The EU Economic Constitution after COVID-19 and ‘Next Generation EU’


The paper examines from a legal perspective the economic policy measures adopted by the institutions of the European Union (EU) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and explores their implications for the constitutional architecture of Economic & Monetary Union (EMU). The article maps the complex set of instruments quickly put in place by EU supranational and intergovernmental institutions since the outburst of the health crisis and focuses on the “Next Generation EU” (NGEU) Recovery Plan proposed in 2020 and rendered operational since 2021. The article examines the consequences of the economic policy measures adopted in response to COVID-19 on the functioning of Europe’s EMU, and argues that NGEU plays a major role in rebalancing EMU and endowing it with a fiscal capacity. As such, the article contrasts the responses to COVID-19 to those the EU had taken to address the euro-crisis and reflects on the long term consequences for the future of the EU.