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Does the Euro-crisis Lead to Improvements in Legitimacy?

Adriaan Schout

It is important to examine the implications of the crises in the EU both from a theoretical and from an empirical perspective. The crisis has proven that instruments of EU governance were deficient: core sectors of the EU`s polity were malfunctioning. As a result, the EU`s legitimacy has received a couple of blows (crises in output legitimacy) and the EU`s economic governance structures were insufficient (crises in input legitimacy). In other words, design flaws related to input legitimacy has helped to erode the EU`s output legitimacy. Using a model to diagnose and assess legitimacy both from an output and an input perspective, this paper analyses changes in governance related to the EU crises, and wants to assess whether the measures now being implemented actually improve the legitimacy of the EU`s economic governance.Theoretically, the paper builds on earlier work on legitimacy as organisational design challenge. Empirically, this examines the reliability of Eurostat (part of the EU Commission). The EU crisis consists of 4 related crises: crisis in statics; economic governance crisis, budgetary crisis, and banking crisis. There are differences but also parallels in these crises: questions about the role amp; independence of the Commission, functioning of the Council, weak supervision generally, lack of transparency and accountability. Politicians and civil servants are very active to negotiate and implement all sorts of changes but will they make a difference in terms of governance and legitimacy?

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