes coercive) appeal to the depoliticised rule of rules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420-1442
Number of pages23
JournalWest European Politics
Volume42
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • Technocracy
  • eurozone
  • crisis governance
  • rule of law
  • European Central Bank

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