Subsidiarity and the European Union

26 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2000 Last revised: 2 Jun 2021

See all articles by Robert P. Inman

Robert P. Inman

University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Daniel L. Rubinfeld

University of California at Berkeley - School of Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); NYU Law School

Date Written: May 1998

Abstract

The European Union is at a crossroads. At issue will be each of the three decisions which define a federal constitution: the number of participating governments, the assignment of policy responsibilities to the new EMU, and the representation of local interests in, and the decision-making rules for, the Union. Subsidiarity is to be the guiding principle. This essay reviews three alternative models of subsidiarity -- decentralized federalism, centralized federalism, and democratic federalism -- and argues the current European Economic Community has evolved from decentralized to centralized to a fully democratic federalist state. The structure of EMU governance is in place and it closely resembles that of the United States: an institutionally weak executive, a country-specific Council of Ministers and a locally representative Parliament. The remaining issues to be decided are the number of participating members and the assignment of policy responsibilities to levels of government. A large Union with significant fiscal policy responsibilities is likely to replicate U.S. economic policy performance.

Suggested Citation

Inman, Robert P. and Rubinfeld, Daniel L., Subsidiarity and the European Union (May 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6556, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226289

Robert P. Inman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Finance Department ( email )

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Daniel L. Rubinfeld

University of California at Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

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