In recent years, the European Union (EU) and its Member States have tried to offer credible responses to the financial and economic crisis often outside the EU legal order and with a significant impact on the constitutional framework and on the institutional balance of the Union itself. Many of these reforms concern the Commission, which has been entrusted with new tasks mainly related to the provision of financial assistance to Member States experiencing major economic difficulties, the overview of national budgetary decisions and, to a lesser extent, actions to foster economic growth. In some areas – like the new rules on fiscal discipline – the Commission has gained strong powers vis-à-vis the Member States. The solutions found raise many legal concerns and may alter long-standing balances between institutions. Furthermore, they are clearly inspired by intergovernmentalism and principally conceived within intergovernmental structures like the European Council. In this context, the Commission still constitutes the last reliable driving force towards a genuine European project and it is called to play an extremely delicate role to safeguard the common interest of EU and of the Eurozone.
Paper prepared within the framework of the IAI project "The Political Future of the Union".
1. Rescue packages and crisis resolution mechanisms
2. The European Semester
3. Strengthened fiscal discipline
4. Action to foster economic growth