Solidarity, Conditionality and the Transformation of the European Project

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Money is a social construct and, as such, can be designed to convey a different degree of solidarity among its users by distributing differently the (implicit) burdens between creditors and debtors, owners and renters, or capital and labour. The specific design of Europe’s money, the euro, has gone through different, cumulative stages that have increasingly constrained Members States’ ability to control, direct or steer the policy choices related to its money. In this article we will trace that evolution, departing from the original design of the Treaty of Maastricht that revolved around an extremely independent Central Bank in charge of the monetary policy. After the financial and sovereign debt crisis, the design of Europe’s money included for the first time the possibility of financial assistance to Member States in stress and, accordingly, under heavy market pressure. Such financial aid was nonetheless subjected to the observance of strict conditionality, which was not just legally required by the introduction of the new article 136.3 TFUE, but a systemic choice determining the content of the constitutional design of Europe’s money. Accordingly, when providing financial assistance conditionality replaced financial markets’ function in the original design, as the legal reasoning of the Court of Justice emphasized in Pringle. The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a new layer on the constitutional design of Europe’s money, now enabling the Commission on a temporary basis to borrow from the markets to either lend or give money to the Member States. Under those rules, when money has to be repaid conditionality has been excluded. The funds are nonetheless still addressed to certain specific goals and disbursed only in case of compliance with certain criteria, among which is the observance of the rule of law. Our goal is to contextualize each of these three institutional arrangements of Europe’s money in order to determine to in which way they promote solidarity between Members of the Eurozone and to what extent they affect the project of European integration in general.
Period23 Nov 202225 Nov 2022
Event titleTransnational Solidarity in Crisis
Event typeWorkshop
LocationErlangen (Nürnberg), Germany, BavariaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational