9 Paradigms for economic governance: how cities grew bigger and better The making of a new synthesis or paradigm as a form of crisis resolution in the seventeenth century led to the Enlightenment with its hope of the perfectibility of society, and a similar shock during the era of the French Revolution advanced the Enlightenment agenda by extending civic rights and scientific and engineering projects, further expanding markets and the stock of useful knowledge in the nineteenth century. By the end of that century, the adoption of city-wide networks based on
The book examines the European debt crisis with particular reference to the case of Greece. It investigates its spillover from a Greek-specific problem to a Eurozone-wide crisis and chronicles the policy responses to combat it. The central argument of the book is that the principal cause of the Eurozone’s problems was, and still remains, the indecisiveness of European elites to tackle its underlying deficiencies. Leading Eurozone countries have been unwilling to commit to a common long-term plan which could deal convincingly with complex and inter-related problems affecting both its ‘core’ and its ‘periphery’. The guiding principle of policy responses thus far has been the pursuit of permanent fiscal discipline. Yet, fiscal discipline alone would not provide the long-term solutions required; a steady course towards economic governance and political unification is necessary.
Through the detailed tracing of the evolution of the crisis, the book provides valuable insights into the crucial interconnection between Greece’s own economic troubles and the wider European search for macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth. As such, the book appeals well beyond those with a narrow academic interest in Greece. This is very much a discussion about the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole.
This book a study on the work of the Eurogroup—monthly informal meetings between euro area finance ministers, the Commission and the European Central Bank. It demonstrates how this small, secretive circle of senior decision-makers shapes European economic governance through a routinised informal policy dialogue. Although the role of the Eurogroup has been contested since before the group's creation, its actual operation has never been subject to systematic evaluation. This book opens the doors of the meeting room and shows how an understanding of the interplay of formal provisions and informal processes is pivotal to the analysis of euro area governance. The book advances the conceptual understanding of informal negotiations among senior European and national decision-makers, and provides an in-depth analysis of historical episodes of policy coordination. As other areas of European decision-making rely increasingly on informal, voluntary policy coordination amongst member states, the Eurogroup model can be seen as a template for other policy areas.
Cities have been missing from analyses of the crisis and debates about how to generate a sustainable recovery. Illuminating recent trends and emerging risks, Cities and Crisis is about the future, starting where we are.
A fresh assessment is needed of what has changed since 1990 and what has not, of policy assumptions about urban economies, of the lessons of experience. Cities and Crisis looks at the strengths and weaknesses of macro-economic and sectoral policies to guide urban development in both declining and growing cities and regions.
Without higher levels of urban innovation and infrastructure investment, growth will remain below potential.
Stronger urban economies is not our only challenge. We can expect more frequent and more costly environmental, health, and even economic crises. Cities and Crisis frames a discussion of the vulnerability of cities, resilience, and the limits of domestic regulation to cope with mega-disasters and cross-border risks.
The urban transformation which covers what must change in cities, to reduce the infrastructure deficit, improve productivity, and cope with emerging and known risks, must accelerate from the historical trend of 1-2% to 3-4% per year. This is unlikely to happen as long as governments seem unable to set out a vision of the future of cities. The urban agenda, including security and cross-border risks, will have a major impact on nation-states in the 21st century.
The level of uncertainty must be reduced if people are to have confidence to invest for the future. The West has always resolved once-in-a-century crises with a paradigm shift that speaks to our collective fears and hopes. Drawing on dozens of OECD reports on economic, environmental and governance, Cities and Crisis provides a “long-term, big-time” framework to put cities at the centre of policy.
2833Intro 14/2/06 9:44 AM Page 1 Introduction The informal Eurogroup, comprising the finance ministers of the euro area, plays a central role in the economic governance set-up of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This might seem surprising given that the group is deprived of any formal decision-making competences and keeps a low official profile. The group is the smallest coordination forum known in Brussels. Only the ministers themselves attend the meetings and they find no administrative infrastructure at their disposal. In fact, the Eurogroup pre
2833Chap2 14/2/06 9:45 AM Page 36 2 Why does EMU require informal governance? So, one might ask what is then the function of the Eurogroup? Obviously the function of the Eurogroup is, while this system [of economic governance in EMU] on paper looks clear enough and does not necessitate anything like the Eurogroup, nevertheless it is quite clear that there is scope for some kind of, I do not know if coordination is a good word, I think dialogue is a better word, in order to avoid misunderstandings, in order to have people more or less to see the things in the
. The EU has still not designed a rounded policy of economic governance, a new way of dealing with imbalances between the developed Core and the less developed Periphery. It has not formulated procedures for the systematic promotion of economic growth, which would distribute the benefits to all members in as balanced a way as possible.4 The absence of a general consensus on the direction of the EU, and differences provoked by this absence of clarity, together with the ineffective efforts to control the crisis, have affected European public opinion negatively; the
2833Chap7 14/2/06 9:49 AM Page 160 7 Conclusion Oh yes, in the absence of the Eurogroup the evolution of EMU would probably have been a lot more disruptive. It is really a question of governance. We can say that the Eurogroup is the core of EU economic governance. (Anonymous interview, participant C) The Eurogroup generates informal resources which guide policy-makers in the absence of formal provisions or form the basis of formal resources such as Treaty provisions, Council decisions at the EU level or cabinet decisions at the national level. The Eurogroup
upon economic processes, rather than the political projects governing these processes. While previous scholarship has placed the development of the fiscal state in a more global historical context, 5 this volume focuses on the transregional imperial dynamics of the collection and redistribution of resources across political communities, questioning how the political boundaries of these political communities has been historicised. Further, by shifting the focus to the politics of economic governance, this volume
President of the European Council announced, at the end of the negotiations, that it was possible that the Compact would be subscribed to by all the members of the EU, aside from the UK, which had already made its disdain for the agreement apparent. The terms ‘economic policy’ and ‘economic governance’ in the text were used to legitimise and underwrite stricter fiscal discipline. Key European protagonists hailed this as a significant step forwards in achieving improved coherence and stability in the operation of the Eurozone. ‘This is an extremely good result for the