If the Conservative Party wins the 2015 general election, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised the British people that a referendum on the country’s future in the European Union will take place in 2017. A decision of this gravity needs to be made with the fullest understanding of its consequences, based on facts.
This book offers a succinct, objective and comprehensive review of the evidence, the source of which is the British government’s own research project, Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union. This Review draws together over 3,000 pages of independent assessments of whether the distribution of powers between the EU and the member states is right or needs to be changed.
The case for policy reform, renegotiation or repatriation of powers is presented across 32 different policy areas. The picture that emerges is far more nuanced and refined than the rhetoric that surrounds this crucial debate on Britain’s future in Europe would suggest. The authors offer an analysis of the evidence and invite readers to draw their own conclusions from the information they present.
Glossary / About the authors / Preface / Executive Summary – Common sense and noble idea / Part I - Questions / 1. What is the Balance of Competences Review? / 2. What are the EU’s competences? / 3. What are the underlying issues? / Part II - Evidence / 1. Core single market policies / 2. Sectoral policies / 3. Economic, monetary and social policies / 4. Justice and home affairs / 5. Education, research and culture / 6. External relations / 7. General issues / Part III – Conclusions / 1. By groups of policies / 2. By reform, renegotiation, or repatriation / 3. Contemplating secession / Appendix A. Balance of Competences Review – Schedule of the British governments’ work / Index / List of Boxes and Figure
Contributors: Graham Avery / Miroslav Beblavý / Arno Behrens / Steven Blockmans / Hugo Brady / Michael Emerson / Daniel Gros / Alzbeta Hájková / Karel Lannoo / Adam Łazowski / Jorge Núñez Ferrer / Steve Peers / Michael Wriglesworth
Michael Emerson holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Kent and Keele. He began his career as an economist at the OECD, Paris, and subsequently worked for the European Commission, Brussels, from 1973 to 1996, where his posts included advising Roy Jenkins (1977-78) and the Ambassador to the USSR/Russia (1991-95). Since 1996, he has been Senior Research Fellow successively at the LSE and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He has authored and edited many books on a wide range of topics including European integration and foreign policy.
Emerson and his fellow authors deserve congratulations for producing a book that uses hard evidence to set out the arguments with clarity and common sense.
An absolutely invaluable resource for anyone concerned with Britain’s evolving relationship with the European Union.
In the finest tradition of British pragmatism: a much needed injection of common sense and seriousness into the British debate on Europe.
This is a comprehensive and cogent analysis of the British government’s review of EU competences. While the government was reluctant to draw conclusions from its own review, the CEPS researchers are bolder.
This extraordinarily fair-minded and balanced book is a myth-busting exercise of the best kind. Meticulously boiling down every single European policy field to its very essence, the authors (one of Europe's leading think tank teams) are replacing misperception and misrepresentation with sober facts and sound assessments.