“The Eurozone Crisis”: Introduction by the Authors

von Kaarlo Tuori

Our book on the Eurozone crisis is built on two central premises; a substantive one and a methodological one. According to the substantive premise the Eurozone crisis has not been merely an economic crisis and a crisis of the European macroeconomic constitution but has had significant consequences in the dimensions of the political and social constitution as well. This substantive premise is linked to our understanding of the European constitution as a multidimensional and multitemporal process of constitutionalisation. The methodological premise concerns the relationship between constitutional and economic analysis. Our objective has not been to complement constitutional with economic analysis but to treat economic analysis as an integral part of constitutional analysis.

Based on these premises, our discussion proceeds through five stages. First we summarize the main principles of what we call the Maastricht macroeconomic constitution. These include Europeanization of monetary policy; the independence of the ECB and price stability as the constitutionally anchored objective of monetary policy conducted by an independent expert body; as well as Member State sovereignty in fiscal policy and, as its reverse, Member State fiscal liability, manifest in the no-bailout prohibition.

The Maastricht principles relied on particular economic assumptions the reconstruction of which is the second stage of our analysis. As regards monetary policy and the institutional position of the ECB, the assumptions concern, for example, the role of inflation and the major task of central banks in combating it. The post-Keynesian consensus which emerged in the 1980s was an important factor facilitating the establishment of EMU after a long run-up phase ...

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