Research Handbooks in Law and Economics series
Edited by Thomas Eger and Hans-Bernd Schäfer
Thomas Eger and Hans-Bernd Schäfer This book provides the reader with an economic analysis of the most important elements of EU law and the mechanisms of decisions within the EU. All the authors are well-known scholars of this discipline and have written their chapters especially for this volume. The authors presented a first draft of their chapters at a manuscript conference in Hamburg and improved their drafts on the basis of invited and prepared comments and the general discussion. The process of European integration is, on the one hand, a “truly unique endeavor. Nowhere else in the world has a group of countries come to be so integrated by peaceful means” (Baldwin and Wyplosz 2004, XXI). On the other hand, the actual architecture of the European Union has evolved as a compromise between conflicting philosophies of integration. First of all, there has been a conflict between intergovernmentalists, who look at European integration as an increased coordination and cooperation between sovereign governments, and federalists, who imagine the United States of Europe as a true political federation, characterized by powerful supranational institutions. However, there is another, much more important, conflict in the views on European integration: “the dirigiste economic management style of France and the free market, laissez faire style of the United Kingdom” (Alesina and Giavazzi 2006, 125). The history of European integration after World War II comprises a multitude of facets and can be described in a nutshell as follows (Eichengreen 2007; Nello 2009, Chapters 1 and 2). Originally,...