Comparative public law in Europe
A set of political initiatives and the production of new legal documents by European institutions show that a re-organisation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) after the financial and budgetary crisis appears underway. However, uncertainty remains on the relation between economic and monetary policies, on the one hand, and the constitutional and legal bases, on the other hand. This tension is visible in the Franco-German relations and the way each country expresses legally its vision of the economic and monetary policies. The words used are different: economic constitution in Germany, economic government or governance in France. There is a considerable amount of research done on each national model (France and Germany) and there are specific comparative analyses. However, one must note an absolute deficiency of common research on these subjects in the field of economic public law, field of research that is of growing interest in the public debates.
The Franco-German research project AVENIR UEM aims at creating a platform of scientific, independent exchange, made up of French and German researchers, to contribute to the debate on the future of EMU. We want to accompany the reform process of the EMU, initially at a modest level, by setting up a thorough scientific co-operation.
The project organised a first workshop in Paris, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and upon invitation of Thomas Perroud (Paris 2), from 30 March to 1 April 2017. A mixed Franco-German team explored the field. Jan-Henrik Klement (Saarbrücken) gave important insights into the relationship between lawyers’ and economists’ approaches and the perspectives for transdisciplinary co-operation. Aurore Gaillet (Toulouse) and Oliver Lepsius (Bayreuth) analysed the idea of an economic constitution from a historical, theoretical and comparative viewpoint. The influence of economic theories on the EMU was presented by Claire Monguachon (Nanterre) and Fabian Amtenbrink (Rotterdam). An apparently important concept in France is the idea of economic government which was scrutinised by Nicolas Leron (SciencesPo) and Grégory Kalflèche (Toulouse). Vincent Auxilloux (Paris) exposed the approach of France Stratégie, and Matthias Ruffert (Berlin) sketched some points of orientation of the present and future economic constitution of Europe. Francesco Martucci (Paris 2) and Christoph Ohler (Jena) focused their contributions on an institution which is at the heart of EMU: The European Central Bank. Is it a copy of the former Bundesbank or an institutional compromise between France and Germany? Finally Jérome Porta (Tours) and Alexander Guembel (Toulouse/TSE) considered particular fields of economic governance: The repercussions on labour and social security on the one hand and the banking sector on the other hand.
The political controversies that became apparent during the French presidential campaign illustrate the urgent need to have a sound academic debate on the future of the Economic and Monetary Union from a Franco-German perspective. The initiators hope to bring forward such discussion by means of this new project.
Professor Matthias Ruffert,
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin