C. Bastasin, M. Messori – Isolation or convergence: Italy on its way to the European Council Meeting of July 2018
The reform of the European Union and of the euro area has been at the center of the European leaders’ reflections ever since the most critical phases of the 2009-2010 crisis. At the time of the first rescue of Greece (spring 2010), the European Commission and a Task-Force established ad hoc and headed by President of the European Council Hermann Van Rompuy advanced large-scale proposals that led to the adoption of the European Semester, to the outline of the new Stability and Growth Pact, which focused on strengthening the public debt rule, and to the first examination of macroeconomic imbalances. These initiatives then resulted in European directives and regulations, such as those contained in the Six Pack and the Two Pack, as well as in the international treaty known as the Fiscal Compact (March 2012). Simultaneously, the desire to avoid a new “Greece-case,” that is, the loss of control of national public accounts and an ineffective European reaction, led to the construction of temporary assistance mechanisms for euro-area countries (e.g. the EFSF) and resulted in the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism, which was later redefined by means of an international treaty concurrent with that of the Fiscal Compact.