The EU’s response to the financial and economic crisis has been characterised by the prominent role of the European Council. Moreover, a number of anti-crisis instruments have been adopted outside the EU framework in order to overcome political and legal hurdles and to speed up negotiations.
The EP has played a very limited role in the development of agreements adopted outside the EU framework, but it does have some involvement in the implementation of these instruments, although usually merely through a right to being informed.
This minimal participation of the EP in anti-crisis decision-making is seen as a major shortcoming in the democratic legitimacy of European economic governance. While inter-parliamentary cooperation between the EP and national parliaments is regarded as a necessary tool in a multi-governance system, the EP is considered to be the most appropriate body to scrutinise decision-making at EU level.
Proposals aimed at ensuring greater involvement of the EP in economic-governance decisions include the creation of a new EP committee responsible for euro-area matters. A greater link between the EP election campaign and the policies of the Commission is also seen as a means to increase legitimacy.