How the European Union responded to Populism and its Implications for Public Sector Reforms

Ongaro, Edoardo; Di Mascio, Fabrizio and Natalini, Alessandro (2022). How the European Union responded to Populism and its Implications for Public Sector Reforms. Global Public Policy and Governance (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43508-022-00034-1

Abstract

A major shift occurred in the European Union (EU) approach to tackle the apparently unstoppable rise of populist parties across European countries and to preserve the integrity of the EU polity. EU economic governance seems to have shifted from a logic of conditionality to a logic of solidarity underpinned by a pan-European strategic view allowing EU governance to support and enable public sector reforms at the national level. By investigating the case of Italy as an EU member state, we find that the European governance shift occurring in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic was largely mediated by the mutating character of Italian populism. A logic of conditionality which was largely centered around EU governance was largely shifted to a logic of solidarity taking into account political conditions in the member countries.

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