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The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is central to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in Europe. Initiated by Germany in 1995 and adopted in 1997, it regulates the fiscal policies of European Union Member States. Following numerous violations of its deficit reference value, the Pact's Excessive Deficit Procedure was suspended in 2003. The decision to suspend was brought before the European Court of Justice in 2004 and the SGP then underwent painstaking reform in 2005. After a period of economic prosperity and falling budgetary deficits, the global economic crisis put the system under renewed stress. Ruling Europe presents a comprehensive analysis of the political history of the SGP as the cornerstone of EMU. It examines the SGP through different theoretical lenses, offering a fascinating study of European integration and institutional design. One cannot understand the Euro without first understanding the SGP.
Martin Heipertz is Senior Officer to the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg. He has previously worked in the Fiscal Policy Divisions of the European Central Bank and the German Ministry of Finance and has served as Economic Adviser to the EU Special Representative in Kosovo. Amy Verdun is Professor of Political Science, Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam and Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria, Canada. She is the author, editor or co-editor of 14 books including European Responses to Globalization and Financial Market Integration: Perceptions of Economic and Monetary Union in Britain, France and Germany (2000) and EMU After 10 Years: What Have We Learned in Political Science? (2010).