What does signing on to the bailout mean for Greek sovereignty?

For Greece, signing the memorandum of understanding for a bailout was voluntary, but implementing it could threaten the foundation of Greek constitutional sovereignty, suggests a European Union constitutional scholar speaking at York Thursday.

Nikos Skoutaris, a law professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, will make the argument in his talk, “On Sovereign Debt Crisis and Sovereignty: A Constitutional Law Perspective”, March 8 at 12:30pm in 2003 Ignat Kane­ff Building, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Nikos Skoutaris

This is the second last talk in the popular lunch-hour series, Whose (De)Fault is it Anyway?: The EU Crisis in Historical and Comparative Perspective.

Legal theory often differentiates between external and internal sovereignty. The former denotes a state’s power to act independently from an external or higher authority, while the latter is usually understood as the ultimate source of authority within a state. In this talk, Skoutaris will argue that while signing the memorandum of understanding has been nothing more than a voluntary act made by a sovereign state that failed to effectively meet its economic obligations by reference to the markets, still, the ratification and implementation of the memorandum impedes the very foundations of popular sovereignty as described in the Greek constitution.

Skoutaris will focus on the legislative procedures used to ratify the relevant treaties that undermine the Greek rechtsstaat (state of law) and the implications of the Jan. 31 signing of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union.

Skoutaris is a visiting scholar at York’s European Union Centre of Excellence. He is an expert in EU constitutional law, EU external relations, comparative federalism and conflict resolution theory. Before joining the faculty at Maastricht, he  worked at Amnesty International, the Council of the EU, the Academy of European Law and Tilburg University.

On March 21, political scientist George Ross will give the final series lecture, “The Eurozone Crisis: To What Degree are EU Institutions and Power Relations to Blame?”, at 1pm in 305 York Lanes.