EU Fiscal Policy Coordination in Hard Times: Free Riders on the Storm

Research output: Book/ReportBook


What happens to European Union (EU) fiscal policy coordination in hard times? Recent accounts of the EU have portrayed the union as plagued by an austerity regime and rampant moral hazard. Charlotte Rommerskirchen provides an alternative account of economic cooperation in Europe during the Great Recession and the European Debt Crisis. Drawing on Mancur Olson's theory of collective action, this volume combines evidence from statistical analysis and extensive interviews with key players. This book reaches an unexpected conclusion regarding the state of collective action in times of crises: Free riding was not rife. Despite heated accusations, member states crisis policies matched their fiscal room for manoeuvre. The real collective action failure is instead diagnosed in the inability to sanction free riders at the EU level and empowering erratic bond markets to discipline governments.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages240
ISBN (Print)9780198829010
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2019


  • great recession
  • European Union
  • financial crisis
  • bond markets
  • free riding
  • fiscal policy coordination
  • eurozone
  • economic imbalances
  • fiscal space
  • austerity


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