20 Jan 2017

European Fiscal Union: Economic rationale and design challenges

Gilles Thirion

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Proposals for different types of elements of a fiscal union have flourished in recent years, both from academic and policy circles. Since a fiscal union could take a constellation of various different forms, this paper first provides an analytical framework pinpointing the five key elements of a fiscal union. It takes stock of the existing features of economic and monetary union (EMU) that embed some form of fiscal union, and then critically analyses the main arguments for and against further fiscal integration. Finally, It surveys the key proposals for a fiscal capacity and different types of Eurobonds.

Gilles Thirion is a Researcher at CEPS. This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the Horizon 2020 FIRSTRUN project on “‘Fiscal Rules and Strategies under Externalities and Uncertainties” commissioned by the European Commission.