Domestic parliaments and crisis response mechanisms in the Eurozone and Covid-19 crises
Anja Thomas, Research Fellow, EUI
The European Council’s political deal on a collective debt scheme to help the member states recover from the economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis has already been praised as a major step of European integration.
Yet, it might have negative consequences for representative democracy in the EU, as it only marginally associates the European Parliament with the implementation of the scheme while affording the European Commission an even stronger influence over the budgetary competences of domestic parliaments.
The legitimacy of the representative democracy in the EU is dependent on how it is interpreted by parliamentary actors at all levels of the EU’s parliamentary space as well as how norms and backgrounds concerning rightful democratic decision-making are shared or contested.
This project focuses on practices in domestic parliaments in Germany, France, Italy and The Netherlands and the ideas that domestic parliamentarians themselves convey with respect to financial solidarity in the EU and the democratic legitimacy of the EU’s macro-economic coordination during the two recent crisis events that are central to the evolution of the Economic and Monetary Union: the Eurozone and the Covid-19 crises.
The project pursues a number of questions, such as the following:
- How are solidarity and the democratic legitimacy of EU mechanisms framed in parliamentary debates?
- Which norms and practices of parliamentary participation in budgetary policies have Members of Parliament shared or contested?
- Which factors explain the cleavages in the debates?
The project uses a double methodology that combines interviews with a qualitative-quantitative analysis of parliamentary debates on the EU debt crisis resolution mechanisms.
- Anja Thomas: The German presidency as an institutional role: three theses on its impact on the German government’s ‘word and deed’ regarding the EU recovery fund, 04/12/20, German Political Science Association (DVPW): Politics in dialogue [Zoom debate in German]
- Anja Thomas: The EU’s nature and democratic legitimacy in light of the Covid-19 crisis, 9/10/20, Les Rendez-vous de l’histoire de Blois, Clément Beaune (French State Secretary for European Affairs), Sylvain Kahn (Sciences Po Paris), Marc Lazar (Sciences Po Paris), Anja Thomas (RSCAS, EUI), Marion Van Renterghem (Grand Reporter, independent journalist)
- Anja Thomas: Is it possible to govern the European Union?, 9/10/20, Radio show Carrefour de l’Europe [in French]