Democracy vs technocracy: national parliaments and fiscal agencies in EMU governance

Carlos Closa Montero, Felipe González de León, Fernando Losada

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Taken together, both technical and intergovernmental bodies have reinforced their positions in the EU macroeconomic governance framework. By contrast, representative assemblies have a much more limited role on a policy domain that has seen a significant overhaul of EU scrutiny, control and sanctioning powers. This means a reconfiguration of authority, delegation and the institutional governance of the Eurozone. In order to asses these changes, this study looks specifically at two recent developments in the EMU governance framework: the creation and consolidation of Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs) and the role of national parliaments in the European Semester. These two phenomena not only represent a significant innovation in terms of governance, but also a new example of the tension between technocracy and democracy that has been at the core of the EMU architecture since its inception and can be linked with the EU democratic deficit. The paper analyses the institutional design and the mandate of the IFIs, as well as the role played by the national parliaments in the European Semester. The analysis concludes that fiscal agencies can have mix effects over legitimacy, democratic representativeness, and accountability, arguing that the key to know which effect dominates over the other lies in the cooperation between fiscal agencies and national parliaments. This cooperation could also improve the national parliaments´ effectiveness and their ability to scrutinize the governments and the European Semester.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBryssel
PublisherEuropean Commission
Number of pages100
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2020
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • 5171 Political Science

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