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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