1st Edition

Constitutional Law and the EU Balanced Budget Principle

By Simina Tănăsescu, Eric Oliva Copyright 2022
    276 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    276 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Exploring the balanced budget rule as an economic standard and as a legal principle, this book explains the context and content of the balanced budget rule and presents a critical appraisal of its impact on legal systems, political institutions and social values, and particularly an evaluation of its constitutionalization in the European and national legal systems.

    Examining a range of perspectives on the balanced budget rule as a legal principle, a series of chapters investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of the balanced budget rule. The book considers the impact this may have on the separation of powers within the state, on democratic decision-making, on the European social model and on the protection of fundamental social rights within the European Union. It suggests that this impact goes beyond the ethical issue of the public debt considered as a burden placed on future generations, and beyond injunctions imposed by international financial institutions on national public finances. The transfiguration of fiscal discipline from an economic requirement into a legal rule demanding a balanced budget embodies a challenge to the political nature of the budgetary process while creating the flexibility needed in order to further fiscal federalism within the European Union.

    This book argues that the balanced budget rule is nothing more than it has always been: an instrument for devising public policies in a rational manner, a tool for conceiving qualitative choices regarding the well-being of citizens.

    Introduction - Balanced budget rule and/in the Law

    Eric Oliva, Elena-Simina Tanasescu


    Part I: Balanced Budget as Normative and Economic Standard

    Chapter 1: Balanced budget as a substantive legal rule

      • Gilbert Orsoni

    Chapter 2: On the economic concept of a balanced budget

      • Thomas Stauffer

    Part II: Balanced Budget as Constitutional Rule

    Chapter 3: The German Debt Brake

      • Ralph Schenke

    Chapter 4: The Constitutional stakes of the "golden rule"

      • Marc Verdussen

    Part III: Balanced Budget and Separation of Powers

    Chapter 5: Balanced budget rule and representative democracy

      • Giulia Aravatinou Leonidi

    Chapter 6: The Financial Local Autonomy – A Tale of Balanced Budgets and Vertical Separation of Financial Power

      • Simona Gherghina

    Chapter 7: Balanced budget rule and the transversality of agencies

      • Bogdan Iancu

    Part IV: Balanced Budget, Governance and Fundamental Rights

    Chapter 8: Balanced budget rule and social rights

      • George Katrougalos, Daphne Akoumaniaki

    Chapter 9: The organizational foundations the IMF’s doctrinal turn on fiscal policy after the Great Recession

      • Cornel Ban

    Final remarks - Balanced Budgets: the Vanity of a Principle

    Michel Bouvier


    Elena-Simina Tănăsescu is Professor of Law at the University of Bucharest, Romania.

    Eric Oliva is Professor of Public Finance at Aix-Marseille Université, France.