Federal State-building, asymmetric federalism and European integration: the case of the Eurozone

PhD Thesis

Violi, F. 2020. Federal State-building, asymmetric federalism and European integration: the case of the Eurozone . PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Law, Policing and Social Sciences
AuthorsVioli, F.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctorate of Philosophy

This thesis aims at answering the following questions: To what extent does the Eurozone represent a federal political system; to what extent does the EU’s monetary integration through the Eurozone represent a process of federal state-building; and to what extent can the Eurozone represent a case of asymmetric federalism?

In this thesis, federalism is described as a process of state-building, and more precisely, the theory of replicating the features of states, in particular federal states, (and thus, of, federal state-building), to include the presence of a common market, foreign policy, trade policy, and monetary policy. The Eurozone was selected as a case study, as it represents the most integrated case of federal state-building; and the economic and monetary policies as the policy areas of the Union most echoing the traditional elements of states, although the Eurozone it is not itself a state. The thesis highlights the process of monetary integration and how this has been a de facto attempt, sometimes in a more Europeanised fashion, sometimes with just an intergovernmental outcome, to tackle the sovereign debt crisis in a way which vindicates the federalist arguments.

In the conclusions I argue that while the specific case of the Eurozone does not represent a federal political system per se, it remains the most important example of federal state-building at the supranational level. Additionally, I argue that the presence of many typical elements of federal states are indeed a confirmation that the process of European integration is, above all, one of federal state-building, with all its complexities and specificities.

KeywordsEurozone; Federal political system; Asymmetric federalism ; European integration
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Publication process dates
Deposited11 Aug 2021
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