* Book review:
"The Euro as politics, by Pedro Schwartz" [The
Independent Review, 10(1), Summer 2005, pp. 151-154] download
* Policy making in the European
Monetary Union [Udstikning af de politiske retningslinier i
in H. Overgaard-Nielsen (ed.), Den fælles mønt - et
eksperiment?, Samfundslitteratur and Notat, Allingaabro (Denmark), 1998
- also published in Sweden (1998); available in English as
in the European Monetary Union", ICER Working Paper, 1/98, Torino,
* The birth and failure of the
project [Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, 8, 2/3,
1998, pp. 219-238. ] download
The birth of EMU has been characterized by the emphasis which both its supporters and its antagonists have laid upon its political features and implications. These are so vague, however, that one may wonder about the actual foundations of the original project. The paper argues for a hard-core political design to rule Europe. This challenge had to be met by the "weak" countries in order to maintain their privileges and to withstand pressure from the prospective EMU members. According to the paper, the original project failed, both for reasons beyond EU control (globalization and successful transition in some formerly-communist countries), and because of the compliance of the weak with the Maastricht guidelines.
Failure to launch EMU according to the original hard-core outlay underscore its likely costs in terms of centralization, less accountability, greater amount of policy-making, more layers of government. Economic performance will be affected, and so could the attitude of public opinion towards the process of (top-down) European integration.
* The crisis of Europe's
Federalism (Ambiguities of a harmonized currency union) [The
Review, 4, 4, March 2000, pp. 533-553] download
Contrary to expectations, public opinion is far from enthusiastic about the Euro. Although the perception about the cost of not being a member of the EMU is clear, the costs and benefits of being "in" generate some uneasiness. This paper suggests three sources of apprehension: (1) the weak support for the creation of a harmonized monetary union, (2) the lack of justification for a process of centralization in policy-making, (3) the failure of the original hard-core version of EMU.
Managing the Euro will turn out to be much more difficult than creating it. As a consequence of that, tensions among EMU members could arise easily. If so, the whole EU/EMU project would suffer. Federal authorities may thus be induced to curb rent-seeking and perhaps pursue the public interest with more determination. Hence, one cannot rule out that the newly born Euro will be accompanied by relatively good policy-making, at least in the short run.