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    Europe and constituent powers: ruptures with the Neoliberal consensus?

    Tzanakopoulou, Maria (2019) Europe and constituent powers: ruptures with the Neoliberal consensus? In: Nanopoulos, E. and Vergis, F. (eds.) The Crisis Behind the Eurocrisis: The Eurocrisis as a Multidimensional Systemic Crisis of the EU. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108598859.

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    Abstract

    The financial crisis has precipitated constitutional transformations and institutional shifts of power equilibrium both within and beyond domestic borders. Within Member States of the EU, the strengthening of the executive power has almost become a leitmotif as the safeguarding of austerity under the pretence of necessity and at the expense of democracy informs parliamentary routine. At the same time, austerity measures imposed by the Union render domestic constitutional principles of social justice virtually void of content. Domestic judiciaries, favouring as they do an economic-oriented reading of constitutional provisions and endorsing precarious interpretations of the ‘national interest’ in light of the need to shield the economy against the crisis, align themselves with dominant internal and external political imperatives. A parallel shift away from socio-economic welfare in Member States’ political agendas can be read as both a trigger and a consequence of the institutional mutations. For all their importance, the above developments tell us only one part of the constitutional story of the crisis. Of no less constitutional relevance is the actual embedment of austerity in societies: the perception of austerity as necessary or, worse even, as normal. This embedment, which has long been encoded in the very gene of the Union, safeguards the dominance of austerity and neoliberalism to the same extent as does, for example, the introduction of budgetary constraints in domestic constitutional documents. It is therefore important that constitutional discourse does not limit itself to a defence of pre-crisis constitutional business as usual but rather expands to a wholesale challenge of the structures, logic, and rationale behind the crisis and austerity. To that effect, one needs to examine the constitutional tendencies, structural or not, of the EU, as much as those of the Union’s individual Member States.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Law
    Depositing User: Maria Tzanakopoulou
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2019 14:47
    Last Modified: 02 Jan 2020 00:23
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/29374

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