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See detailThe Difficult Construction of European Banking Union
Howarth, David UL; Schild, Joachim

Book published by Routledge (2020)

The volume brings together the work of sixteen scholars focused on the diverse debates surrounding the construction and operation of Banking Union (BU), and its necessary reform. BU represents one of the ... [more ▼]

The volume brings together the work of sixteen scholars focused on the diverse debates surrounding the construction and operation of Banking Union (BU), and its necessary reform. BU represents one of the most important developments in European integration since the launch of Monetary Union. Furthermore, the design of the BU agreed between 2012 and 2014 was a messy compromise among EU member states. It is not surprising then that BU has sparked a lively academic debate and triggered an ever-growing number of publications from different disciplinary backgrounds. The first wave of academic work on BU focuses upon the economic rationale underpinning the supranationalisation of control over banking — regulation, supervision, support and resolution — and the political dynamics and legal issues that shaped the design of the Union agreed. This volume is located at the intersection of this first phase of academic research and a second stage which analyses the functioning of the different elements of BU. New research questions are triggered by the albeit limited empirical evidence on BU’s implementation and operation. Contributions to this second wave of research attempt to identify potentially dangerous lacunae and contribute to on-going reform debates. [less ▲]

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See detail“The internet and the European market” from a multidisciplinary perspective: a “round-doc” discussion
Schafer, Valerie UL; Fickers, Andreas UL; Howarth, David UL et al

in Internet Histories: Digital Technology, Culture and Society (2020), (2),

Received 24 February 2020 Accepted 28 February 2020 KEYWORDS EU Market; Internet; Digital Market; Governance; Digital Europe; Regulation ABSTRACT David Howarth, Francesca Musiani, Julia Pohle and Dwayne ... [more ▼]

Received 24 February 2020 Accepted 28 February 2020 KEYWORDS EU Market; Internet; Digital Market; Governance; Digital Europe; Regulation ABSTRACT David Howarth, Francesca Musiani, Julia Pohle and Dwayne Winseck were invited to discuss the main topic of this special issue, “The internet and the EU market.” This conversation at the crossroads of several research areas (communication studies, soci- ology, science and technology studies and political science) brought together leading experts who shared their experience, research and expertise on the internet, European integration, gov- ernance issues, etc. They referred to several topics that are addressed in the papers in this issue, such as the taxation of digital services, net neutrality and the openness of networks, as they discussed questions related to the realities and limits of the notion of “Digital Europe”, changing discourses on the EU’s digital economy, the concept of European governance and the turning points and key events in the relationship between the internet and the EU market since the 1990s. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Difficult Construction of European Banking Union: Introduction
Howarth, David UL; Schild, Joachim

in Howarth, David; Schild, Joachim (Eds.) The Difficult Construction of European Banking Union (2020)

Banking Union represents one of the most important developments in European integration since the launch of Monetary Union. Furthermore, the design of the Banking Union agreed between 2012 and 2014 was a ... [more ▼]

Banking Union represents one of the most important developments in European integration since the launch of Monetary Union. Furthermore, the design of the Banking Union agreed between 2012 and 2014 was a messy compromise among European Union (EU) member states. It is not surprising then that Banking Union has sparked a lively academic debate and triggered an ever-growing number of publications from different disciplinary backgrounds. This edited volume is located at the intersection of two major waves of academic research on Banking Union. The first wave of academic work focuses upon the economic rationale underpinning the supranationalisation of control over banking—regulation, supervision, support and resolution—and the political dynamics and legal issues that shaped the design of the Banking Union agreed. This literature focuses upon Banking Union’s foundational phase between 2012 and 2014 when the major texts enshrining Banking Union in law were negotiated and adopted. The second stage of academic research analyses the functioning of the different elements of Banking Union. New research questions have been triggered by the—albeit limited—empirical evidence on the operation of the supranational supervision and resolution of banks. Contributions to this second wave of Banking Union-related research attempt to identify potentially dangerous lacunae and contribute to on-going reform debates. This edited volume brings together the work of sixteen scholars focused on the political, legal and economic debates surrounding the construction and operation of Banking Union, and its necessary reform. [less ▲]

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See detailOne money, two markets? EMU at twenty and European financial market integration
Howarth, David UL; Quaglia, Lucia

in Journal of European Integration (2020), 42(3), 433-448

This contribution combines neo-functionalism and historical institutionalism to understand the implications of differentiated integration in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and Banking Union (BU) for ... [more ▼]

This contribution combines neo-functionalism and historical institutionalism to understand the implications of differentiated integration in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and Banking Union (BU) for the single market in financial services in the European Union (EU). From the 1980s, the relaunch of the Single Market and monetary integration in the EU were presented by the supporters of EMU as mutually reinforcing, as in the logic of the Commission’s Report ‘One Market, One Money’. Initially, EMU appeared to reinforce financial integration, especially in the Euro Area banking sector, even though EMU was a case of differentiated integration in the EU. Subsequently, the incomplete EMU triggered the sovereign debt crisis, which undermined financial market integration and was addressed through the establishment of BU, which reinforced differentiated integration. Both EMU and BU have negative implications for the ‘singleness’ of the single market in financial services, potentially resulting in ‘One Money, Two Markets’. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduction to ‘Economic and Monetary Union at Twenty: A Stocktaking of a Tumultuous Second decade’
Howarth, David UL; Verdun, Amy

in Journal of European Integration (2020), 42(3), 287-293

This contribution discusses the two main asymmetries of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as they developed over the past two decades since the launch of the Single Currency. From the outset, EMU ... [more ▼]

This contribution discusses the two main asymmetries of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as they developed over the past two decades since the launch of the Single Currency. From the outset, EMU involved asymmetric degrees of integration in the area of ‘economic’ union (less centralised governance) versus ‘monetary’ union (more supranational governance). With the outbreak of the Sovereign Debt Crisis in 2010, the regime-shaping relevance of a second asymmetry emerged: one roughly between the member states of the Euro Area ‘core’ and those in the ‘periphery’. Each of the two asymmetries have created a range of challenges—institutional, policy and political — that undermine the stability and sustainability of the EMU project. [less ▲]

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See detailThe politics of bank structural reform: Business power and agenda setting in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany
Howarth, David UL; James, Scott

in Business and Politics (2020), 22(1), 25-51

Following the financial crisis, the United Kingdom introduced major structural reforms to address concern about Too-Big-To-Fail (TBTF) banks, while France and Germany adopted much weaker reforms. This is ... [more ▼]

Following the financial crisis, the United Kingdom introduced major structural reforms to address concern about Too-Big-To-Fail (TBTF) banks, while France and Germany adopted much weaker reforms. This is puzzling given the presence of large universal banks engaged in market making activities in all three countries, which suffered significant losses during the international financial crisis, and given the commitments to reform made by political leaders in all three countries. The paper explains this policy divergence by analysing how dynamics of agenda setting contributed to the emergence of policy windows on structural reform. We explain the United Kingdom's decision to delegate the process to an independent commission as an example of venue shifting which helped to insulate the process from industry framing, and resulted in “conflict expansion” by mobilizing a wider coalition of actors in support of bank ringfencing. By contrast, in France and Germany the agenda was tightly managed through existing institutional venues, enabling industry to resist the framing of the issue around TBTF and limiting the role of non-business groups—a process we label as “conflict contraction.” We argue that analysis of agenda setting dynamics provides new insights into the cross-national variability of business power. [less ▲]

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See detailTheoretical Lessons from EMU and Banking Union: Plus ça change
Howarth, David UL; Quaglia, Lucia

in Howarth, David; Schild, Joachim (Eds.) The Difficult Construction of European Banking Union (2020)

Why did Euro Area member state governments decide to move to Banking Union (BU) — presented by proponents as a crucial move to ‘complete’ Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) — only in 2012, over twenty ... [more ▼]

Why did Euro Area member state governments decide to move to Banking Union (BU) — presented by proponents as a crucial move to ‘complete’ Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) — only in 2012, over twenty years after the adoption of the Maastricht Treaty? Why has a certain design for BU been chosen and some elements of this design prioritised over others? This paper interrogates previous academic accounts on the move to and the design of EMU — neofunctionalist, intergovernmentalist and constructivist — evaluating their explanatory power with reference to BU. It is argued that the asymmetrical design of EMU generated a variety of spill-overs and, hence, a neofunctionalist drive to supranationalise control over bank supervision and financial support for banks as part of the so-called ‘completion’ of EMU. However, intergovernmental negotiations informed by moral hazard and domestic political economy concerns explain the asymmetrical design of BU agreed by national governments. [less ▲]

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See detailBank power and public policy since the financial crisis
Howarth, David UL; James, Scott; Macartney, Huw

in Business and Politics (2020), 22(1), 1-24

Despite much commentary in the media and the popular assumption that the banking industry exerts undue influence on government policy-making, the academic literature on the role of the banks since the ... [more ▼]

Despite much commentary in the media and the popular assumption that the banking industry exerts undue influence on government policy-making, the academic literature on the role of the banks since the 2008 financial crisis remains theoretically and empirically under-specified. In particular, we argue that different forms of financial power are often conflated, while favorable policy outcomes are too-readily assumed to be evidence of regulatory capture. In short, we still know relatively little about how bank influence varies over time and in different national contexts, the extent to which banking interests are unified or divided, and the conditions under which banks are capable of producing meaningful variation in policy outcomes. This article has three objectives: 1) to explain why the debate on bank influence matters; 2) to examine the evidence of bank influence since the international financial crisis; and 3) to set out a range of conceptual tools for thinking about bank power. [less ▲]

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See detailAccountability in Post‐Crisis Eurozone Governance: The Tricky Case of the European Stability Mechanism
Howarth, David UL; Spendzharova, Aneta

in Journal of Common Market Studies (2019), 57(4), 894-911

Established at the height of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the intergovernmental European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has, potentially, considerable influence over decisions on the provision of loans ... [more ▼]

Established at the height of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the intergovernmental European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has, potentially, considerable influence over decisions on the provision of loans to Eurozone member state governments and on the recapitalization of banks. Legally and organizationally, the ESM is an international financial institution and thus its accountability can be compared to that of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international financial institutions. However, the ESM’s governance structure and decision-making procedures show that it is deeply embedded in the Eurozone governance architecture, resulting in a dual institutional embeddedness. Focusing on vertical and horizontal accountability combined with a learning perspective on accountability, this article presents an assessment of the accountability mechanisms applicable to the idiosyncratic ESM and how these mechanisms work in practice. [less ▲]

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See detailThe democratic deficit and European Central Bank crisis monetary policies.
Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL; Howarth, David UL

in Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law (2019)

This article presents the argument that European Central Bank (ECB) policy-making from the start of the sovereign debt crisis in 2010 undermined the democratic legitimacy of the ECB. We start with the ... [more ▼]

This article presents the argument that European Central Bank (ECB) policy-making from the start of the sovereign debt crisis in 2010 undermined the democratic legitimacy of the ECB. We start with the argument – defended by a number of scholars including Majone and Moravcsik – that where European Union (EU) policy-making is technocratic and does not have significant redistributive implications it can benefit from depoliticization that does not undermine the democratic legitimacy of this policy-making. This is notably the case where EU institutions have narrow mandates and are constrained by super-majoritarian decision-making. Prior to the international financial crisis, the ECB’s monetary policies were shaped entirely by the interpretation that its mandate was primarily to ensure low inflation. From the outbreak of the sovereign debt crisis, the ECB adopted a range of policies which pushed its role well beyond that interpretation and engaged in a form of redistribution that directly undermined treaty provisions. [less ▲]

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See detailReinforcing Supranational Bank Regulation, Supervision, Support and Resolution in Europe: Introduction
Howarth, David UL; Schild, Joachim

in Journal of Economic Policy Reform (2019)

A decade on since the outbreak of the worst international financial crisis since the late 1920s, the effective design of EU bank regulation, supervision, support and resolution remains hotly contested, in ... [more ▼]

A decade on since the outbreak of the worst international financial crisis since the late 1920s, the effective design of EU bank regulation, supervision, support and resolution remains hotly contested, in both academic and policy-making circles. European Banking Union (BU), one of the most important developments in European integration since the Maastricht Treaty and the launch of Monetary Union, still ranks very high on the European Union’s reform agenda. Some reform proposals, such as the creation of the European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS), have been placed on the backburner given German government concerns regarding the state of bank balance sheets in some euro area member states — and, specifically, bank holdings of nonperforming loans — and that incentives for future risk-taking have not been sufficiently reduced. Other reforms affecting all EU member states have met the determined opposition of a number of national governments and powerful bank interests, including the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on Bank Structural Reform (BSR), which was dropped by the Commission in late 2017. However, there are also a range of other legislative and institutional reforms designed to reinforce EU bank regulation and supervision which have either been proposed and / or adopted. The main objectives of these reforms are to make banking safer— and specifically to diminish the systemic effects of losses resulting from high risk bank activities — and to reinforce the ability of supervisory authorities to monitor effectively bank activity. By shedding light on a number of difficult issues facing these topics, the articles of this special issue seek to provide contributions that are helpful to both academics and policy makers. [less ▲]

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See detailThe European Investment Bank as Policy Entrepreneur and the Promotion of Public-Private Partnerships
Howarth, David UL; Liebe, Moritz

in New Political Economy (2019), Early View

This paper focuses on the important role of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the European Union’s promotion of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). We first demonstrate the relative importance of the ... [more ▼]

This paper focuses on the important role of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the European Union’s promotion of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). We first demonstrate the relative importance of the EIB in relation to the European Commission on the promotion of PPPs. We then argue that the activism of the EIB on PPPs can be explained in terms of the bank’s operation as a policy entrepreneur. The paper further explains that the entrepreneurial role of the EIB with regard to PPPs relied massively on the presence of a small number of, principally British, ‘norm entrepreneurs’ who actively promoted the PPP concept and the specific norms that supported it within the EIB. While there are indications that the EIB operated as a rational actor in its promotion of PPPs, we argue that ideas ultimately drove the pro-PPP activism of both individual EIB officials and the institution collectively. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Parliamentary Scrutiny of Euro Area National Central Banks
Högenauer, Anna-Lena UL; Howarth, David UL

in Public Administration (2018)

European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) involves several core principles for the organization of participating national central banks (NCBs / CBs), including their independence from political ... [more ▼]

European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) involves several core principles for the organization of participating national central banks (NCBs / CBs), including their independence from political institutions. Early studies show that the level of national parliamentary scrutiny over euro area NCBs varied (Lepper and Sterne 2002). In this context, our article examines the extent to which parliaments make use of four distinct control mechanisms to hold CBs accountable. We explain the very different levels of parliamentary scrutiny over NCBs in Germany, France and Belgium during the 2013-2016 period. We find that the level of scrutiny depends principally on the presence of a longstanding tradition of CB independence — and specifically the manner in which independence has been politicized and interpreted by the political class. We argue that the strength of the parliament can also explain some variation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe difficult construction of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme: a step too far in Banking Union?
Howarth, David UL; Quaglia, Lucia

in Journal of Economic Policy Reform (2018), 21(3), 190-209

The German Government refused to accept the development of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) for Banking Union member states. Publicly, the German Government was preoccupied with the creation of ... [more ▼]

The German Government refused to accept the development of a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) for Banking Union member states. Publicly, the German Government was preoccupied with the creation of a moral hazard that common funds would create for banks in those participating countries that had weak banking systems. This paper argues that to understand German moral hazard concerns it is necessary to look beyond the ideational – notably concerns stemming from German Ordo-liberalism – and focus on the existing national institutional arrangements that the German Government sought to protect. German moral hazard concerns stemmed from the fear that well-funded German deposit guarantee schemes (DGS) – especially those of small savings and cooperative banks – could be tapped to compensate for underfunded (and largely ex post funded) DGS in other member states. We thus demonstrate that the difficulties facing the construction of an EDIS owe to the weakness of the previously agreed harmonization of national DGS. This failure to harmonize schemes beyond a low minimal standard can be explained through an analysis focused on national systems. Different existing national DGS stem from the different configuration of national banking systems, the longstanding relationships among national banks and well-entrenched regulatory frameworks. [less ▲]

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See detailBrexit and the battle for financial services
Howarth, David UL; Quaglia, Lucial

in Journal of European Public Policy (2018), 25(8), 1118-1136

This paper analyses the policy developments concerning the Single Market in finance in the context of Brexit. Theoretically, we engage with two bodies of work that make contrasting predictions on European ... [more ▼]

This paper analyses the policy developments concerning the Single Market in finance in the context of Brexit. Theoretically, we engage with two bodies of work that make contrasting predictions on European financial market integration and the development of European Union (EU)policies on financial regulation: on focused upon a neo-mercantilist ‘battle’ amongst member states and the other stressing the importance of transnational financial networks (or coalitions). Empirically, we find limited evidence of the formation of crossnational alliances in favour of the United Kingdom (UK) retaining broad access to the EU Single Market in financial services, the presence of which would have aligned with the expectations of analyses focused upon transnational networks. By contrast, the main financial centres in the EU27 and their national authorities competed to lure financial business away from the UK — what we explain in terms of a ‘battle’ amongst member states and their national financial centres. [less ▲]

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See detailThe policy narratives of European capital markets union
Howarth, David UL; Quaglia, Lucia

in Journal of European Public Policy (2018), 25(7), 990-1009

This paper examines the ‘making’ of Capital Markets Union (CMU) through the theoretical lens of ‘actor-centred constructivism’, by considering the ‘policy narratives’ that bureaucratic actors have ... [more ▼]

This paper examines the ‘making’ of Capital Markets Union (CMU) through the theoretical lens of ‘actor-centred constructivism’, by considering the ‘policy narratives’ that bureaucratic actors have employed strategically to promote the project. It is argued that two main narratives were articulated by the European Commission in order to mobilize the political support necessary to push forward CMU and reduce potential opposition to it. The first narrative was to boost the size and internal and external competitiveness of European Union capital markets. The second narrative was the increased funding to the real economy, especially to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and infrastructural projects. The Commission used these narratives instrumentally in ‘framing’ CMU as a positive-sum game, rather than a zero-sum game with potential winners and losers. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecial edition on constructing Banking Union: Introduction
Howarth, David UL; Schild, Joachim

in Journal of Economic Policy Reform (2018), 21(2), 99-110

European Banking Union arguably represents the most important step in European economic integration since the launch of Monetary Union. Little wonder, then, that this major deepening of integration ... [more ▼]

European Banking Union arguably represents the most important step in European economic integration since the launch of Monetary Union. Little wonder, then, that this major deepening of integration sparked a lively academic debate and triggered an ever-growing number of publications from different disciplinary backgrounds. The first wave of publications on European Banking Union (BU) provided us with overviews on the legal changes; they discussed at length the economic rationale underpinning BU; and they traced the political dynamics of establishing BU discussing key explanatory factors. This literature reflected BU’s foundational phase between 2012 and 2014 when the major texts enshrining BU in law were negotiated and adopted. This special issue is located at the intersection of this first phase and a second stage of research covering different topics as regards to the functioning of BU. New research questions are triggered by the — so far still limited — experiences regarding BU’s implementation and current operation. Based on this empirical evidence, contributions to this second wave of BU-related research try to identify potentially dangerous lacunae and design faults, contributing to the ongoing reform debates. Taken together, the contributions to this special issue provide us with a nuanced picture of Banking Union’s construction problems, lacunae, and governance structure design faults. Banking Union resembles an unfinished cathedral. Given its problematic architecture, there remain important stability risks. [less ▲]

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See detailEnforcing the European Semester: the politics of asymmetric information in the excessive deficit and macroeconomic imbalance procedures
Howarth, David UL; Savage, James

in Journal of European Public Policy (2018), 25(2), 193-211

The European Semester is an information-driven surveillance system that relies upon budgetary and economic statistics collected from the European Union’s member states and analyzed by the European ... [more ▼]

The European Semester is an information-driven surveillance system that relies upon budgetary and economic statistics collected from the European Union’s member states and analyzed by the European Commission. This is true for both the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) and the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP). This article employs Principal–Agent theory to analyze the politics of asymmetric information in the EDP and MIP. The study explores how the statistical requirements of the Six-Pack have been enforced by the Commission and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council to strengthen the EDP, even as the statistical integrity of the MIP received less protection. The article examines how the misrepresentation of statistics by Spain’s Autonomous Community of Valencia provoked the first financial sanction in the history of Economic and Monetary Union, as well as the Commission’s unsuccessful efforts to strengthen the reliability of MIP statistics. [less ▲]

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See detailBrexit and the Single European Financial Market
Howarth, David UL; Quaglia, Lucia

in Journal of Common Market Studies (2017), 55(S1), 149164

Brexit raises a set of important questions with reference to the Single Market, especially in financial services. What are the implications of Brexit for the UK and its financial industry; and what are ... [more ▼]

Brexit raises a set of important questions with reference to the Single Market, especially in financial services. What are the implications of Brexit for the UK and its financial industry; and what are the implications of Brexit for the EU and the single financial market? This topic is examined in four consecutive steps. We first discuss the UK’s influence in the development of the single financial market, including EU financial regulation, over the past two decades – and thus both prior to, and after, the international financial crisis. This overview is necessary in order to grasp the potential implications of Brexit for the UK, the EU and their financial industries – examined in the second step. We then examine the so-called safeguards secured by the UK government from the EU in the run up to the Brexit referendum and the position of the UK’s financial industry during the Brexit campaign and after the referendum. Finally, we review the post-Brexit options available to manage the relationship between the UK and the EU, specifically with regard to finance. It is argued that that the UK has been a key player in the development of the single financial market, especially prior to the international financial crisis, and has greatly benefited from it. The – at times considerable – British influence made EU financial regulation more market-friendly and open to third countries than it would have been otherwise. The EU–UK agreement signed prior to the Brexit referendum contained several clauses concerning economic governance, including non-discrimination provisions for the financial industry based in the UK. However, these provisions mainly reflected the status quo and re-stated existing commitments. The City of London and British financial industry were mostly in the pro-Remain camp during the referendum campaign – albeit there were some noteworthy financial sector supporters of Brexit. Following the June referendum, the City unsuccessfully mobilized in order to retain full access to the single financial market – the alternative options were considerably less appealing for the UK financial industry. [less ▲]

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See detailFrance and European macroeconomic policy coordination: from the Treaty of Rome to the euro area sovereign debt crisis
Howarth, David UL; Schild, Joachim

in Modern & Contemporary France (2017), 25(2), 171-190

French support for European (EC/EU)-level macroeconomic policy coordination has been driven by remarkably consistent preferences since the 1950s. With the exception of the de Gaulle decade (1958–1968 ... [more ▼]

French support for European (EC/EU)-level macroeconomic policy coordination has been driven by remarkably consistent preferences since the 1950s. With the exception of the de Gaulle decade (1958–1968), French governments have sought European-level mechanisms for balance of payments support. This article sets out to explain these remarkably stable French preferences on European-level macroeconomic policy coordination over time through a combination of an interest-based analysis referring to structural and competitive weaknesses of the French economy and an ideational explanatory analysis focused upon French Keynesian thinking on symmetrical adjustment of both deficit and surplus countries. French preferences align largely with the concept of ‘embedded liberalism’. This article also interprets a number of developments in EU-level economic governance in response to the banking and sovereign debt crises that provided a policy window for France to move European-level mechanisms and institutions towards long-held French preferences. [less ▲]

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