All in all, this Commentary finds that the Fiscal Compact signed on 2 March 2012 by all member states of the EU (except the UK and the Czech Republic) may be long on good intentions but is rather short on substance. The main danger is that that it has been oversold and in no way constitutes a first step towards fiscal or political union.
It is likely that the ratification process (e.g. the referendum in Ireland) and then the implementation process in some difficult countries (e.g. France) will receive a lot of attention and create a distorted impression of the importance of the Fiscal Compact. Once the initial excitement is over, however and national fiscal rules have been put in place, this Treaty will quietly be forgotten.
Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.