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European Citizenship Rights and European Fiscal Politics After the Crisis

  • Scott L. Greer and Holly Jarman

The economic effects of the financial crisis in the eurozone have been much studied, but the impact of political and institutional changes made amidst crisis conditions have been less studied. This article examines the changes in the EU since 2008 through the lens of T.H. Marshall’s concept of citizenship, gauging the effects of different changes in the EU polity on the citizenship rights of individuals. The key changes are in fiscal governance, which includes a new treaty as well as substantial legislation changing the balance of powers within and competencies of the EU institutions, the European Central Bank’s role and the Troika arrangements for countries in crisis. We find that while the EU’s contribution to civil citizenship in Europe is relatively intact, the development of its fiscal governance is bringing serious negative consequences for political and social citizenship in all member states. The EU is adopting policies that entrust more power to less democratically accountable institutions with the objective of fiscal rigour rather than social citizenship.

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Scott L. Greer is Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Contact email:

Holly Jarman is Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Contact email:

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