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Article

Fiscal Consolidation in Federal Belgium

Collective Action Problem and Solutions

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, federalism, intergovernmental relations, High Council of Finance
Authors Johanna Schnabel
AbstractAuthor's information

    Fiscal consolidation confronts federal states with a collective action problem, especially in federations with a tightly coupled fiscal regime such as Belgium. However, the Belgian federation has successfully solved this collective action problem even though it lacks the political institutions that the literature on dynamic federalism has identified as the main mechanisms through which federal states achieve cooperation across levels of government. This article argues that the regionalization of the party system, on the one hand, and the rationalization of the deficit problem by the High Council of Finance, on the other, are crucial to understand how Belgium was able to solve the collective action problem despite its tightly coupled fiscal regime and particularly high levels of deficits and debts. The article thus emphasizes the importance of compromise and consensus in reducing deficits and debts in federal states.


Johanna Schnabel
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, Rutherford College, Canterbury CT2 7NX, United Kingdom.

Csaba Varga
Professor Emeritus at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University Institute for Legal Philosophy & Research Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Legal Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Article

The Values of the European Union Legal Order

Constitutional Perspectives

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2014
Keywords European Union, constitutional values, jurisprudence, rule of law, treaty objectives
Authors Timothy Moorhead
AbstractAuthor's information

    At the heart of the European Union legal order lie values directed collectively to the idea of European integration. As a body with significant governmental and lawmaking powers, the Union also presents itself as an institution based upon the rule of law. The Union ‘constitution’ therefore expresses both regulatory powers direct­ed towards European integration as well as rule of law principles whose scope of application is limited by the terms of the Treaties. In this article I consider how this distinctive amalgam of values operates as a constitution for the European Union, by comparison with domestic constitutional values within the Member States. I also consider how Union constitutional demands condition and inform the legal practices of the Court of Justice. Here I identify the interpretive effects of superior Union laws –‍ the core Treaty objectives as well as rule of law principles found within the General Principles ‍– as of particular significance in developing the legal influences of the entire Union project of integration.


Timothy Moorhead
Associate Lecturer, University of Kent.
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