One of the consequences of the 2008 financial crisis in the European Union was “the emergence of the European Council as the centre of political gravity”, as heads of state and government met frequently in an effort to stabilise the Eurozone. Using the powers to “define the general political direction and priorities [of the EU]” under Article 15.1 of the Treaty on the European Union, the European Council requested then President Herman Van Rompuy to establish, in co-operation with the European Commission, a Task Force on economic governance with representatives of the Member States, the rotating presidency and the European Central Bank. The Task Force was charged with presenting to the European Council a set of measures by the end of 2010 that would reinforce and improve the current legal framework of the Economic and Monetary Union, resolve the crisis and to strengthen the enforcement of budgetary discipline among Member States. Using data collected from 58 interviews with senior policy makers, this paper will provide new insights into the roles of the Member States, the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the European Council on a number of issues in the negotiations in the Task Force.
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