IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Coordination in place of integration? Economic governance in a non-federal EU


  • Renaud Thillaye


The most commonly held opinion about the eurozone crisis is that it should lead to greater EU integration. Yet despite all the talk about fundamental design flaws and the need for a federal ‘leap forward’, EU governments and citizens are not ready to pool further sovereignty and resources as a way to strengthen the common currency and to improve the EU’s delivering capacity. Blueprints and roadmaps for completing the Economic and Monetary Union have been dealt with contempt by national leaders. As a result, more attention ought to be focused on how the imbalances threatening the EU’s cohesion and stability could be addressed within the existing boundaries of EU treaties. Improving the current set-up of policy coordination should be the priority of the next few years. This policy paper suggests ways to improve the institutions and scope of policy coordination in the EU. In terms of substance, the experience accumulated before and after the crisis has shown that a narrow approach in terms of fiscal and macroeconomic discipline is not enough. If EU member states do not want markets to impose adjustments in their own terms, they must embrace a broader approach to convergence and improve the conditions in which they adjust to each other. Wage and social developments should be included in EU supervision frameworks. As regards institutions, more reflection should be devoted to the innovations that would increase the impact of mutual commitments. This paper analyses the increasing contractual approach to EU governance, and argues that a stronger sense of reciprocity could arise from ad hoc cooperations on a smaller scale for the euro area and voluntary countries. One should nevertheless be clear about the limits of what coordination can achieve. Greater ambition in terms of EU cohesion and democratic legitimacy would require a more substantial rethink of EU policy-making in the long term.

Suggested Citation

  • Renaud Thillaye, 2013. "Coordination in place of integration? Economic governance in a non-federal EU," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 32, WWWforEurope.
  • Handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2013:m:7:d:0:i:32

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: none


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:feu:wfedel:y:2016:m:2:d:0:i:11 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:wfo:wstudy:58791 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ludek Kouba & Michal Madr & Danuse Nerudova & Petr Rozmahel, 2016. "Policy Autonomy, Coordination or Harmonization in the Persistently Heterogeneous European Union?," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 1, pages 53-71, March.
    4. repec:feu:wfedel:y:2016:m:2:d:0:i:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Karl Aiginger, 2016. "New Dynamics for Europe: Reaping the Benefits of Socio-ecological Transition. Synthesis Report Part I," WWWforEurope Deliverables series 11, WWWforEurope.
    6. repec:wfo:wstudy:58136 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    EU integration; European economic policy; European governance; European Monetary Union; good governance; multi-level governance; policy options; political economy of policy reform;

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2013:m:7:d:0:i:32. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.