From Cooperative To Coercive Federalism? The Legislative Function Under Next Generation EU And The Federal Genus of Union Law


This Working Paper examines what Next Generation EU (NGEU) does to the structure of federalism in the EU. It draws a comparison between the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and conditional spending programmes in US, Australian and Canadian federalism to identify a heuristic framework for determining when funding to (Member) States crosses the line between policy leverage and a form of federal coercion. While, after the RRF, the cohesion legal basis takes on features in common with the US “general welfare clause”, the Working Paper argues that the RRF does not have an unambiguously coercive character that satisfies the definition of compulsion gleaned from comparative federal jurisprudence. With that template, the Working Paper puts forward tools to understand if the RRF and its putative “de-crisisified” successor leave sufficient policy space for Member States and their legislatures to exercise real choice regarding the acceptance of funds, based on the size, granularity and extraneousness of conditional spending.