Long-term vs short-term perspectives: Adaptation, stability and the roles of the constitutional courts in the management of the Eurozone crisis in Germany and Italy
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SubjectEuropean Union law; Germany; Stability; Italy; European monetary union; Constitutional court; IUS/09; IUS/14; IUS/05
The article sheds light on the different approaches used by Germany and Italy in adopting and implementing the instruments created to tackle the Eurozone crisis, with special reference to the European Stability Mechanism, the Fiscal Compact, and the monetary policy instruments adopted by the European Central Bank (ECB). The responses of the two countries are argued to derive from the influence of mainstream economic thinking – Germany promotes a culture of stability and a longer term perspective while Italy favours liquidity and short-term solutions – on the case law of the constitutional courts of the two countries. The German Court has insisted on the principle of constitutional identity and budgetary autonomy of the Bundestag to resist the expansionary monetary policy of the ECB and the growing competences of the EU. In addition, it has recognised the primacy of the principle of long-term stability as a constitutional principle. The Italian Court, on the other hand, has managed to balance the imperative of debt reduction with the need to avoid damaging the welfare state. Case law shows that both Courts have played an increasingly political role.
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