The Normalisation of Conditionality in EU Internal Governance: What Implications for Solidarity?

The EU had long confined the use of conditionality to the external action, whereas the reliance on such policy tool in EU internal governance had been rather limited until the start of the financial crisis. Since then, not only conditionality was the leitmotiv of virtually all financial assistance measures adopted during the crisis, but the discourse of conditionality has been normalised in the management of EU internal expenditure, becoming an essential trait of the financial relations between the EU and the Member States. Against this background, the paper explores how the normalisation of conditionality interacts with the solidarity functions served by the EU budget. To this end, after having traced the rise of conditionality in EU funding policies, the paper sketches out the nature of solidarity conveyed through the EU budget and turns then to the analysis of how the law and practice of conditionality relate with the fulfilment of the solidarity objectives set out in the Treaties.