The Purse of the Polity. Tax power in the European Union
The paper discusses the extent and legitimacy of EU tax power, taking as its starting point the juridical basis of taxes as well as the putative development of the EU as a rights-based polity.
Agustín José Menéndez
This paper describes the actual constitutional, legislative and collecting tax powers in the hands of the Union. It proceeds first to unpack the very idea of tax power, and to distinguish its elements. On such a basis, I proceed to consider European norms and practices, and to reconstruct on such a basis the tax powers of the Union. It is then found that the Union’s tax powers are far wider than commonly asserted, especially on what concerns to the influence exerted on national and regional taxing powers by the Union’s constitutional and legislative tax powers. However, the Union still presents most of the
features characteristic of a regulatory entity. Having said that, a dynamic reconstruction of these same powers indicates that the Union is moving towards a rights-based polity, also on what concerns its taxing powers. There are clear indications that the problem-solving
conception of the Union is insufficient to explain and ground the powers to tax in the hands of the Union.
This paper was later published in E. O. Eriksen (ed.) Making the European Polity. Reflexive integration in the EU, Routledge, 2005.