Integration through the disintegration of law? The ECB and EU constitutionalism in the crisis

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Rather than halting European integration, the euro crisis, in some ways, has
accelerated it. However, it is integration of a different type, which departs
significantly from the rule of law-based model of integration that traditionally
burnished the European Union’s legitimacy. The crisis-induced transformation
of the European Central Bank (ECB) captures this trend. Through schemes
such as Outright Monetary Transactions, the Bank bolstered its capacity to
stabilize the euro without having its mandate formally enlarged, thus
confirming the ascendency of technocratic, and often ad hoc, governance
over democratically and legally circumscribed alternatives. This article posits
the ECB’s expanded and politicized role as the manifestation of a new mode
of integration – integration through the disintegration of law – which inverts
the court-driven integration-through-law that consolidated the single market.
However, the lack of a solid legitimacy base casts doubt on the long-term
sustainability of this integration mode.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1874-1891
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2018


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