The separation of powers in the field of Economic and Monetary (EMU) is ‘blurry’ at best. The challenges in the field of economic policy-making are global – a consequence of the economic and financial globalisation of the last decades. In Europe, the instruments for addressing these challenges are regional (fiscal policy instruments such as regional taxes or regional public investments), national (fiscal policy, incomes policy, and regulatory policy) and European (fiscal policy in the shape of Cohesion funds, regulatory policy, and monetary policy). Effective answers to global economic challenges require a well-balanced policy mix, the authors of which are located – in the EU – at different levels of governance with different control structures as regards their democratic legitimacy and accountability arrangements. The de-facto entanglement of economic policies that results into a mutual interference between each other renders separation of powers arrangements that are well-practiced at the respective level blurry and sometimes ineffective, at the expense of what the separation of powers intends to protect at its core: democratic legitimacy and self-determination.
Courts, representing one of the three branches of separation of powers, cannot escape the EMU dilemma that they have to control the exercise of power at their level of governance but that they are looking at effects that partly escape the competences of the power they are controlling. How courts control the separation of powers in the field of EMU is therefore a showcase for the challenges to the traditional separation of powers presented by economic globalisation and by the asymmetric integration that the EU Member States have chosen for when they were designing the rules that frame economic policy making in the EU Treaties.
Dr. René Repasi is Professor of International and European Union Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam and acts as Deputy Head of the Department of International and European Union Law at Erasmus School of Law. Previously, he was Scientific Coordinator of the European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (EURO-CEFG) of the Universities of Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam since November 2014. Before his appointment at EURO-CEFG in November 2014 he used to work as Research Assistant at the Institute for German and European Corporate and Economic LawOpent extern of Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg at the chair of Professor Peter-Christian Müller-Graff and as lecturer for EU law at the University for Applied Sciences in Fulda (Germany). René Repasi studied law at the Universities of Heidelberg and Montpellier I. During his legal clerkship, he used to work for the European Commission and at the European Court of Justice in the cabinet of Advocate General Prof. Dr. Juliane Kokott. He holds a PhD on 'The Impact of the Supremacy of Union law on the Private International law of the Member States' from the University of Heidelberg.