Next Generation EU and the balancing of economic union through horizontalisation


The EU has developed a vertical relation with its Member States on economic and monetary policies as well as national parliaments. Next Generation EU arguably breaks with this verticalisation, by shifting the focus of the political process from Member State-coordination to EU-led fiscal funding. Facing complex events, such as the covid-19 pandemic and the current security and energy crises, the limits of inter-State coordination became clear. However, NGEU also represents continuity, as verticalisation endures, therefore blurring the transnational nature of the programme. In addition, NGEU pales in comparison with the US response to the pandemic.

EU citizens increasingly demand Union-wide policies. However, Member States are not capable of delivering in the European Council, given that Heads of State or Government’s democratic mandate favour the adoption of policies with an eminent national nature. Hence, this participation mismatch needs to be addressed in order to better reflect majoritarian preferences over minoritarian bias as shown in the EU budgetary sagas on juste retour. Therefore, this paper argues that direct taxation of EU citizens is the least imperfect way to achieve it.