Shadowboxing in silence: balancing with European Semester guidelines in national parliamentary debates on economic policies

Hanna Rautajoki, Laia Pi Ferrer

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Abstract

This article examines national responses to the introduction of a strong policy coordination tool by the European Commission: the European Semester. The tool was introduced in 2012 in reaction to the economic crisis to prevent unsustainable policy choices within EMU. It sets annual country-specific recommendations for economic policies, which the Member States are expected to implement when drafting national budgets. We study the uptake of the policy tool in three disparate Member States: Finland, Spain and France in 2013. The article explores how national parliaments tackle the challenge imposed on national sovereignty by the powerful tool. We investigate the discursive practices and justifications evinced by national politicians on policy proposal in the parliamentary debate on annual state budget. Politicians balance between contrastive normative frameworks by operating on evasive discursive formulations and performative silences, which point to a deafened legitimation work and double commitment within the multilevel polity of the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-371
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • discursive institutionalism, Europeanization, legitimation work, national sovereignty, parliamentary debate

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

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