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Fiscal system and fiscal relations in the European Union: political restraints and alternative approach to public finance

Listed author(s):
  • Hrvoje Šimović


    (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)

Development of the European integration through the European Union (EU) considers not only strengthening integration from the economic aspect (internal market). It also considers the political aspect of the integration i.e. strengthening political integration of member states and their citizens. Political segment of integration considers strengthening of the internal policies of the EU in which fiscal system, i.e. public finances have extremely important role. The EU fiscal system presents reflection of the extremely strong and often confronted interests between the economic and the political integration. These issues are closely related to the second component of the European politic and economic integration, that are the fiscal relations between the EU “central” level and the national “lower” levels which bring the all important decisions in the EU. According to the theory of public finance (fiscal federalism) and the criteria of economic efficiency, fiscal functions (allocation, redistribution, stabilization) and activities are assigned to the different levels of government, as well as certain resources for their financing. On the basis of fiscal functions carried out by national levels in the EU, and the manner of their financing, the EU is a prominently fiscally decentralized complex community. The traditional approach to the fiscal federalism that fiscal authorities are transferred from central to lover levels means that this is a process of decentralization, while in the case of the EU this means centralization of fiscal authorities from the level on national states to the EU as a supra-national level. The main goal of this paper is to analyze fiscal relations in the EU according to basic fiscal functions: allocation, redistribution and stabilization. Methodology would include analysis and comparison of positive EU aspect with normative aspect of public finances in multi-level community. Induction of gained results will confirm thesis that, because of political restraints, development of common (central) system of the EU public finances is based on alternative approaches of harmonization and cooperation.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb in its series EFZG Working Papers Series with number 0704.

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Length: 11
Date of creation: 16 Apr 2007
Handle: RePEc:zag:wpaper:0704
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