The Future of the Eurozone: Towards a European Benchmark*




Benchmark, European Economic Integration, European Sovereign Debt Crisis, Eurozone, Institutional Variety


The European sovereign debt crisis has demonstrated the need for a rethinking of the European Integration Project. The strong variety between member countries prevented the Eurozone to become a fiscal and political union and the asymmetric architecture of the European Monetary Union (EMU) revealed different weaknesses. The outbreak of the Covid-19 emergency may represent a turning point for the EU and makes even more evident that the future of the Eurozone will depend also on the ability of member countries to make their institutional frameworks coexist. Helping member countries to achieve sustainable and stable outcomes, although in idiosyncratic ways, is the task of the European benchmark. It is a framework, inspired by European treaties, that aims to identify inefficiencies in terms of market, state and social failures and negative externalities inside economic, social, and political institutions. This benchmark represents a new tool for a correct evaluation of the economic, social, and political performance of the European member countries.



* A non peer-reviewed version of this article was published as TIGER Working Paper Series No. 143, Warsaw, February 2021).


Cite this paper:

Casagrande, Sara; & Dallago, Bruno (2022). "The Future of the Eurozone: Towards a European Benchmark" Journal of World Economy: Transformations & Transitions (JOWETT) 1(03):14. DOI:


Metrics Loading ...


Albo, G. (2005). Contesting the ‘New Capitalism’. Centre for Civil Society Research Report, No. 39. Volume 2. York University, Department of Political Science. Available at:

Alesina, A., G. Tabellini, and F. Trebbi (2017). Is Europe an optimal political area? Technical report, CESifo Working Paper, No. 6469, Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo), Munich. DOI 10.3386/w23325. Available at:

Beck, H. and A. Prinz (2012). The trilemma of a monetary union: Another impossible trinity. Intereconomics 47(1), 39-43. DOI:

Blaschke, S. (2000). Union density and European integration: diverging convergence. European Journal of Industrial Relations 6(2), 217-237. DOI:

Calmfors, L. and J. Driffill (1988). Bargaining structure, corporatism and macroeconomic performance. Economic Policy 3(6), 13-47. DOI:

Carruthers, B. G. and S. L. Babb (2000). Economy/Society: Markets, Meanings, and Social Structure. Thousand Oaks (CA): Pine Forge Press. ISBN 0761986855. Available at:

Cernat, L. (2006). Europeanization, varieties of capitalism and economic performance in Central and Eastern Europe. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-50168-3. DOI: 10.1057/9780230501683

Crespy, A. and G. Menz (2015). Commission Entrepreneurship and the Debasing of Social Europe Before and After the Eurocrisis. Journal of Common Market Studies 53(4), 753-768. DOI:

D’Erman, V., J. Haas, D. F. Schulz, and A. Verdun (2019). Measuring Economic Reform Recommendations under the European Semester: ‘One Size Fits All’ or Tailoring to Member States? Journal of Contemporary European Research 15(2), 194-211. Available at:

Dan, H. (2014). The euro zone–between fiscal heterogeneity and monetary unity. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 43, 68-84. Available at:

De Grauwe, P. (2013). Design Failures in the Eurozone: Can they be fixed? LEQS Paper, No. 57. DOI:

De Ville, F. and M. Vermeiren (2016). Rising Powers and Economic Crisis in the Euro Area. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 9781137514394. DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-51440-0

Dyson, K. (2000). The Politics of the Euro-Zone: Stability or Breakdown? Oxford: Oxford University Press. Print ISBN-13: 9780199241651. DOI:10.1093/0199241651.001.0001

Dyson, K., and I. Maes (2016). Architects of the Euro: Intellectuals in the Making of European Monetary Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Print ISBN-13: 9780198735915. DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735915.001.0001

Follesdal, A., and S. Hix (2006). Why there is a democratic deficit in the EU: A response to Majone and Moravcsik. Journal of Common Market Studies, 44(3), 533-562. DOI:

Frankel, J. A. and A. K. Rose (1998). The endogeneity of the optimum currency area criteria. The Economic Journal 108(449), 1009-1025. DOI:

Grootaert, C. (1998). Social capital: the missing link? Social Capital Initiative. Working Paper No. 3. Available at:

Gubin, O. I., M. M. Young, G. A. Osipov, and N. Kostioutchenko (1993). Social Control Versus Social Stability: A Conceptualization of Contradictory Goals and Hybrid Outcomes on Ethnic Relations, Consumer Satisfaction, and Entrepreneurship in the Former USSR. Advances in Consumer Research 20, 89-96. Available at:

Hall, P. A. (2018). Varieties of capitalism in light of the euro crisis. Journal of European Public Policy 25(1), 7-30. DOI:

Hall, P. A. and D. Soskice (2001). Varieties of Capitalism. The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Print ISBN-13: 9780199247752. DOI:10.1093/0199247757.001.0001

Hancké, B. (2012). Worlds apart? Labour Unions, Wages and Monetary Integration in Continental Europe. IHS Political Science Series, No.128. Available at:

Hassel, A. (2014). Adjustments in the Eurozone: Varieties of Capitalism and the Crisis in Southern Europe. LEQS Paper, No.76. Available at:

Heyes, J., P. Lewis, and I. Clark (2012). Varieties of capitalism, neoliberalism and the economic crisis of 2008–?. Industrial Relations Journal, 43(3), 222-241. Available at:

Iversen, T. and D. Soskice (2013). A structural-institutional explanation of the eurozone crisis. Unpublished manuscript. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University, Department of Government. Available at:

Kaldor, N. (1980). Further essays on applied economics. In Collected Economic Essays of Nicholas Kaldor, Vol.6, Ch.12, pp. 187-220. London: Wiley.

Maes, I. (2002). Economic Thought and the Making of European Monetary Union. Cheltenham (UK): Edward Elgar Publishing.

Mandl, U., A. Dierx, and F. Ilzkovitz (2008). The efficiency and effectiveness of public spending. Economic Papers. European Commission, Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, Brussels, No. 301. ISBN 9789279082269. Available at:

Marsh, D. (2009). The euro: the politics of the new global currency. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press. ISBN: 9780300164008. Available at:

McKinnon, R. (1963). Optimum currency areas. The American Economic Review, 53(4), 717-725. Available at:

Midgley, J. (1995). Social development: The developmental perspective in social welfare. Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage. ISBN 0803977735. Available at:,%20J.%20(1995).%20Social%20development:%20The%20developmental%20perspective%20in%20social%20welfare.%20Thousand%20Oaks%20(CA):%20Sage.&f=false

Mundell, R. (1961). A theory of optimum currency areas. The American Economic Review, 51(4), 657-665. Available at:

Neck, R. and J.-E. Sturm (2008). (Eds.) Sustainability of public debt. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262140980. Available at:

Nölke, A. (2016). Economic causes of the Eurozone crisis: the analytical contribution of Comparative Capitalism. Socio-Economic Review 14(1), 141-161. DOI:

Padoa-Schioppa, T. (1987). Efficiency, stability, and equity: a strategy for the evolution of the economic system of the European community: a report. New York: Oxford University Press.

Putnam, R. D. (1993). The prosperous community-social capital and public life. American Prospect 13, 35-42. Available at:

Rodrik, D. (2007). One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth. Princeton: Princeton University Press. DOI:

Scharpf, F. W. (2011). Monetary union, fiscal crisis and the pre-emption of democracy. Zeitschrift für Staats- und Europawissenschaften (ZSE)/Journal for Comparative Government and European Policy 9(2), 163-198. Available at:

Schönfelder, N. and H. Wagner (2019). Institutional convergence in Europe. Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal 13(3), 1-23. DOI:

Social Protection Committee and the European Commission Services (2015). Social Protection Systems in the EU: Financing Arrangements and the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Resource Allocation. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at:

Streeck, W. (1997). German capitalism: Does it exist? Can it survive? In C. Crouch and W. Streeck (Eds.), Political Economy of Modern Capitalism: Mapping Convergence and Diversity, pp. 33-54. London: Sage.

Streeck, W. (2010). E pluribus unum? Varieties and commonalities of capitalism. MPIfG Discussion Paper 10/ 12. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne. Available at:

Syrquin, M. (1988). Patterns of structural change. In H. Chenery and T. N. Srinivasan (Eds.), Handbook of Development Economics, Vol.1, Ch.7, pp.203-273. Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN: 9780444703378. Available at:

Thirion, G. (2017). European Fiscal Union: Economic rationale and design challenges. CEPS Working Document, No.1. Available at:

Truger, A. (2015). Implementing the Golden Rule for Public Investment in Europe: Safeguarding Public Investment and Supporting the Recovery. WWWforEurope Policy Paper, No.22. Available at:

Vane, H. R. and C. Mulhearn (2006). Interview with Robert A. Mundell. Journal of Economic Perspectives 20(4), 89-110. DOI: 10.1257/jep.20.4.89

Willett, T. D., O. Permpoon, and C. Wihlborg (2010). Endogenous OCA analysis and the early euro experience. The World Economy 33(7), 851-872. DOI:

Windolf, P. (1989). Productivity coalitions and the future of European corporatism. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society 28(1), 1-20. DOI:

Zeitlin, J., and B. Vanhercke (2017). Socializing the European Semester: EU social and economic policy coordination in crisis and beyond. Journal of European Public Policy 25(2), 149–174. DOI:

Zuleeg, F. and J. D. Schneider (2015). What role for social investment in the new economic governance of the Eurozone? EPC Policy Brief, 10 November 2015. Available at: