The emergency economic measures put in place in Greece, Ireland and Cyprus in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis have generated long-lasting political damage for the image of the EU, according to a pair of leading EU commentators.
Writing in an article on the Euractiv site, Yves Bertoncini and Valentin Kreilinger from the Belgium think tank, the ‘Notre Europe-Jacques Delors Institute’ say that the so-called ‘Troika’ – the partnership between the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central bank – are a striking illustration of the democratic deficit for which the EU is often criticised.
“The emergence of this new body must lead not only to a better assessment of the real nature and scope of the EU powers regarding its member states,” write the authors, “but also to identify more clearly the way EU decisions are made and the “input legitimacy” they are based on.”
One positive result of the Eurozone crisis has been the unprecedented amount of debate about the future of Europe that it has generated, they continue. However, the EU has emerged “less effective and also less popular” they add.
These debates have also revealed strong political divides, both within and between countries, about the way forward. These divisions need to be analysed, explained and made more transparent if Europe is to successfully reform itself, they say.