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How a secretive circle of finance ministers shape European economic governance

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.

Elaine A. Byrne

193 Fianna Fáil’s financial reliance on the beef industry in the 1980s was replaced by property and construction interests in the 1990s and 2000s. This chapter explores if this dependence impacted on policy decisions and if this reliance exacerbated the depth of Ireland’s economic collapse from 2008–10. The upshot of the financial crash was the subsequent intervention by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank in November 2010 and the loss of Irish economic sovereignty. Political funding: 1980s The professionalisation and competitiveness of

in Political corruption in Ireland, 1922–2010
Daniel Finn

11 Ireland, the left and the European Union Daniel Finn Introduction One of the most striking consequences of Ireland’s economic meltdown has been the transformation of its relationship with the European Union. After two years of ham-fisted attempts to manage the implosion of the Irish economy, Brian Cowen’s government bowed to overwhelming pressure in November 2010 and accepted emergency loans from a ‘troika’ composed of the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The arrival of troika officials in Dublin to conduct an

in Ireland under austerity
Tom Gallagher

Common Foreign and Security Policy was unfurled. Every state except Britain acknowledged that it would abide by common Community standards in the field of social policy. Cooperation was institutionalised in sensitive policy areas like justice, policing and immigration. Perhaps the key departure was that, under Maastricht, every member state, except Britain and Denmark, in principle relinquished its long-term right to make its own monetary policy. 80 It was agreed to create a European Central Bank to take the lead in managing a new single currency that would replace

in Europe’s path to crisis
Richard Dunphy
Luke March

environment and full employment. The operations of the European Central Bank should be changed, its policies and priorities linked to employment creation, and its credit and money issuing brought under ‘public and social control’. The ECB's statutes should allow the EP to have greater political control over certain areas (such as interest rate policy); the Growth and Stability Pact should be replaced by a new pact ‘focussing on growth, full employment, social and environmental protection’ and new taxes on capital movements and speculative capital should be introduced. The

in The European Left Party
Marcel H. Van Herpen

, people whom populists consider to be enemies of “the common man.” Why do we have independent central banks? An example is the European Central Bank, which is a favorite target of Eurosceptic populists from the left and from the right. The bank has exclusive authority over European monetary policy. Neither the European Parliament, nor the European Commission or national governments, have direct influence on its policies. The bank is a collegial body that makes decisions with complete independence. However, this is not acceptable to the Spanish leftist populist

in The end of populism
Towards a union or not?
Kjell M. Torbiörn

espousing it. At stake was much more than the relatively timid political co-operation foreseen in the Treaties; for once the EMU had been introduced, the EMU would require an increasingly common economic policy. In due, but not so distant, course some sort of body akin to a ‘ministry of economics’ could be foreseen, needed to settle priorities among EMU participating countries and render possible in the economic field what the European Central Bank was already doing in the monetary field. As a ‘deepening’ of the EMU kind is sought going far beyond the Internal Market, the

in Destination Europe
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Tom Gallagher

imposing a new ‘Fourth Reich’, indicated that many no longer believed that, within a eurozone where key financial decisions were made by the European Central Bank (ECB), their country enjoyed meaningful independence. One group of protesters sat atop a jeep dressed in Nazi uniforms, while another, clutching the Greek flag, lay underneath the wheels of the vehicle. 3 By contrast, when Merkel’s predecessor, Konrad Adenauer, had paid an official visit to Athens in 1954, only a decade after the wartime German occupation, he had been greeted as a friendly head of state

in Europe’s path to crisis
Costas Simitis

12.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1993, to 2.5% by 1999, the year in which assessment to gauge Greece’s suitability for participation in the Eurozone was undertaken. Progress towards meeting the other criteria for nominal convergence (rate of inflation, long-term interest rates, public debt and exchange rates) was equally positive. The European Council’s decision taken at Santa Maria da Feira in June 2000 to include Greece was based on detailed scrutiny of the performance of the Greek economy, by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the

in The European debt crisis
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Towards a just Europe
João Labareda

national GDPs, and a small EU corporate tax would be launched to fund the programmes of the agency. At the level of rule-making, both the Commission and the Parliament would evaluate the design of the common market and the Eurozone in light of the new distributive goals. A minimum EU corporate rate and an EU Labour Code consistent with the different level of prices of member states would be introduced to avoid tax competition and social dumping. The European Central Bank would incorporate distributive concerns when setting targets for the euro exchange rate. In turn, all

in Towards a just Europe