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New Constitution, New Europe: What About (Fiscal) Federalism?

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  • Rui Henrique Alves

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Abstract

More than fifty years after the Schuman Declaration, Europe is still far from a real Political Union. In fact, Europe faces an important imbalance between the two sides of the integration process, appearing as an important actor in the international economic scenario, but as a minor actor in the international political arena. In this paper, we start by arguing that the “small steps” strategy that led Europe until the present situation is no longer sufficient to let the Union efficiently overcome its present deficits and challenges. So, we call for an important change in the institutional and economic organisation of the EU, towards a model of largely decentralised federalism. By examining the present challenges for EU and the characteristics of the proposal for an European Constitution designed by the Convention, as well as comparing the main federal systems existing in the world today, we argue that the mentioned proposal is not enough to give the EU a strong voice both in the political and the economic areas. In this context, we discuss the design of an adequate institutional framework for the political organisation of the EU, presenting an alternative proposal based on the characteristics of a truly federal system, also as its consequences in what concerns the design and implementation of European economic policies. Keywords: European Union, Political Union, Federalism, Fiscal Federalism, European Constitution

Suggested Citation

  • Rui Henrique Alves, 2004. "New Constitution, New Europe: What About (Fiscal) Federalism?," ERSA conference papers ersa04p652, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa04p652
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    1. Mathias Dewatripont & Francesco Giavazzi & Jürgen von Hagen & Ian Harden & Didier Baudewyns & Gérard Roland & Howard Rosenthal & André Sapir & Guido Tabellini, 1995. "Flexible integration: towards a more effective and democratic Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9541, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Buti, Marco & Eijffinger, Sylvester C.W. & Franco, Daniele, 2003. "Revisiting the stability and growth pact: grand design or internal adjustment?," Seminarios y Conferencias 6567, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    3. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 2004. "The European Union: A Politically Incorrect View," Scholarly Articles 4553004, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Oates, Wallace E., 2001. "Fiscal competition and European Union: contrasting perspectives," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 133-145, April.
    6. Jérôme Creel, 2003. "Ranking Fiscal Policy Rules: the Golden Rule of Public Finance vs. the Stability and Growth Pact," Sciences Po publications 2003-04, Sciences Po.
    7. Buti, Marco, 2003. "Revisiting the stability and growth pact: grand design or internal adjustment?," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 34908, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    8. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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