Over the last fifteen years Europe has experienced multiple events which were understood, narrated, and responded to as crises. The EU has sought to direct and coordinate the attempts to resolve these problems, or at least mitigate their worst effects. In this anthology, four scholars examine the effectiveness and legitimacy of the EU’s evolving system of crisis management.
Vivien A. Schmidt (Boston University) compares the EU’s response to the global financial crisis with its attempts to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, which in her view have been more effective. Will the EU continue in the same post-pandemic mode, or return to the status quo?
Jonathan White (London School of Economics and Political Science) notes that the EU’s response to urgent threats has often involved emergency measures adopted without much democratic input or a strong legal basis. He argues that the way to resolve these problems is to simplify and democratize the EU’s executive structures.
Christian Kreuder-Sonnen (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena) also notes the democratic and legal costs of the EU’s mode of crisis management. The risk of unchecked executive power should be addressed, he argues, by adopting a constitution to regulate exercise of power in such emergencies.
Against the background of these events Astrid Séville (Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich) investigates the categories ‘emergency’ and ‘crisis’, and how politicians narrate the events described. She notes that these exceptional events have become almost routine, and suggests that we need a politics of ‘coolness’ to prevent a backlash against crisis measures.
The purpose of this volume is to draw out lessons from the EU’s emergency politics, and to provide ideas on how future crises can be managed effectively and democratically. The anthology is edited by Anna Wetter Ryde, senior researcher at SIEPS.