Strengthening the European Commission’s budgetary and economic surveillance capacity since Greece and the euro area crisis: a study of five Directorates-General

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Series Details Vol.23, No.1, January 2016, p101-118
Publication Date January 2016
ISSN 1350-1763
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Has the executive role of the European Commission changed since the euro area crisis? Intergovernmentalists point to the increased role of the member states and the Council at the expense of the Commission and other supranational institutions. This article examines how the Commission has responded to the expansion of fiscal and economic rules such as the regulations that strengthen the EU's statistical competence and the Six-Pack and Two-Pack. Based on interviews conducted with key staff, we find that these rules have created significant co-ordination, information and analytical demands on the Commission. The latter has enhanced its horizontal and vertical co-ordination efforts, prioritized staff for the Directorate-Generals conducting surveillance activities, added DGs to these efforts, and reorganized their organizational structures to promote a deeper understanding of the member states’ fiscal and economic policies. Using a principal–agent, approach this article explains how the Commission has increased its role in European integration process.

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