How do governments in Europe justify their budgets towards the national parliament? Are their socioeconomic policies shaped more by electoral pressures or by their commitments towards the European Union?
In Between Voters and Eurocrats, Johannes Karremans presents a framework and methodology for studying these questions. Based on theories of democratic legitimacy, he argues that if governments temporarily pursue unpopular policies with the justification that they need to be fiscally responsible, in subsequent years they need to become more responsive again to domestic socioeconomic demands in order to maintain the trust of citizens.
The recent crises faced by European countries have repeatedly evoked the impression that European economic governance constrains governments’ ability to be responsive to domestic demands. Today, especially in the European Union, maintaining financial sustainability of the state has become tied to international obligations. Karremans raises the concern that financial considerations are more important than people’s demands and investigates whether this proposition is true through comparative study focussing on five countries – Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain – and explores how governments maintain a balance between institutional responsibility and democratic responsiveness.
Cite this book
Karremans, J. (2024) Between Voters and Eurocrats. How Do Governments Justify their Budgets?. Oxford University Press.