Europe's (Euro) Crisis of Legitimacy
In this lecture, Vivien Schmidt will define democracy and legitimacy, discuss it's split-level nature in the EU and detail the processes of Eurozone governance that led to deteriorating economic performance and the rise of populism.
Europe’s crisis of legitimacy stems from the European Union’s ‘governing by rules and ruling by numbers’ during the Eurozone crisis. Rules-based governance focused on austerity and structural reform played havoc with the Eurozone economy while fuelling political discontent. Subsequent reinterpretation of the rules ‘by stealth’ may have improved performance but it did nothing to change the suboptimal rules or to address increasing Eurosceptic politicisation. Even though by 2015 EU actors began acknowledging their rules reinterpretations and doing more to improve the situation, the damage had been done. Legitimacy remained in question, understood not only in terms of economic performance (output) and political responsiveness (input) but also the quality of the governance procedures (throughput).