The informal Eurogroup, comprising the finance ministers of the euro area, plays a central role in the economic governance set-up of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The discussions within the group influence decision-making at the European and national level in a subtle way. Informal debates within the Eurogroup often stabilise delicate political situations and inter-institutional conflicts. Moreover, it is mainly through the group's ongoing debates about appropriate policy options that the rules and procedures of economic governance evolve over time. There is also clear evidence that ministers act as advocates of common Eurogroup positions in the domestic process of decision-making and political debate. Despite the important role of the Eurogroup for the coordination of economic policies in the euro area, the literature on the EMU has widely ignored the group as an independent source of decision-making authority.
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