A wide-ranging overhaul of the macroeconomic and fiscal surveillance framework in the EMU and the EU is one of the most durable legacy of the economic and financial crisis that has been hitting Europe since the second half of 2008. The establishment of a banking union covering at least the Eurozone member States is expected to complete the institutional response to the deficiencies in the original design of the EMU made apparent by the crisis. In spite of such sweeping changes, economists seem generally to be dissatisfied with the choices made by European authorities, in part because of their eventual insufficiency, in part because of their alleged inappropriateness. Actually, doubts about the reforms are rooted in an often profound disagreement on the diagnosis to be given of the European crisis itself, which – albeit of financial nature at the onset – has in its developments interweaved with some member States’ fiscal difficulties or macroeconomic imbalances (sometimes long-term ones). Our aim in the paper is thus, firstly, to review the debate among economists on the causes of the partly financial, partly sovereign debt turmoil in recent years and on its relationships with potential flaws in the design of the Eurozone. Secondly, we intend to discuss a few proposals for reform that deviate, sometimes even markedly, from the ways at present being preferred in European policy circles. We will conclude that the path towards a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union can be traced differently than currently suggested.
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