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See detailFrance and the Euro: the political management of paradoxical interests
Howarth, David UL

in Dyson, Kenneth (Ed.) The Euro at Ten (2008)

This contribution briefly explores the context and initial conditions of EMU in France. The pursuit of low inflation through the external constraint of the EMS and then EMU reflected real economic needs ... [more ▼]

This contribution briefly explores the context and initial conditions of EMU in France. The pursuit of low inflation through the external constraint of the EMS and then EMU reflected real economic needs linked to developments in French capitalism and notably financial market liberalisation. The discursive/ideological structure underpinning and shaping the impact of EMU involved a dialect between a conservative liberalism—in the ascendant given the economic constraints reinforced by monetary integration—and a rearguard interventionism that is bolstered by widespread public hostility to economic liberalism and globalization. The decision to embrace EMU should furthermore be seen in terms of French strategy to increase monetary policy-making power in relation to both the Germans and the Americans (Howarth 2001) which is not explored further in this chapter because it is of limited significance to the politics of EMU in post-1999 France. This contribution also examines substantive reforms to, respectively, the French polity, politics and policies both in terms of this dialectic between conservative liberalism and interventionism but also in terms of Europeanization. EMU embodies a paradox for French policy makers. The project can be seen in terms of meeting long-standing French macro-economic goals of achieving competitiveness through disinflation, the elimination of the German-centred EMS and sheltering France from speculative pressures. Yet the EMU also involves an institutional framework and rules that ostensibly decrease policy making margin of manoeuvre -- thus the need for the French government to politically manage a paradox. [less ▲]

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See detailDelegation and Commission leadership in Economic and Monetary Union
Howarth, David UL

in Hayward, Jack (Ed.) Leaderless Europe (2008)

The aim of this contribution is to explore Commission leadership in terms of the powers and responsibilities delegated to the Commission under the TEU and the Stability and Growth Pact (Stability Pact ... [more ▼]

The aim of this contribution is to explore Commission leadership in terms of the powers and responsibilities delegated to the Commission under the TEU and the Stability and Growth Pact (Stability Pact, Pact, SGP). Delegation theory is a useful tool to elucidate the scope and limits of the Commission’s leadership role in EMU. The Commission’s potential for leadership or ‘entrepreneurship’ is maintained yet constrained by the terms of delegation. These terms provided considerable scope for Commission leadership in Stage II of the EMU project (from 1994) notably in rendering credible the commitment of member states to the start of Stage III on 1 January 1999 and the subsequent launch of the euro. Delegation theory can also demonstrate why the Commission has had difficulty asserting a leadership role since 1999 in the context of macroeconomic – notably fiscal – policy coordination in EMU and more specifically with regard to the application of SGP rules. The Commission’s role can be seen principally in terms of the management and watch-dog functions delegated to it in the Maastricht Treaty and the SGP. However, the rule book according to which the Commission must operate in terms of these two functions has been widely criticised – both by member state governments and the Commission itself. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 180 (1 UL)