The political economy of European federalism
In spite of the clear objective assigned to the integration process in the 1950s, the institutional status of the European Union remains ambiguous and uneasy to define. The argument that we present in this article is that Europe has always hesitated between two forms of federalism. We use an agency framework and demonstrate that before the landmark cases Van Gend en Loos and Costa v. E.N.E.L., the European Union is mainly a confederation but it already contains elements of a federation. Afterwards, the institutional structure of the Union evolves towards a more centralised federalism but still shows lasting elements of a confederation.
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- Tridimas, George & Tridimas, Takis, 2004. "National courts and the European Court of Justice: a public choice analysis of the preliminary reference procedure," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 125-145, June.
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- James Buchanan, 1996. "Europe as social reality," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 253-256, December.
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