The Eurozone crisis corroborated the warnings of economists that weak economic policy coordination and loose fiscal oversight would be insufficient to stabilize the monetary union. To prevent a recurrence of the crisis, economists, political actors and the “Blueprint” of the European Commission are asking for the construction of a deep and genuine economic and monetary union with reinforced governance architecture – beyond the recently adopted mechanisms. Many models of a fiscal union have been proposed and discussed. What is missing are not ideas and economic analysis, but the political consensus among member states’ governments for a specific integration path. Therefore, this political science project analyses the politics of economic and fiscal integration, that is, the conflict structure among member states. To this end, the project aim to study the preferences of member states’ governments’ for different models of a fiscal union.

The theoretical framework builds on the comparative political economy literature and liberal intergovernmentalism and argues that domestic economic, fiscal and political factors are the main determinants of member states’ preferences. To empirically study the extent to which governments’ preferences are shaped by these factors, there will be conducted 165 semi-structured interviews with decision makers in all member states. The interview data will be analysed with a mixed-method strategy – including quantitative analysis as well as case studies. The findings of the project will provide guidance for the successful implementation of a feasible reform of the governance architecture of the EU to the effective stabilisation of the economy. In addition to the political feasibility analysis, the project aim to study the legal context of potential integration scenarios.

Contact: Jonas Tallberg, Lisa M. Dellmuth and Göran von Sydow.