Differentiated integration is acquiring an ever increasing role in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is the “last effort” to provide financial assistance in the Eurozone as also show by the recent ECJ Pringle judgment. The paper aims at appraising the debate on differentiated integration in the context of the EMU with specific focus on the ESM Treaty: • Is the ESM Treaty well founded in the current panorama of Treaty rules? The insertion of a new art.136 par.3 TFEU “endorses” the ESM Treaty, but the no bail out clause under art.125 TFEU and the limited amount of the EU budget still act as insurmountable limits;• Is Europe facing a reversion to the “evils” of intergovernmentalism through the establishment of the ESM? The ESM has been established outside the Union framework and shows the limits of the current Union framework to counteract the debt crisis. Nonetheless, the ESM might act as a clear instrument to save the EMU.My research paper has the intention to show that the ESM Treaty may be seen as an effective response to the increasing debt crisis, even if it comes out from an international arrangement outside the Union framework.
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