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John Boye Ejobowah

Abstract

This paper evaluates the second-generation theory (SGT) of fiscal federalism. It spells out the main arguments of the theory and discusses the fiscal architecture of Nigerian federalism with a view to using the case study to work out the strengths and weaknesses of the theory. After arguing that the weaknesses of the theory outweigh its strength, the paper goes on to point out the dangers of using a particular construct of fiscal federalism as a model. It notes that SGT theory is an attempt at reviving and modelling nineteenth century American fiscal federalism as a universal standard.

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Sérgio Coimbra Henriques

Abstract

The Council is a crucial intergovernmental institution of the European Union. However, the complex, opaque and consensual character of the decision-making process in the Council puts its legitimacy into question. Intergovernmentalist theory posits that it is sufficiently legitimised, indirectly, by the member state governments. Constructivist research, on the other hand, suggests that socialisation might disturb the relaying of positions from the national to the supranational level, as the former approach implies. This paper aims to explore these issues, in particular related to representation and consensus. It contains an analysis of material generated in in-depth interviews. The Capital Markets Union (CMU) initiative serves as an umbrella term for regulatory changes directed at the overall development of European capital markets. As such, when analysing the legal framework of the CMU, it is important to note that this involves an undertaking which goes beyond the regulation of financial systems, also aiming to achieve supervisory convergence throughout the member states of the European Union. Indeed, it is perhaps one of the clearest examples of federal implications within the EU. All the synchronous movements enacted into law, leading towards harmonisation and supervisory convergence, show us that the CMU is an foundational piece in a collective journey towards ever greater integration in terms of economic governance and economic policies. Nonetheless, even if the CMU is one of the few cross-country risk-sharing mechanisms available to the EU, its implementation faces difficulties (as well as the looming Brexit) that demand careful analysis.

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Erika Arban

Abstract

In a global context where popular referenda are increasingly used to decide contested issues, this paper aims at exploring the framework in which, in October 2017, two referenda took place in the Italian northern regions of Veneto and Lombardia to seek additional forms and conditions of autonomy within the Italian regional state as painted by the Constitution after the 2001 reform. By adopting mainly an analytical perspective, this contribution studies the political and constitutional underpinnings of the two referenda while at the same time providing a cursory comparative account of differential and asymmetric regionalism.

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Mariana Pinto Ramos

Abstract

The European Social Dialogue, and its output, the European collective agreements, are intended to implement minimum standards of working conditions that bind all Member- States, in a logic of legal harmonisation of the European Union’s social objectives. However, despite some federal traits of the European Union (“EU”), since the beginning European social dialogue has faced numerous challenges, particularly when confronted with the need to balance economic interests, giving social policies a subsidiary role, and when facing the different agendas of each Member-State. This article proceeds with a historical analysis of the development of European Social Dialogue, its implementation stages, and past and current challenges, which can be divided in three phases: past experience, present experience and current challenges and, finally, an attempt to project what new social policies might hold for the future.

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Francisco Pereira Coutinho and Martinho Lucas Pires

Abstract

In 2017 we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and the 25th anniversary of the Treaty of Maastricht. The commemoration of these historic events was the perfect excuse for a critical and renewed discussion of European integration. It was also an opportunity for discussing the EU through the lens of “federalism”, i.e. to look at it from the perspective of federal theory and / or through its substantive and formal dimension. This issue of Perspectives on Federalism includes papers presented in conferences organized at Warsaw University in June 2016 and at Lisbon Nova Law School on May 2017 under the Jean Monnet Project “More EU - More Europe to Overcome the Crisis”. The articles discuss, either from a more general or from a more specific standpoint, within a variety of subjects, some of the federal features of the EU.

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Rui Tavares Lanceiro

Abstract

This paper explores the similarities between the EU’s system of administrative implementation of its legislative acts, and the German and American systems of administrative implementation of their respective federal laws. The article will also study the connection between the principle of sincere cooperation, established in the EU Treaties, and equivalent principles which exist in federal legal orders, namely the “Bundestreue” principle. The EU system appears to be closer to the German model of federalism than the US. Despite the federal inspiration, one cannot say that the principle of sincere cooperation is a federalising influence on the EU.

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Juliana Almeida and Guilherme Oliveira e Costa

Abstract

For the last forty years, the European Union has been pursuing the goal of a unified system of patent law, which would make it possible for an invention to be protected, by EU law, throughout the territory of the Member-States, with a single application. This would simplify the patent protection system, making it easier, less costly and more secure, and would facilitate access to the internal market and promote scientific and technological development. However, problems might arise because of the plurality of legal sources that could be involved and due to the fact that not all countries want to be part of this new system. Nevertheless, the involvement of the majority of the Member-States in the Unitary Patent Package, through participating in an international agreement and in using the EU’s enhanced cooperation mechanism, is evidence of federalist manifestations of the EU as a sui generis organisation.

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Matteo Bonelli

Abstract

The EU has not yet found effective answers to constitutional crises in its Member States, in particular Hungary and Poland. Due to systemic problems of compliance with the common values of Art. 2, the legitimacy of the EU constitutional order and its smooth functioning are under threat, but the EU lacks instruments of direct enforcement and coercion. Several authors have therefore proposed to ‘federalize’ EU mechanisms and to guarantee to EU institutions, in particular the Court of Justice, more powers to intervene vis-à-vis Member States. However, the current Treaty framework presents a series of obstacles to federal-like enforcement. Solutions to national crises must ultimately respect the constitutional balance between the Union and the Member States.

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Tommaso Visone

Abstract

In recent political debate, the association between national souverainisme and Euroscepticism is considered a natural one. From Marine Le Pen to Matteo Salvini, there is a unanimous affirmation of the necessity to defend national sovereignty against the threat of Brussels. But if we take a more in-depth look, we can see how European Integration has fed two different approaches to European federalism: the first began in 1951, a concrete path on which a kind of European federation was progressively built, while the second has considered the same path to be an obstacle in the attempt to move towards a possible European federation. According to the first group the process of integration has been better than nothing while, the opinion of the second is that the same process has been worse than nothing. Such Eurosceptic Federalism finds its roots in the anti-cosmopolitan federalism of the interwar debate and unifies, paradoxically, radical libertarians and convinced communitarians.

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Samo Bardutzky

Abstract

This article is inspired by the 2017 discussions on the future of Europe (in particular some of the ideas debated in the White Paper on the Future of Europe, published by the European Commission) and the events that took place in the crises and post-crises period (aftermath of the financial crisis, ongoing refugee crisis and the Brexit shock). It is particularly interested in the scenario of differentiated integration. In this regard, it observes how in the aftermath of the crises, there was a shift in the rationale of differentiated integration with objective (in)ability of the states taking a prominent role. It presents a federalist critique of this development, drawing on the work of Daniel Elazar, discussing the concepts of non-centralization, federal process and federal covenant in the context of the 2017 discussions in the EU.