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Tectonic shifts in the EU’s institutional system

The EU’s current fiscal and economic response to COVID-19 contains several different elements, including the agreement on a € 750 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility. Criticised by some as “too little too late” and hailed by others as a “Hamiltonian moment”, this paper uses three different institutional lenses to look at the institutional shifts that this response entails. The measures affect the inter-institutional balance by strengthening both the European Commission and the national governments in the Council while the European Parliament as well as national parliaments have been mostly side-lined. In addition, the response stops further Euro area integration and pushes back differentiated integration. All this amounts to tectonic changes which were unconceivable a year ago.