The EU's New Economic Governance Framework and Budgetary Decision-Making in the Member States: Boon or Bane for Throughput Legitimacy?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCsehi, R. & Schulz, D.F. (2021) The EU's New Economic Governance Framework and Budgetary Decision-Making in the Member States: Boon or Bane for Throughput Legitimacy? Journal of Common Market Studies. 2021, 60 (1), 118-135. 10.1111/jcms.13269
The euro crisis has sparked changes in the EU’s economic governance framework and a crisis of legitimacy across the union. While the institutional repercussions of the crisis have been studied before, the democratic impact at the national level has received much less attention. This paper aims to fill this gap, focusing on the procedural changes that the EU’s new economic governance (NEG) framework has brought to national budgetary decision-making. Building upon the Varieties of Democracy framework, the paper adds empirical nuance and conceptual clarity to the notion of ‘throughput legitimacy’ and its components: openness, inclusiveness, transparency and accountability. Detailed case studies of post-crisis Austria, Italy and Portugal show that the NEG improved access to national budgetary decision-making and enhanced executive scrutiny, while excessive complexity remains the Achilles’ heel of EU fiscal rules. We submit that these procedural changes are too meaningful to be overlooked in post-crisis debates about EU democracy.