Coordination of industrial policy in the European Union
Spillovers from national industrial policies can cause helpful or harmful competition among policy makers and helpful or harmful interactions among the targeted industries. As a result, it is not in general possible to say whether industrial policy coordination is good or bad. However, reaching agreement at the EU level on any type of policy - trade policy, monetary policy or industrial policy - is costly in terms of time, information, and political goodwill. The contrast between the vagueness of the benefits of coordination and the surety of the decision-making costs suggests that the EU has no need to set up a new institutional structure for coordinating industrial policy. In the few cases where the merits of coordination are obvious, such as public spending on R&D, they will be obvious to all and ad hoc cooperation will work.
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