The thrust of the preceding chapter is that integration and interdependence give rise to cross-border spillovers and common interests of member states. Economic policy decisions therefore need to be taken in a setting which goes beyond the purely national context. Voluntary cooperation may suffice if all actors have incentives to cooperate, while common or supranational action is called for when voluntary cooperation cannot evolve credibly. This chapter discusses, on the basis of public choice theory,1 some of the difficulties and issues of principle in dealing with interdependence and the common interests through collective decision-making. It also illuminates the importance of agenda-setting and the strategic role that the Commission can play when it has the sole right of initiative and can thereby act as an agenda-setter for the Union. (The institutional modalities of EU decision-making are described in more detail in Chapter 4.)
KeywordsIncome Expense Stake Concession Marquis
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