By Antoine Vauchez (auth.)
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The European polis does indeed exist, but it has grown up under the auspices of institutions that are rarely given the leading roles: a court of justice, an administration, a central bank and regulatory agencies. It is in the orbit of these institutions, habitually described as “non-majoritarian”—because they exist outside of the circuits of electoral legitimacy—that a European government has made a space for itself. The European way of political legitimacy This entanglement between “independence” and “European government” may come as a surprise.
The success story lies in the fact that “independence” has been a magnet, attracting numerous reform projects and elites that were not necessarily paneuropean, but found in Europe a powerful platform to serve their aims. No plot here, whether neoliberal, ordoliberal, monetarist or other, no invisible college or cabal. On the contrary, what is striking is the plasticity of this emerging political model, capable of rallying a broad range of projects and ideologies under its umbrella. ) have provided over time new raisons d’être for a strong movement to centralize powers (judicial, administrative and monetary) in the hands of a triadic form of European government.
More than 40 such authorities and agencies exist today. 18 A new “independent”: the European Central Bank Lastly and most importantly, the monetarist currents that were widespread among European central bankers from the 1980s found in the EU a haven propitious to the development of their projects. The central bankers in the Member States espoused the projects pushed by the European Commission, which aimed to build on the liberalization of capital movements in the wake of the Single European Act.