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On the character of the EU and its budget: Look into the future
Peter Wostner
EU-Consent EU-Budget Working Paper No. 8
October 2008

This paper aspires to find the reasons for the allegedly slow and inefficient decision-making in the EU and in doing so also tries to predict what the future challenges imply for the organisational structure of the EU. It argues that due to asymmetric challenges, consensus should remain a European asset and that increased heterogeneity of preferences due to rising EU membership is in fact not the major culprit of inefficient decision-making. Instead, the paper shows that at least in the medium term the combination of another two factors lie at the root of the problem: firstly, the blurred division of responsibilities and secondly, the budgetary procedure, which gives Member States the incentive to approve policies without (sufficient) value-added to the EU. The following paper offers a concrete proposal how the budgetary process could be improved in order to remedy the decision-making inefficiency problem.

  • Introduction with theoretical context
  • Asymmetric challenges: interdependence in inequality
  • Reasons for the eu's decision-making “inefficiency”
  • Division of responsibilities
  • Distorted (financial) incentives
  • What has been proposed already?
    • Budgetary reform: an improvement
      • Part A: European public goods budget
      • Part B: Expenditures with localised benefits
      • Budgetary procedure
    • Value added and (political) feasibility of the proposal
  • Conclusion
  • References
Download ›/library/papers/EU-Budget_wp8.pdf