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01.5 Program for the Study of Germany and Europe

Economic Policy Coordination in EMU: Institutional and Political Requirements

2001 Stefan Collignon


This paper looks at the macroeconomic performance of EMU since it started in 1999. It argues that Euroland has benefited from a benign environment, appropriate monetary policy and structural reforms. However, there is no institution clearly in charge of formulating coherent economic policies in Euroland and this is reflected in the euro's external value. The paper then evaluates the need for policy coordination, distinguishing between weak and strong forms of coordination failure. It shows that intergovernmental coordination may be an answer to the latter, pareto-improving multiple equilibria. However, overcoming weak coordination failure requires further policy delegation to the EU-level, particularly for the definition of an aggregate fiscal policy stance. Yet, this is only possible if the democratic deficit resulting from intergovernmental cooperation is closed by a European-wide policy consensus. To achieve this should be the objective of a European constitution.