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EMU Fiscal Governance: Saving the Balance Sheet at the cost of Democracy?

Fighting Inequality, increasing productivity and fostering a green transition are some of the essential goals of a post-pandemic fiscal governance framework, but how does democracy fit in all this? 

Against the backdrop of the last decades' resistant ideas of austerity, technocracy and a-political approaches to fiscal governance, this event zooms in on the democratic credentials of the institutions that structure fiscal policy-making at the national and at the European level. The aim is to understand if and how they can really uphold democratic values and fairly balance competing interests, which is fundamentally a problem of matching governments’ increased powers and responsibilities with proper mechanisms of citizens’ control. Simply put, if we want our states and the EU to solve ever more complex problems, we must make sure that fiscal governance framing government activity is shaped according to democratic principles. 

The discussion will therefore touch upon some of the following questions: 

  • Is expert rule in fiscal policy-making compatible with democratic principles? For instance, can fiscal rules ever be democratic?
  • To what extent do we need to rethink the a-political nature of fiscal policy in order to manage the challenges of our time? 
  • Should a reform of fiscal governance that addresses democratic legitimacy include the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies?
  • Can supranational fiscal surveillance enhance rather than reduce national autonomy?
  • How has the EMU fiscal framework changed the way in which states govern themselves? How about the way in which citizens control their own representatives?

Watch recording


  • Kalypso Nicolaidis, European University Institute
  • Stefano Merlo, VU Amsterdam's John Stuart Mill College
  • Adina Maricut-Akbik, Leiden University
  • Daniela Gabor, University of West England

Thanks to the help of YSI’s Political Economy of Europe Working Group.

Young Scholars Initiative, Young EUI Democracy Forum, NEF
29 Sep