What Does the European Union Do?

43 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2002

See all articles by Alberto F. Alesina

Alberto F. Alesina

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ignazio Angeloni

Italian Finance Ministry - International Financial Relations

Ludger Schuknecht

European Central Bank (ECB)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

We construct a set of indicators to measure the policy-making role of the European Union (European Council, Parliament, Commission, Court of Justice, etc.), in a selected number of policy domains. Our goal is to examine the division of prerogatives between European institutions and national ones, in light of the implications of normative models and in relation to the preferences of European citizens. Our data confirm that the extent and the intensity of policy-making by the EU have increased sharply over the last 30 years. Such increase has taken place at different speeds, and to different degrees, across policy domains. In recent times the areas that have expanded most are the most remote from the EEC's original mission of establishing a free market zone with common external trade policy. We conjecture that the resulting allocation may be partly inconsistent with normative criteria concerning the assignment of policies at different government levels, as laid out in the theoretical literature.

Keywords: European union, political economy, subsidarity

JEL Classification: D78, H11, H41

Suggested Citation

Alesina, Alberto F. and Angeloni, Ignazio and Schuknecht, Ludger, What Does the European Union Do? (January 2002). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=297266

Alberto F. Alesina (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Ignazio Angeloni

Italian Finance Ministry - International Financial Relations ( email )

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Ludger Schuknecht

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

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+49 69 1344 7809 (Fax)

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