Given the enlargement of the European Union, the fall-back in productivity growth and the lack of success in implementing further structural reforms, Van der Ploeg highlights the political economy of the European Union and discusses the role of the Maastricht Treaty as an impediment or catalyst for reform.
He also sheds light on the empirical characteristics of the voting behaviour of Members of the European Parliament and shows that they nowadays vote more along party lines than national lines and pays due attention to allegiance and party discipline.
In contrast to what many believe, he argues on game-theoretic grounds that the Lisbon Treaty will not strengthen the European Parliament versus the Council. In fact, the old bigger member states strengthen their grip on the political decision making process.
He also discusses progress on the ratification of European legislation in the member states. Finally, he addresses the crucial question of how European politics can be made more attractive to the electorates of Europe and makes the case that this requires further reform of European institutions.
Information about the speaker
Rick van der Ploeg is Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford, Adjunct Professor at the University of Amsterdam, Research Fellow of CEPR, London, CESifo, Munich and the Tinbergen Institute. He is also a co-director of the Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies and a Member of both New College and Nuffield College.