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EU Reforms for Tomorrow’s Europe

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  • Baldwin, Richard
  • Berglöf, Erik
  • Giavazzi, Francesco
  • Widgrén, Mika

Abstract

This Paper contributes ideas and analysis to the ongoing EU reform debate. It consists of three distinct parts: voting in the Council of Ministers, restructuring the ECB's Governing Council, and the setting of enlargement “examination” dates. The IGC currently focuses on Council voting, Commission composition, closer co-operation and the range of issues to be covered by qualified majority voting. Part 1 of our paper evaluates Council voting reform proposals with quantitative tools from voting game theory. We find that only the ‘dual simple majority’ plan maintains decision-making efficiency and democratic legitimacy in an EU 27. We believe, however, that the impact of enlargement on the ECB's Governing Council merits also discussion in Nice. We demonstrate that an expanded Governing Council with its current structure would be unwieldy and plagued by decision-making difficulties that would prevent it from making hard choices at the right time. Financial markets could react negatively to the possibility of a dysfunctional ECB; the Nice summit should request the ECB to propose some solutions. Finally, we argue that undertaking these reforms before enlargement should be a priority, not a precondition. Specifically, the EU should now commit to firm accession “exam” dates and signing dates (for those who pass); this should be done both for the earliest enlargement and for subsequent waves since this would stimulate incumbents and candidates to undertake the necessary reforms while ensuring that the first enlargement does not delay the second.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2623.

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Date of creation: Nov 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2623

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Related research

Keywords: Accession; ECB; EMU; Enlargement; European Union; IGC; Institutional Reform; Political Economy; Qualified Majority Voting;

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References

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  1. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1998. " Is the Allocation of Voting Power among EU States Fair?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 317-39, March.
  2. Rudi Dornbusch & Carlo Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 1998. "Immediate challenges for the European Central Bank," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 15-64, 04.
  3. Widgren, Mika, 1991. "Voting Power in the EC Decision Making and the Consequencesof two Different Enlargements," Discussion Papers 377, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  4. Rudiger Dornbusch & Carlo A. Favero & Francesco Giavazzi, 1998. "The Immediate Challenges for the European Central Bank," NBER Working Papers 6369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. von Hagen, Jurgen & Suppel, Ralph, 1994. "Central bank constitutions for federal monetary unions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 774-782, April.
  6. Richard E. Baldwin & Joseph F. Francois & Richard Portes, 1997. "The costs and benefits of eastern enlargement: the impact on the EU and central Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(24), pages 125-176, 04.
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