Public Budgeting in the EU Commission : A Test of the Punctuated Equilibrium Thesis
FR : Éditions L'Harmattan
124 - 153 p.
Internal budgeting processes of the EU, Enlargement process, Budgetary choice
We test a punctuated equilibrium model of budgeting in the context of the European Union. Compared either to the US or to the national systems of its member states, we know little about the impact of the institutional design of the EU on its internal budgeting processes. For one, we do not know whether the heterogeneous preferences of each member-state are likely to create friction or venue-shopping towards the EU Commission. This paper first describes European budgeting processes since the inception of the EU, taking into consideration the enlargement process. In a second section, we present European budgeting data to test models of friction, incrementalism, and punctuated equilibrium, drawing from a developing literature with US and European applications. The findings make clear that EU budgeting processes correspond to a punctuated equilibrium model of budgetary choice, as previous studies have recently shown for the US and many European member states.