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The role of the Capital Markets Union: towards regulatory harmonisation and supervisory convergence

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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The Second-Generation Theory of Fiscal Federalism: A Critical Evaluation

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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Socialisation and legitimacy intermediation in the Council of the European Union

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 and concludes that more effort is invested into reaching a more inclusive compromise in the Council than one would expect if it were to decide by qualified majority. Socialisation is weakening the input legitimacy of decisions made in the Council, while at the same time enhancing their output legitimacy by favouring genuine consensus.

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The voting systems in the Council of the EU and the Bundesrat – What do they tell us about European Federalism?

Abstract

The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new system of weighted votes in the Council, which radically departs from the principles on which the distribution of votes between the Member States of the EU was based for more than half a century. At the same time, the system of double majority is fundamentally different from the assumptions on which voting systems in federal states are based, including in the Bundesrat. Systems used in federal states are usually based on a compromise between the equality of states, and the equality of citizens. Consequently, in the Nice system, smaller Member States in the EU had relatively greater power compared to their populations than smaller federal units in the German Bundesrat. The results presented in this paper indicate that the Lisbon system of voting in the Council differs significantly from voting systems in federal states.

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A Carbon Tax for a Brighter Future
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