IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jecper/v18y2004i4p27-48.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The European Union: A Politically Incorrect View

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina
  • Roberto Perotti

Abstract

In this paper, we present our view of the recent evolution of European integration. We first briefly describe the main features of the institution and decision making process in the European Union, with particular attention to the debate between federalists and super nationalists. We then identify two key issues in the process of European integration: 1) an emphasis on "institutional balance" based on a complex web of institutions with overlapping jurisdiction; 2) A conflict between a dirigiste versus a more laissez faire approach to government. We argue that the first problem leads to a lack of clarity in the allocation of powers between European institutions, confusion in the allocation of prerogatives between national governments and EU institutions, and lack of transparency and accountability. The dirigiste culture also manifests itself in an abundant production of verbose rhetoric, which in our view is far from innocuous and direct set the European policy debate in the wrong direction. We then study how these problems play out in 4 important areas: employment policies, culture and scientific research, foreign and defense policies, and fiscal policy. Finally, we study the implications of the recently proposed European Constitution a potential solution of these two problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 2004. "The European Union: A Politically Incorrect View," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:27-48
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330042632780
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0895330042632780
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Bureaucrats or Politicians?," Working Papers 238, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 275-319, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:27-48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.