For some time now I have been looking out for good standard books or articles on the politics of the EU budget process. Still, I am left a little clueless. Either there is hardly anything available or I continue to oversee it. Please help me if you know of more publications in English, German or French.
Here are the books I know of:
Brigid Laffan (1997): The Finances of the European Union, New York : St. Martin’s Press. Probably the standard book. Not on sale anymore.
Johannes Lindner (2006): Conflict and Change in EU Budgetary Politics, Routledge. This is probably the best (if not only) book on the politics of the EU budget – and primarily the negotiations of the financial perspectives until 2007.
Paul Bernd Spahn (1993): The Community Budget for an Economic and Monetary Union, Palgrave Macmillan. Note this was published at the time of the Maastricht Treaty deliberations on EMU. It is good for debate on fiscal federalism and revenue/own resources theories: Puts tax/revenue issue in historical perspective and discussion of fiscal federalism. Chapters: 1 Introduction, 2 Multilevel Government Finance, 3 Federal Financial Constitutions Compared, 4 The Future of the Community Budget under EMU, 5 Summary. There is no debate on expenditures. (NUS) Not on sale anymore.
Advisory Council on International Affairs (2007): The finances of the European Union. The AVI works on request of the Dutch parliament/government on international affairs. This report can be downloaded here as PDF and it serves as a contribution to the budget review debate. It analyses both the revenue and expenditure side and makes recommendations for action. Not very useful for the broader academic debate but obviously helpful in understanding the/a Dutch position on budget reform at the time.
There is also the UK auditor’s (National Audit Office, NAO) report on the EU financial management, whose 40-page long 2010 edition (as well as previous ones) can be read online:
NAO (2010): Financial management in the European Union. London, The Stationery Office.
Other national auditors might publish similar reports. In Germany there is a detailed ‘EU Report 2008‘ that was published in January 2009. On top of that there is the European Court of Auditor’s annual report. This has also detailed data on money being spent. The latest versions can be found here. The 2009 report is coming out on the 9 November 2010.
Besides, there are usually general introduction chapters in the main EU text books (like Ole Funk and my contribution in “Europa von A bis Z“) but these have little analytical value and focus too much on the history and too little on the politics of the budget process (except for our own of course).
There are a few journal articles (like the ones from the symposium, Public Finance and Management; 2009; Vol. 9 (4)) touching on some specific elements of the EU budget process and I should sum them up in a future blog post. However, I know of hardly any that take the broader process into account, or work on the annual budget process. There are numerous articles on the negotiations of the multi-annual financial frameworks/financial perspectives though.
Comment, if you know more than me!