Publication date:01 January 2016
Length of book:264 pages
Insiders and outsiders agree; there is something particular about negotiating in Brussels. This book analyses ten years of continuous negotiations about EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, answering questions such as When and how are decisions typically reached in the European Union? What is this ‘culture of consensus’ that pervades negotiations in the Council of Ministers? And why are some member states more successful than others in making their voices heard? Using the metaphor of the Caucus race from Alice in Wonderland, Smeets' book offers a fresh perspective on the decision-making realities in Brussels’ European Quarter. By providing unique empirical insight into behind-closed-doors debates, it explains the faltering accession process of the countries of former Yugoslavia. But most of all, it reveals the mechanism by which national interests are accommodated, so that deals can be reached between the member states. Much work has been done in individual disciplines on the phenomenon of tax competition that lies at the heart of this crisis. Yet, the combination of issues of democratic legitimacy, social justice, economic efficiency, and national sovereignty that tax competition raises clearly requires an interdisciplinary analysis. This book offers a rare example of this kind of work, bringing together experts from political science, philosophy, law, and economics whose contributions combine empirical analysis with normative and institutional proposals. It makes an important contribution to reforming international taxation.