Governing at a distance:  democratic responsibility and social solidarity in the Eurozone

As stated in its preface, this impressive collection of essays has the ambitious aim of launching a “fundamental debate” about European integration in the wake of the crisis and, in particular, the institutional reforms and policy choices made since 2008. The volume’s title already contains the basic diagnosis. European integration has fallen prey to a technocratic project – a dystopian dream which has corroded the EU’s constitutional integrity, its legitimation basis, its very point and purpose. This dream has to end, or better yet be brought to an end through an effective, if laborious, intellectual and political work. This is the basic message of the volume, shared by all its contributors.

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After the Eurocrats' Dream, the Contingence of the History

The Eurocrats’ dream was the stealth Europe. The Monnet method of bureaucratic integration has been mechanical and furtive, dominated by necessity. The principal leaders of integration, on the right and the left, have been driven by a crude determinism that presumed that economic development would inevitably lead to desired institutional improvements. The hidden hand of functional imperatives has been more important than reflection and choices, as if integration could be carried out without the need to make express decisions of the kind that are contained in constitutional moments.

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What comes after ,Ever Closer Union'?  From Teleology and the ‘Managerial Constitution’ to Democracy

The process of European integration was from the outset marked by an integrationist teleology as formally stated in the objective of “ever closer union among the peoples of Europe” in the preamble of the Treaty of Rome. The core message of The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream is that this integrationist teleology has come to an end.

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Putting Europe back on its feet – A timely wake-up call

Are „Eurocrats“ to blame for the bad shape of Europe? First of all, one has to ask whether „Eurocrat“ is a meaningful term at all. Obviously one can find lots of examples in the European law and politics that demonstrate a kind of hubris and at the same time a complete failure to accomplish the goals of the „European Project“ – one needs to mention only the grand „Lisbon“ prospect of technological modernisation.

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The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream in Endless Europe

One person’s dream is another person’s nightmare. This oneiric truth indicates the relative meaning of dreams, yet it also invites a wake-up call. The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream volume edited by Damian Chalmers, Markus Jachtenfuchs and Christian Joerges is such a wake-up call warning fellow academics, European politicians and the general public that what used to be presented by many advocates and agents of European integration as a wonderful dream is now often experienced as a nightmare with potentially disastrous effects for European and national politics in all countries of the EU.

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Reflections on the European Project: Some Thoughts on the Agenda

One ought to be cautious to take a broad spectrum so as to avoid the temptation of narrowing down concerns to a specific set of events such as Brexit or ‘a crisis’. The process of European integration is indeed so advanced that a narrow approach could result in a biased analysis. Meanwhile, one still needs to be precise and concrete so as to induce a constructive dialogue for change.

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Comment on "The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream"

While EU scholarship still tends to narrate the Union’s history as one of successful adaptation, and the ‘euro crisis’ as something like a rite of passage, here is a book in a different mould. Singularities and turning-points are the blocks it builds with, and the present moment marks a conclusion.

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CJEU Opens Door to Legal Challenges to Euro Rescue Measures in Key Decision

The Ledra Advertising decision by the European Court of Justice breaks down the barrier between European institutions and international-treaty based structures that have sprang up to deal with the needs of euro-area crisis response. This opens the door to legal challenges to the bailout programmes of the EFSF/ESM offering an avenue to a plethora of claimants to unpick the questionable legal underpinnings of conditionality and austerity policies.

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Conditionality through the lens of the CJEU: a “blurry” view

From the very beginning of the Eurozone crisis, conditionality progressively entered into the vocabulary and the normative sphere of the EU economic governance. At the time of the first assistance package to Greece, conditionality was just an emergency tool set in the bilateral Loan Agreements, signed by Greece and other Members States. However, after the establishment of emergency funds like the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), and especially after the creation of a permanent institution, a sort of “European mirror image of the IMF” – the ESM – conditionality has become a sort of leitmotiv of the European response to the economic crisis or, even, a necessary requirement according to the ECJ.

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