Who Does What? On Cameron, Rutte and the Optimal Distribution of Competences Among the European Union and the Member States

Published in: Kai Purnhagen & Peter Rott (eds.), Varieties of European Economic Law and Regulation: Liber Amicorum for Hans Micklitz, Heidelberg 2014, pp. 343-357;

Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2013/16

15 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2013 Last revised: 27 May 2015

See all articles by Jan M. Smits

Jan M. Smits

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI)

Date Written: December 7, 2013

Abstract

The distribution of competences among the European Union and the member states ranks high on the political agenda. While the British government is working on a review of the balance of competences between the EU and the UK, the Dutch government recently published a so-called ‘subsidiarity exercise,’ aimed at establishing which competences belong at which level of government. This aim of this paper is to investigate how viable criteria can be found for the optimal distribution of competences among the EU and the member states (the ‘who does what’ question). It considers (the fallacies of) the existing literature and then continues to propose a framework for the optimal assignment of competences that would allow to apply a uniform set of parameters to different policy fields.

Keywords: European Union, Competences, Subsidiarity, Economics of federalism, Decentralisation

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Smits, Jan M., Who Does What? On Cameron, Rutte and the Optimal Distribution of Competences Among the European Union and the Member States (December 7, 2013). Published in: Kai Purnhagen & Peter Rott (eds.), Varieties of European Economic Law and Regulation: Liber Amicorum for Hans Micklitz, Heidelberg 2014, pp. 343-357; ; Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2013/16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2364730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2364730

Jan M. Smits (Contact Author)

Maastricht University Faculty of Law - Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, NL-6200 MD
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.jansmits.eu

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