The Maastricht process sets up economic and fiscal criteria that member states of the European Union are expected to meet in the preparation for and when having joined the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). According to EMU rules, the Commission monitors the fiscal behavior of the participants but member states themselves-as members of the Council of Ministers-finally vote on the Commission recommendations. It is therefore questionable whether these criteria actually constrain member states from running excessive deficits. This paper adopts a constitutionalist perspective to address this question by asking how member states will interpret or even change the fiscal rules of the EMU in the future. Council decision-making in the area of EMU politics is analyzed using data on the fiscal positions of old and new member states of the European Union. The findings suggest that the recent enlargement will shift policy outcomes, but, if compared to the situation at the time of the signing of the Maastricht treaty, the effect is rather marginal.
Bräuninger, T. (2003), "Fiscal constitutionalism in the economic and Monetary Union", International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 530-554. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOTB-07-04-2004-B003Download as .RIS
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