IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fce/doctra/0704.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What (Economic) Constitution does the EU need?

Author

Listed:
  • Eloi Laurent
  • Jacques Le Cacheux

Abstract

The European Constitutional Treaty (ECT) was presented by its drafters as an explicit constitution for the European Union (EU 25). A possible explanation for its rejection by the French and Dutch citizens in the course of spring 2005 is that it did not sufficiently amend the implicit constitution of the EU 25, the European Union Treaty (EUT), which was truly the object of voters' aversion. Assuming this to be true, there should be a thorough debate on the relevance and viability of the de facto current constitution of the European Union. In this paper, we engage in this debate by identifying what is essentially wrong with the economic provisions of the EUT, which we designate as the "European economic constitution." Using a constitutional political economy approach, we first attempt to demonstrate that both what we define as the "principle of integrity" and the "principle of efficiency" of collective action appear to be violated by the European economic constitution. This occurs, respectively, because its provisions are not neutral, nor revisable, and because they do not sufficiently allow for the possibility of cooperative collective decision (leading to convergence in welfare) in a more than ever numerous and heterogeneous EU. Our essential argument in this respect regards the implications of the structurally different economic performances and incentives of small and large countries under the European economic constitution. Finally, since the present European trade-off between "integrity" and "efficiency" appears sub-optimal, we present two original ways of achieving potentially better ones in the EU, through a "Great compromise" or "Economic constitution(s)," expressing a preference for the latter.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2007. "What (Economic) Constitution does the EU need?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:fce:doctra:0704
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/pdf/dtravail/WP2007-04.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Éloi Laurent, 2005. "La croissance du progrès social," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 93(2), pages 357-366.
    2. Eloi Laurent, 2007. "From Competition to Constitution: Races to Bottoms and the Rise of ‘Shadow’ Social Europe," Sciences Po publications 137, Sciences Po.
    3. Eloi Laurent & Jérôme Creel & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2005. "Delegation in Inconsistency : the 'Lisbon Strategy' Record an an Institutional Failure," Sciences Po publications 2005-07, Sciences Po.
    4. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (II): Distribution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number mill1848-2.
    5. Cindy Skach, 2005. "We, the Peoples? Constitutionalizing the European Union," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 149-170, March.
    6. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    7. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2002. "The European Social Model: Coping with the challenges of diversity," MPIfG Working Paper 02/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    8. Romain Duval & Jørgen Elmeskov, 2005. "The Effects of EMU on Structural Reforms in Labour and Product Markets," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 438, OECD Publishing.
    9. Eloi Laurent, 2005. "La croissance du progrès social (fiche de lecture)," Post-Print hal-01020742, HAL.
    10. Christian Joerges, 2004. "What is Left of the European Economic Constitution?," EUI-LAW Working Papers 13, European University Institute (EUI), Department of Law.
    11. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
    12. Frédéric Bobay, 2004. "Constitution européenne : redistribution du pouvoir des États au Conseil de lUE," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 163(2), pages 101-115.
    13. Jacques Le Cacheux, 2005. "Politiques de croissance en Europe. Un problème d'action collective," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(3), pages 705-713.
    14. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (III): Exchange," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number mill1848-3.
    15. Parker,William Nelson, 1984. "Europe, America, and the Wider World," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521274807, October.
    16. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2015. "Report on the state of the European Union," Post-Print hal-01517468, HAL.
    17. Buchanan, James M, 1987. "The Constitution of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 243-250, June.
    18. Mervyn King, 2004. "The Institutions of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2004. "'L’Europe boucles d’or' : Trois maximes pour sortir d’une impasse," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2121, Sciences Po.
    20. Frédéric Bobay, 2001. "La réforme du Conseil de l'Union européenne à partir de la théorie des jeux," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 16(2), pages 3-61.
    21. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 6-16.
    22. Christian Saint Etienne & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2005. "Croissance équitable et concurrence fiscale," Working Papers hal-00972898, HAL.
    23. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/3481 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Trade, Growth and the Size of Countries," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1499-1542 Elsevier.
    25. Mill, John Stuart, 1848. "Principles of Political Economy (I): Production," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 1, number mill1848-1.
    26. Baldwin, Richard & Widgrén, Mika, 2004. "Winners and Losers Under Various Dual Majority Rules for the EU Council of Ministers," CEPR Discussion Papers 4450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    27. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
    28. DeMeyer, Frank & Plott, Charles R, 1970. "The Probability of a Cyclical Majority," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 345-354, March.
    29. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2003. "Constitution Européenne : l'union politique dans les limbes," Post-Print hal-01019904, HAL.
    30. Beard, Charles A., 1913. "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 127, number beard1913.
    31. Abramovitz,Moses, 1989. "Thinking about Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521333962, October.
    32. Mervyn King, 2004. "The Institutions of Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 1-13, May.
    33. Dennis Mueller, 2005. "Constitutional political economy in the European Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 57-73, July.
    34. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • N24 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:fce:doctra:0704. 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: (Francesco Saraceno). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ofcspfr.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.