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Integrity and Efficiency in the EU: The Case Against the European Economic Constitution. CES Working Paper, no. 130, 2006

Laurent, Eloi, and Le Cacheux, Jacques. (2006) Integrity and Efficiency in the EU: The Case Against the European Economic Constitution. CES Working Paper, no. 130, 2006. [Working Paper]

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    Abstract

    The European Constitutional Treaty (ECT) was presented by its drafters as an explicit constitution for the European Union (EU 25). A possible explanation for its rejection by the French and Dutch citizens in the course of spring 2005 is that it did not sufficiently amend the implicit constitution of the EU 25, the European Union Treaty (EUT), which was truly the object of voters’ aversion. Assuming this to be true, there should be a thorough debate on the relevance and viability of the de facto current constitution of the European Union. In this paper, we engage in this debate by identifying what is essentially wrong with the economic provisions of the EUT, which we designate as the “European economic constitution.” Using a constitutional political economy approach, we first attempt to demonstrate that both what we define as the “principle of integrity” and the “principle of efficiency” of collective action appear to be violated by the European economic constitution. This occurs, respectively, because its provisions are not neutral, nor revisable, and because they do not sufficiently allow for the possibility of cooperative collective decision (leading to convergence in welfare) in a more than ever numerous and heterogeneous EU. Our essential argument in this respect regards the implications of the structurally different economic performances and incentives of small and large countries under the European economic constitution. Finally, since the present European trade-off between “integrity” and “efficiency” appears sub-optimal, we present two original ways of achieving potentially better ones in the EU, through a “Great compromise” or “Economic constitution(s),” expressing a preference for the latter.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Institutions; Efficiency; Rules; Constitutional Political. Economy, Federalism, Small States, Size and Economic Performance.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > Constitution for Europe
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Harvard University, Center for European Studies > CES Working Papers Series
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 08 May 2009
    Page Range: p. 107
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:58
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9030

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